Tuesday 2 November 2021

How OEMs and Others Can Evaluate Field Service Management Technology

The field service market lies at the cross section of customer service and support software. Providers are responsible for dispatching technicians to remote locations to provide installation, repair or maintenance services for equipment or systems. Field service management (FSM) technology helps providers manage and monitor owned and customer assets to deliver business outcomes and seamless customer experiences. When evaluating FSM technology, assess the following criteria to make an informed decision about your service transformation partner.

Look for consistent growth

As more business and consumer commerce migrates online and the field service industry navigates labor shortages, it is important to review a FSM company’s growth. A technology partner who is continually expanding their offerings and market footprint will better serve customers down the line. The seamless integration of management technology into an organisation’s customer relationship management (CRM) system and other backend programs is necessary for optimal workflows, but can cause high entry barriers, making it more cost-effective and productive to integrate the right system the first time.

When evaluating service providers, the speed of revenue generation offers insight into growth rates by year. Additionally, gauging the market verticals a partner serves can offer a view into the scope of a provider’s portfolio, which can be helpful in determining if they can serve industry objectives.

Assess the subcontractor ecosystem

The key to productive and effective field service is flexibility. Many providers must offer the ability to cover various regions at off-peak hours and service a myriad of job requests that vary in skill level. When combined with the industry’s continually ageing workforce, it is important that field service management companies can call on blended workforces and integrate quality contractors into their staff. When choosing a FSM partner, it is essential to work with providers that possess the comprehensive functionality to support the intelligent management of blended workforces, contractor onboarding, schedule optimisation and a network of available services that can be called upon for certain industries and geographies.

Additionally, a good FSM partner will not only coordinate their workforce but inform and enable technicians to provide the best service. Mobile applications and devices offer GPS tracking, telematics, knowledge management integration and work instruction management. Organizations that provide remote expert guidance for technicians and customers in the field through remote video and augmented reality (AR)-based communications systems will keep pace with technology and outlast competitors.

Evaluate the product line

Field service management products operate across multiple channels to provide holistic communication to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), dispatchers, technicians and customers. Evaluating the digital product offerings will give companies an idea if a technology partner can provide end-to-end service and integrate well into established business practices. A quality FSM partner can tailor its products, integration packaging and template configurations to different sizes of customer, different industries and different workforce compositions.

A strong and varied product line will offer websites, supply chain solutions, third-party service-brokering solutions and analytics that will handle customer relationship data, leverage on IoT integration and offer workforce, vendor and product lifecycle management to supply superior service throughout the customer journey.

The recently published Gartner Magic Quadrant report for Field Service Management shares the latest market and consumer trends affecting the service management landscape and assesses the value of leading field service management companies.

This article was originally published on automation.com

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