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Field Service Management: 2022 Ultimate Guide

May. 27, 2022

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Field Service Management (FSM) is the process of managing your company’s service technicians and their work in the field. This includes tasks like organizing work schedules and dispatch, tracking job progress, and invoicing customers.

Learn about the benefits of field service management, FSM practical applications, FSM implementation, and more.

Why Use Field Service Management?

A FSM that fits the commercial contractor workflow and replaces old analog and manual tasks will save time and money. Automating many service technician management tasks streamlines your workflow. This frees up hours every week that would otherwise be filled with administrative tasks.

10 Field Service Management Benefits

1. Save Thousands of Hours

Executives could be saving tens of thousands of dollars with FSM software. Building Design + Construction reported that 88% of executives who use four or more data systems spend at least 1,300 hours every year trying to turn data into usable reports.

65% of managers said manual processes cause change orders and work orders to get missed. Time and money is wasted when tasks aren’t tracked and followed up on.

All of this data is automatically collected and tracked in an FSM platform. You’ll have an accurate business overview, allowing you to make smarter decisions about how to allocate your resources.

2. Improve Productivity and Satisfaction

ServiceNow’s survey of over 6,000 knowledge workers showed that using automation tools improves both productivity and satisfaction.

Reducing or eliminating time spent on boring, repetitive tasks lets employees focus on more challenging work. This leads to more engaged and satisfied workforce, with higher retention, boosting the bottom line.

FSM software also helps you improve customer satisfaction. By tracking job progress and keeping customers updated on their order status, you can reduce some of the frustration that comes with waiting for service.

3. Boost Revenue by 20% to 30%

IDC, a market research firm, found that organizations lose 20% to 30% of their annual revenue due to inefficient processes.

Commercial contractor FSM software can help overcome the inefficiencies that cost your business money. With accurate data and streamlined processes, you’ll be able to make better resource allocation decisions. This can lead to an increase in revenue, and provide a meaningful competitive edge.

FSM software automation allows you to work faster and smarter than your competitors. This can give you a critical advantage in the marketplace.

Dormatech using BuildOps_software

4. Reduce Errors

Poor communication, inefficient processes, and lack of coordination causes significant errors in field service management. This leads to missed appointments, wrong diagnoses, duplicate work, and other costly mistakes. 38% of field service organizations report that scheduling and dispatching inefficiencies are their biggest challenge.

Field service management software reduces errors by streamlining communication and coordination between managers, technicians, and customers. Automatic scheduling and dispatch ensures that jobs are assigned to the right technician and that the customer knows the appointment time. Tracking service and repair tasks ensures no duplicate work and that all tasks are completed according to schedule. 

Customer service contracts help ensure that customers receive the best service and receive regular service order status updates. In short, field service management software help businesses run efficiently, reduce errors, and improve customer satisfaction.

5. Streamline Work Orders

Field service management software manages business resources more efficiently and effectively. Managers and technicians can process job orders easily, schedule and dispatch work, track service and repair tasks, manage customer service contracts, and more. Businesses can streamline their field service processes and improve customer service.

The top challenges field service technicians face, according to Click Software, are as follows:

  • Pre-visit service history review 
  • Service manual access
  • Knowledge base access
  • Visibility of spare parts inventory
  • Training videos

Field service management software can address all of these challenges, with all information available on the technician’s mobile app. Now every service visit is efficient and effective with limited delays.

FSM software helps improve customer service. With accurate data tracking and reporting, businesses can identify customer service improvement areas and make changes. Businesses can use also FSM software to generate invoices and track payments in real-time. This helps ensure that payments are received in a timely manner and finances are up-to-date.

Overall, field service management software streamlines work order processes, improves customer service, and tracks finances accurately. Commercial contractor FSM software is essential for any business that relies on field service technicians.

buildops technician field service app

6. Track Service Technicians

Field service technician performance can be difficult to track and manage manually. Field service management software can track technician locations, service orders, and performance metrics in real-time with the help of a mobile app. Managers can anticipate and solve problems before they occur, improving field service operations efficiency.

Performance is vital to the success of field service operations and businesses make more informed decisions about technician assignments, schedules, and routing with FSM. Also, businesses can use field service management software to track technician performance against customer service contracts, identify improvement areas, and collect payment for services onsite with a field service app. 

