No matter what size organization you’re running, finding operational management efficiencies is crucial. This can be especially true for service provider businesses, where every minute and dollar count.
Thankfully, we now live in a world where service business operations managers can take advantage of the same technology that enterprise business operations managers have enjoyed for years. These days, field service management software (FSM) offers enterprise-level features for service businesses—and if you make the right choice, it’s more than affordable.
Cloud-based (software as a service, or SaaS) field service management software is the biggest time hack an operations manager can use. If you choose the right software, it can help you:
- Run operations from anywhere
- Get better operational visibility
- Simplify time tracking
- Optimize scheduling and dispatching
Run Your Service Business from Anywhere
Field service management software frees you from the desktop or the office. Using one of today’s top SaaS choices, operations managers can run their businesses from anywhere—even from your living room or your truck. Wherever you are, you always know exactly what’s going on in the field and at the office.
Digital Storage and the Cloud
Not all field service management software is created equal, but the right software will have customer management capabilities to digitally store all important customer information and access history in one place. You can forget filing cabinets and all the work that goes with them!
Digitizing paperwork allows your team to retrieve important information faster and easier—and from an application they can access from their smartphones or tablets. Field service management software using a cloud-based hub can house all your customers’ information, including:
- Job photos
- Service history
- And more
An Upgraded Phone Experience
Additionally, many field service management solutions use VoIP to give business operations managers even more control by allowing customer call tracking. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a phone system that replaces hardware phones and brings everything online. VoIP frees you, your technicians and your front office from the tether of a phone cord. This type of feature can also help you track the productivity of every user, bringing even more value to the software’s overall return on investment (ROI).
Get Better Operational Visibility Across the Board
Business operations managers often find that the best part of field service management software is how an all-in-one app gives them time-saving visibility of the entire business.
Big-Picture Views of Field Operations
Imagine taking a look at one phone app and knowing where everyone and every service appointment is. An all-in-one app allows managers to use their time more wisely, efficiently tracking and dispatching field service technicians. That means no more:
- Manually checking in on everything and everyone
- Calling the front office for help finding the right technician
- Fire drills when you can’t locate a technician
- Wasting time trying to pinpoint the technician with the right skills
Additionally, the all-in-one app features of field service management software keep everyone in the loop, providing real-time work orders and service history access using mobile devices. When everyone is more informed, everyone is more efficient.
Skills Inventory and GPS Tracking
Other important features to look for in field service management software are technician skills status and GPS routing. With technician skills status, you can make sure you don’t just send the closest technician to the job, but you send the most qualified one available. And if your field service management software has GPS routing, operations managers can track vehicles and optimize tech appointments, even helping with navigation if there are any en route issues.
Simplify Time Tracking
For business operations managers, it’s not a secret that tracking and monitoring employee and contractor hours can be a thankless, time-consuming chore. Nobody likes to take the time to track, and nobody likes to keep track of the tracking, or figure out where time tracking has gone wrong, or how the tracking is incomplete.
Automated Time Tracking for Employees
In other words, understanding how the office staff, technicians, and remote workers spend their hours can be a huge time-suck, but it’s necessary to ensure the business operations are efficient. With manual methods, it’s difficult to identify time tracking issues, such as over or under tracking.
Top-tier field service management software eliminates this tedious process by automatically keeping records of the following:
- All staff work hours
- Remote workers
- Clocking in and out
- Time-based payroll reports with regular overtime pay
Accurate Estimates for Clients
The right field service management software can help you create more accurate estimates for clients. When you have aggregated data about how long a project takes, it’s easier to provide a quote that won’t end up going over budget.
This software can also reveal whether people are spending too much time on one area that doesn’t add much to the company’s bottom line. You can see who’s working on what, and how long it takes. This means you can adjust schedules to avoid production bottlenecks down the line.
Optimize Scheduling and Dispatching
Field service management software can also dramatically help with scheduling and dispatching. Make sure the software you choose has dispatch capabilities built specifically for service contractors that uses VoIP to see where new customer calls are coming from, and route existing customers to the right teams.
With the right software, business operations managers and other employees can view all jobs and estimates to easily shift times and dates. Drag-and-drop functionality is often the fastest and easiest way for everyone to make changes, so look for a field service management solution with this feature. In addition, the right software lets you send job information to your field techs using a call or text from inside the same app.
With the right scheduling and dispatch software, you can:
- Stop assigning jobs in random order because you don’t know who is available
- Assign by location, availability, and skill
- Eliminate paperwork
Business Operations Managers Need Field Service Management Software
The bottom line? The biggest time hack for business operations managers is field service management software. However, if the SaaS doesn’t have the features you need to save time, it won’t make you more efficient. Make sure the software you choose makes your life easier.
Learn more about how field service management can help you be more efficient at managing operations in today’s remote world.