Field Service Management

How does Field Service Management work? And how do companies manage the complex organization?

 

Jochen Möller
30.04.2020

The type of internal communication in companies has - fortunately - changed rapidly in recent years: the former flood of e-mails gave way to efficient digitization of processes and thus a significant reduction in errors. This is also the case in the field service area. A completely independent management area was developed here, which is of great importance in companies, as it is significantly involved in customer satisfaction. But how does Field Service Management work? And how do companies manage the complex organization? You can read this and more in the following sections.

 

Definition: What is Field Service Management?

The term Field Service Management (FSM) is an extremely broad term. This becomes clear, among other things, if you read through the definition by Gartner, a well-known provider of market research results and analyzes of developments in IT. According to Gartner, the FSM comprises the following areas:

  • Determination of the tasks of the field service by means of remote monitoring
  • Preventive maintenance and inspections by field service employees on site
  • Error detection and rectification
  • Planning, control and optimization of the resources used, including, for example, material used, use of the vehicles and the scheduling of service employees
  • Transmission of information to the field service

The fields of application of a field service management range from facility management and property management to field service for technology providers.
For the uncomplicated and above all quick organization of the respective task fields, companies nowadays mostly use efficient software solutions, so-called field service management software. Gone are the days of confusing and often unstructured e-mail communication; today digitized processes are the true path to effectiveness and, above all, cost savings.

"Never do anything halfway or you will lose more than you can ever catch up." Louis Armstrong

What exactly is software used for and what do you have to pay attention to?

The challenge in field service management is the optimal planning of the various resources. This so-called disposition is usually carried out by employees in the office who have to consider factors such as routes, appointments, qualifications of employees, working time models or material consumption.

On the other hand, there are the employees in the field, who are often out and about on their own and therefore spend a lot of time writing service reports, making notes of material usage and also recording their working hours.

This is where the software for simply structuring and planning the field service comes into play. On the one hand, thanks to functional algorithms, it helps to make scheduling as simple as possible for the office staff. It includes all factors in the planning, and spontaneous orders during the day are no longer a problem thanks to the software. It recognizes free periods and can assign the right service personnel directly. On the other hand, good field service management software can also be used directly on site. The field service employee can use the tool to import orders, create service reports, record his working hours and log his material consumption. What he needed a lot of time to do without software is now almost incidental.

In order to introduce an FSM solution, companies should pay attention to their respective requirements and circumstances. This means that the technically required infrastructure must be available and questions, for example whether a cloud or an on premise solution makes more sense, must be answered. Other factors such as company size and number of employees, number of branches, languages and legal bases must also be clarified.

 

EcholoNs Field Service Management solution

EcholoN has developed a mobile application for the field service. Thanks to the latest technology, it can be used on any device, online and offline. This means that even if the network fails in sections, the service technician can access the software, document and complete orders and has all the necessary information at hand.

By the way: The opinion that is circulating that field service management software is only worthwhile if you have to coordinate more than five service employees is not entirely true. You save a lot of time and money, even with just one field service employee of your own, or employees who are only engaged externally, if you control deployment planning with a tool.

So optimize your field service, regardless of its size or complexity, and start automating resource and deployment planning. You will save time, resources and nerves!

Difference from other solutions

The EcholoN Field Service Management software has various functions that distinguish it from other software solutions. In addition to the offline mode already mentioned in the last section, this module from EcholoN also works with a ticket system. This simplifies recording and delegating tasks. Thus, the current processing status can be traced at any time.

In addition to the standard time recording, EcholoN offers location recording as an integrated function. This helps to make route changes for spontaneously incoming orders and to determine which service employee is nearby.

But what if there are no service technicians available in your own company, or not the service technicians necessary for the respective inquiries? The EcholoN software also offers an easy solution for this: you simply involve your partner or subcontractors, which saves you unnecessary correspondence or waiting times; instead you can easily access external resources.

The more you have read about EcholoN and its software solutions, the better you know the knowledge database that is always working in the background in every software. It links and processes information, documents and files so that they can be passed on to employees at the right moment. This central form of storage not only saves time, it also enables constant access to an ever-growing mountain of knowledge.

Last but not least, to round off the software, it offers the option of assigning individual authorizations to each employee. This is especially valuable if you need to be able to access different information for data protection, competence or status reasons.