Meeting customer expectations is the greatest challenge faced by field service organizations. Field service management software overcomes this challenge by providing the tools to deliver quality service. By using technician performance data to improve operations, businesses ensure they are meeting and exceeding customer expectations. 

field service management invoicing

7. Faster Invoicing

Invoicing is essential for a field service organization. Field service managers rely on invoices to track the work that has been done and to calculate the price of the services performed. However, manually generating invoices is a time-consuming process.

There’s also a lot of room for error when done manually. In fact, 60% of invoices are paid late, largely due to invoicing errors. Field service management software generate accurate invoices more quickly and efficiently because all the data is located in one place.

FSM software send all the job-related information from the technician to the office quickly and easily. This information can include time spent on the job, tools and materials used, work status changes, job site photos, and the client’s digital signature. With this information, field service managers can quickly generate invoices based on the services performed.

FSM software can also identify products that are covered by warranty, outstanding commitments, and discounts. This helps managers create more accurate invoices and ensure they are charging clients the correct amount for services.

8. Track and Secure Valuable Equipment

Field service management software help businesses track and secure valuable equipment. By linking the software with telematics technologies, businesses have complete control over each piece of equipment’s location.

With GPS tracking, businesses have peace of mind knowing that they will be alerted if any valuable equipment is stolen or used without authorization.

Consider that field services companies are losing up to $1 billion annually in equipment theft – in today’s world, protecting your equipment is a must-have, not a nice-to-have.

9. Better Communication with Customers and Technicians

Businesses understand the importance of customer retention. Customers are the lifeblood of any business and essential for success. However, many businesses struggle to maintain good customer communication, which often leads to poor customer retention.

Fortunately, field service management software improves communication between customers and technicians, leading to better customer retention rates. Here are a few of the ways that field service management software improves communication:

  • Automated Scheduling and Dispatch: One of the biggest benefits of field service management software is schedule and dispatch automation. Customers receive notifications about their scheduled appointment, and technicians are notified about upcoming appointments.
  • Real-Time Updates: Field service management software provides real-time updates to both customers and technicians. Customers can see the status with their service appointment, and technicians know the work that needs to be performed.
  • Customer Service Contracts: Field service management software can manage customer service maintenance contracts. Businesses can set up automatic billing, renewal, and expiration dates for customer service contracts, streamlining the process to make it easier to keep track of customer service contracts.
  • Payment Processing: Field service management software also helps payment processing. Businesses can accept payments online or in person, and they can track any payments made for services rendered.

10. Strengthen Customer Satisfaction

Field service management software keeps customers in the loop by providing updates on their order status, letting them know when technicians are on on route, and providing regular updates on the service call. This communication keeps customers happy with the service they’re receiving.

Another way that field service management software improves customer satisfaction is by helping businesses collect payment quickly and efficiently. With features like online invoicing and automated billing, businesses can collect payments without hassle, helping to improve customer satisfaction and keep them happy.

Better Understanding Field Services

To address the challenges and opportunities of field service management, it is important to gain a better understanding of the concept of field services. 

What is a Field Service Manager?

While FSM refers to software, a field service manager oversees the work that technicians do in the field. As technology has improved, managers need to effectively oversee and manage remote workers.

FSM tools provide a number of benefits for businesses and field service managers, including: 

  • Reducing or eliminating paperwork 
  • Tracking inventory and job status 
  • Improving customer service 
  • Sharing knowledge and best practices 
  • Automating communications
  • Improving billing accuracy 
  • Enhancing safety and security

The best FSM solution optimize a business’ workforce, tracks job progress, and improves customer service. FSM solutions also reduce or eliminate paperwork and automate communications.

construction field service management

What do Field Service Workers do?

Field service workers are responsible for the installation, repair, and maintenance of residential, commercial, and industrial equipment, including mechanical (HVAC), electrical, and plumbing systems. 

Field service workers need to do a variety of tasks, depending on the type of system they are working on. For example, HVAC technicians may need to install or repair heating and cooling systems, while electricians may need to install or repair lighting and power systems. Plumbers may need to install or repair water systems.

Field service workers should be able to read and understand blueprints and schematics, and have a knowledge of the equipment they are working with. They also need to be able to work safely in potentially hazardous environments.

Some field service workers may receive formal training in a trade school, while others may learn their skills on the job. Field service workers who are self-employed often have a broader skillset than those who work for a particular company.

