Field Service Best Practices

Five Mistakes to avoid implementing Field Service

1) Don't micro-manage your field technicians

Rather measure what is happening in the field.

Identify the issues you are facing with your current paper job cards:

  • Do you need accurate time keeping for SLA compliance?
  • Is proof of service required for billing?
  • Can your technicians submit shift logs via their device?
  • Is it important to measure travel time?
  • Do you need to compare the time technician take to complete calls for potential issues?

2) Don't try to replicate your paper form exactly

Rely on the field service software to report on work details such as technician, start time, location and duration details.

Design your Android form to make data capture easy:

  • Data input by despatch should automatically pre-fill the relevant fields on the Android form.
  • Technicians should not enter any redundant details, such as reference numbers, order and job numbers or client information.
  • Use drop down lists where ever possible to ensure that technicians can quickly and easily complete forms.

3) Don't buy hardware before software

Discuss some of these points with your software vendor before buying your devices.

  • Does the device have the appropriate CPU and memory?
  • Will the battery life last long enough for the the technician to complete his shift?
  • If the technician does a lot of work outside is the screen clearly visible under direct sunlight?
  • What volume of scanning do you need to do?
  • Does the device meet the work environment specifications (IP54 / IP64) ratings?

4) Implementing field service is never easy

There is always some negative feedback when adopting new technology that more closely monitors your field technicians.

  • Identify a "technology champion" in your team and train them on the software. They will be an invaluable resource for other team members to consult when they have questions.
  • Ensure your software enables you to manage issues before they become urgent by consulting the dashboards throughout the day.
  • Listen to constructive feedback from your technicians and improve the data entry process.

5) Final note on reporting and integration

Reporting is the easiest part of rolling out a field service solution. If you are capturing the correct information reporting is quick to set up and is not expensive.

Full end to end integration, sending the data automatically to your field service solution and then returning the data to your CRM or ERP system takes some planning and time and is often under estimated. It is a fairly iterative process and you should cater for that in your project time line.

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