Field service management (FSM) includes the management of an organization or enterprise’s off-site resources. These may include resources used at client worksites or en route to client worksites as opposed to company property.
The following industry-specific examples include resources that would require field service management:
- Healthcare. More and more, healthcare providers are offering in-home care for the elderly, sick, or disabled. In these cases, nurses must work off-site, bringing the tools they need to do their job with them to the worksite.
- Gas utilities. In this industry, engineers may be dispatched from a main office to investigate and/or repair leaks.
- Telecommunications and cable. Telecommunications and cable companies offer installation, dispatching technicians to install cable or run phone lines in both corporate and domestic settings.
- Property maintenance. Landscape, irrigation, and home or office cleaning services require employees to work off-site.
Advantages of Field Service Management
If you’re in an industry that requires employees to leave company property, field service management can help you to make the most effective use of your resources. Some common goals of field service management include:
- Ensuring that customer expectations are met or exceeded. Field service management ensures that service to customers is not disrupted, and any service disruptions are restored as soon as possible.
- Maximizing equipment use. Equipment that sits idle can end up costing millions of dollars.
- Maximizing employee productivity. When managers are unable to monitor employees in the field it can lead to reduced productivity and additional costs.
- Ensuring safety. Employees who leave company property must adhere to certain safety standards, especially while driving and at job sites.
- Minimizing costs. Field service management helps to reduce costs by using fuel efficiently, ensuring vehicles are well-maintained, optimizing routes, and adjusting to unforeseen events.
- Enabling analytics. It can be difficult to identify areas for improvement when field service data is missing, non-existent, or lost.
Field service management software has been around for the past decade, and continues to evolve, with some applications hosted in-house and others in the cloud. FSM software may also integrate with other backend systems or applications, such as billing, parts inventory, accounting, and service management. FSM software vendors include a variety of different offerings, with pricing dependent on the size of the company, their users, needs, carried selection, and data usage. Some payment models include per-franchise, per-administrator/user, and per-field employee/technician.
Some of the top field service management software products in the field include Jobber, Fleetmatics Work, Service Fusion, ProntoForms, mHelpDesk, HouseCall Pro, IFS, Vonigo, ServiceBridge, ReachOut Suite, ClickSoftware, Coresystems, Wintac, Corrigo, dESCO, ServMan, TrackVia, and ESP. The software product you choose will largely depend on your industry, needs, and budget. For instance, field service providers in the healthcare industry have different needs than field service providers in the mining industry. In some cases, it’s possible to find software specific to your industry and/or field. In other cases, you might want to select software that is customizable and adapt it to your needs. Either way, field service management products can help to effectively provide off-site services.