How Much do Field Service Technicians Make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a field service technician is $57,910. The highest-paid technicians, in specialties like aircraft and avionics, earned more than $103,000, while the lowest-paid, within specialties like small engine mechanics, earned around $25,000.

Field service technicians often work long hours repairing equipment in difficult or dangerous conditions. They may have to work overnight or on weekends to keep equipment running. They are generally also required to travel to various locations to service equipment.

To become a field service technician, you will need education, training, and certifications in a specific field.

How do I Become a Field Service Technician?

Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing field service technicians typically have an associate’s degree in applied science or a related field, although some companies may hire candidates without a degree.

You can also become certified in one or more specialties. For example, the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) offers certification exams in construction, electrical, and mechanical systems. Certifications demonstrate competency and proficiency in a particular area, which may give you an advantage when competing for jobs.

Field service technicians must be able to troubleshoot and solve problems. They must be able to work independently and be comfortable working in a variety of environments.

With hard work and dedication, you can become a member of this growing profession.

How Much do Cable Technicians Make?

As of May 2020, the mean annual wage for cable line installers and repairers was $61,860. The lowest 10% earned just over $34,000, while the highest 10% earned nearly $100,000.

Cable technicians in certain industries can expect to earn higher wages. For example, the annual mean wage for cable installers in telecommunications is nearly $70,000.

How Much do AT&T Technicians Make an Hour?

According to 239 salaries reported on Glassdoor, the average AT&T Technician base salary is around $57,000 per year, while Indeed statistics indicate that it’s around $45,000 per year. Many technicians also receive a range of benefits, including healthcare and retirement plans.

The pay and benefits for field service technicians vary depending on the company. Some may offer higher starting salaries, but may have less robust benefit plans. It’s important to do your research before taking a position with any company. 

Which Service Tech Makes the Most Money?

Nuclear technicians are among the most well-paid service techs, with an average salary around $63,000 per year. Experienced nuclear technicians earn over $90,000, on average, and those with skills like Quality Assurance/Quality Control can earn even more.

However, there are also many high-paying jobs in other industries, such as energy and utilities and manufacturing. Some service techs make well over $100,000 per year, including some food equipment technicians

The highest-paid service techs are typically experts in highly specialized areas, such as repairing complex medical equipment or airplanes. They often have many years of experience and extensive training. 

Field service technicians typically receive a base salary plus commission, which means they can make more money by selling more products or services. They may also receive bonuses, commissions, and other forms of compensation, such as stock options.

What is a Field Service Unit?

Field service units are portable devices used to communicate with network devices, such as meters or distribution automation devices. FSUs can perform a wide range of RF configuration and network diagnostic tests, including register reads and firmware upgrades.

They use radio frequency (RF) signals to connect with these devices for use in hard-to-reach or dangerous areas. By allowing field workers to troubleshoot and configure networks remotely, FSUs minimize the need for manual work and improve system reliability.

They’re typically used by electric, gas, and water utilities, but may also be employed in other industries where network devices need to be accessed and managed in the field.

How Many Field Service Workers are There?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 620,000 automotive service technicians in the US, 469,900 plumbers, 380,400 HVAC mechanics, and 116,000 electronics installers. While it’s difficult to get an exact count of field service workers, it’s well over 1.5 million in the US alone.

Worldwide, there are about 20 million field service workers.

Who Benefits From Field Service Management?

Field service management software is helps companies with field service workers manage their operations. This includes tasks like dispatching workers, tracking their progress, managing customer information, and more.

There are a number of different groups of people who can benefit from using FSM software.

Support Teams

Forrester reports that 89% of digital businesses are investing in personalization, and this includes customer support and service. After all, nearly three-quarters of consumers expect you to understand their specific needs.

Customers want fast, personalized responses. Support teams using FSM software can help quickly and efficiently with all customer information at their fingertips. This helps ensure a smooth customer experience, from start to finish.

Customer service agents can access knowledge articles and use automation to resolve customer queries. FSM software gives customer support teams the ability to work smarter, not harder.

Dispatchers

Dispatchers are responsible for making sure the right technician is sent to the right job, at the right time. They need accurate information about each technician’s skills, availability, and location.

FSM software centralizes this data for dispatching. It also allows them to track the job progress and technicians in real time. They can make informed decisions about which technician to send to which job, and when. 

Failing to dispatch the appropriate technician can result in costly callbacks, unhappy customers, and negative reviews. FSM software can help dispatchers avoid these problems, and ensure that jobs are completed on time and to the customer’s satisfaction.

Contractors

One of the main benefits of using FSM software is that it helps contractors work more efficiently. This is especially true if the software integrates with accounting software, such as QuickBooks, Vista, Spectrum, or Sage Intacct.

FSM software automates many tasks for contractors, like creating invoices, tracking job time, and recording expenses. This lets contractors focus on completing jobs quickly and correctly. It also helps them stay organized and on top of their finances.

A FSM software can also provide job status updates to contractors in real time. They are informed of job progress and allows them to plan their work.

Customers

Customers benefit from field service management in a number of ways. For example, FSM software can help them track job progress. They can see what stage the job is at, and how much longer it is likely to take.

This transparency helps customers feel informed and keeps them updated on the work that is being done. 

FSM software provides customers with all of their contact information. They always have easy access to the right agent, no matter where they are.

It also helps customers schedule appointments easily and quickly. This makes it easy for them to get the service they need, when they need it.

Contact Center Managers

Many contact center managers manage a customer service representative team who provide support via phone, email, or chat. They need accurate information about each customer’s history so they can provide the best possible service.

FSM software helps contact center managers by unifying all customer information in one place. This makes it easy for managers to find the information they need. It also allows them to track the progress of each customer interaction.

FSM software can help contact center managers schedule appointments. This makes it easy for customers to get the service they need, when they need it.

Managers can also measure customer satisfaction levels with a FSM platform. This provides insights that can help managers improve the quality of their customer service.

Project Management Scheduling

How to Choose the Right Field Service Management Software Platform?

Field service management is a critical piece of the puzzle for companies that rely on field technicians. But with so many FSM providers, how do you choose the right one for your business?

The first thing to consider is what you need it to do. If you need help scheduling and dispatching technicians, then you’ll want a provider that offers smart scheduling and dispatch tools. 

If you need to generate quotes and invoices in the field, then you’ll want a provider that offers mobile apps with quoting and invoicing capabilities. And if you need customer and asset management features, then you’ll want a provider that offers those features as well.

Keep your budget in mind. Field service management solutions can be expensive, so be sure to find one that fits your budget. And don’t forget to factor in any additional costs, such as the cost of integrating the FSM solution with your accounting software.

Do your research and read reviews from other businesses that have used the FSM solution you’re considering. This will give you a better idea of what to expect and help you decide if the solution is right for your business.

What are the Challenges of Field Service Management?

There are several challenges that FSM providers need to address. One of the most important is dispatching technicians. This involves creating accurate schedules and then routing technicians to the more urgent jobs. 

Another challenge is managing customer data. Field service technicians often need to collect customer information, like contact details, job requirements, and payment information. They also need to be able to update customers on the progress of their job in real-time. 

Technology helps with these challenges. For example, dispatching software can automatically assign jobs to the next available technician, and mobile apps can allow technicians to update customers on the go.

Ultimately, the goal of FSM is to ensure that jobs are completed efficiently and accurately, while maintaining good customer relations. 

What is the Future of Field Service Management?

Traditional FSM software has been largely focused on field service technicians scheduling and work management. But this is changing. Now FSM providers offer features that help companies manage finances and accounting. This is a wise move, as more and more businesses are looking for comprehensive solutions that can help them manage all aspects of their service operations.

There are several reasons why accounting integrations are so important for FSM providers. 

  1. They make it easier for companies to track costs and revenue associated with their service operations. This is essential for making accurate financial reports and assessing the profitability of different services.
  2. Accounting integrations make it easier to invoice customers and collect payments. This can be a critical factor in determining the success of a service operation.
  3. Accounting integrations help companies assess the financial performance of their service department. This information can be used to make decisions about whether to expand or contract their service operations.

FSM providers who want to stay competitive need to offer accounting integrations. This will make it easier for companies to manage all aspects of their service operations and ensure that they are running as efficiently as possible. 

The future of FSM is also a more data-driven approach, including the use of AI and machine learning to help service companies better predict and plan for their needs.

FSM providers can use data collected from field service technicians to improve the accuracy of their schedule predictions. They can also use data to identify patterns in customer behavior, helping companies better anticipate demand for their services.

Ultimately, the future of field service management is looking bright. FSM providers who are willing to embrace new technologies and innovations will be best positioned to help companies achieve success.

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