Running a field service business could be a daunting task. One has to balance several tasks to keep things in order. This becomes particularly challenging if you are not using the right tools.
With the advent of cutting-edge technology, however, the task has become easier. Now, you can leverage the advantages of ERP systems (enterprise resource planning) to support field operations and service delivery. But the buck does not stop here. As technology keeps moving forward, now you have access to more advanced tools.
For service delivery businesses, Field Service Management Software has proven to be the most efficient tool in this regard. Moreover, you’ll be surprised to know that integrating ERP software and FSM software can take your field service delivery business to new heights.
On the other hand, businesses that use ERP software alone might face additional challenges these days. More importantly, they may miss out on significant efficiencies. For an organization that specializes in field service delivery, ERP software can simplify a host of important business operations such as resource management, accounting, supply chain operations, etc.
In comparison, field service management software provides a deeper, more comprehensive support, including scheduling and dispatching, route planning, tracking, mobile interface, and even customer service tools. Thus, it bridges the gap between ERP systems and real-world demands of field service business.
Field Service Management Software: An Overview
Field service management software is a digital tool that allows field service operators to track, optimize, and manage day-to-day field operations and processes. It automates the deployment and tracking of field service technicians, provides decision support or analytics, and supports service contracts or SLA management.
It is primarily used by field service managers to create work orders, allocate and dispatch technicians to on-site jobs, monitor their location in real-time, track performance, and manage inventory. On the other hand, field service technicians use the tool to view the schedule, access customer information and job details, report to the office, and update work status.
Field Service management software typically integrates with various software solutions, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), ERP, accounting, product lifecycle management (PLM), as well as design software (for technical specifications or instructions for repairs and maintenance).
Bridging the Gap with Field Service Management Software
An ERP system is an excellent tool to track and record internal resources. However, field service has more specific demands and requirements. It also requires some external elements that ask for your attention.
For example: How do you turn work orders into organized schedules? How do you assign a technician for a particular job? How do you know which worker is available for a job? How do you know where an employee is currently and how long it would take to get the job done?
This is where FSM software comes into the picture. It is designed specifically to keep field service providers in mind. And this could be instrumental for the continued success and growth of your business. With this smart, cloud-based digital tool you can perform tasks that ERP or CRM systems could not have done on their own.
Advantages of Integrating ERP Software and FSM Software
Here are the advantages of integrating ERP software and FSM software:
1. ERP solutions offer key tracking and reporting data.
However, it is not sufficient to schedule and dispatch technicians. FSM software can fill this gap by providing per-job and per-technician data to make a comprehensive schedule and allows real-time monitoring.
2. FSM software features holistic capabilities for streamlining operations
While ERP systems track and organize certain business processes, such as accounting, inventory management, supply chain management, sales, etc., they do not essentially provide any support to streamline the processes.
FSM software, however, features holistic capabilities needed for streamlining operations. Therefore, if these two systems are integrated, running efficient field service operations will be easier than ever.
3. ERP systems and FSM software is good for personalized service
Customers today have a high expectation from service providers, which can only be fulfilled by personalized service.
This is only possible when your technicians are fully prepared. For this purpose, they need seamless access to detailed customer and job details, even from the field. While ERP systems organize and track a host of information, FSM software goes deeper into customer information. Job details, as well as asset history– all of which empower technicians to render efficient service.
Part of ensuring consistent, quality service demands a streamlined communication channel that connects the back-office management with customers as well as the field workers.
Although ERP software is a great tool to share information, it remains limited within the administrative departments. They do not offer contextual and direct communication channels to help workers increase productivity. FSM software, on the other hand, offers a host of out-of-the-box communication tools for technicians working in the field. Such as integrated mobile apps, SMS notifications, GPS data, and so on.
Thus, field workers can stay connected with the back office even when they are working in the field, and the office can monitor and regulate its workforce to optimize its resources.
4. The most significant advantage of FSM systems is their scheduling and dispatching capability.
ERP systems have a limited scheduling capability, such as sending notifications to the customer before the appointment. On the other hand, FSM software provides smart, flexible scheduling functionalities.
With this tool, you can view your technicians’ calendar, see who is available, assign specific technicians with the required expertise, manage emergency service requests and repeat work orders, and do so much more.
The key difference between ERP software and FSM software is that the former is a system of record while the latter is a system of engagement. ERP serves as an authoritative source of data within the business.
Field Service Management Software, on the other hand, is used directly by the employees, both on and off the field to access the data in order to render a smooth, efficient service. They complement each other to give field service managers a 360-degree view of the business process. Thus, the integration makes both decision-making and task execution easier.
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My world is made up of codes. It is the central element that drives my universe. I am a self-taught, process-driven programmer with a creative bent of mind. Since I was an engineering student, I dreamt of creating something unique. To satiate my creative appetite, I took to coding. Blessed with abundant support and generous scholarships from my employers, I simultaneously worked full-time and pursued my dream. My passion and high productivity helped me in my journey as well. Finally, I created Field Promax to follow my drive of coding and streamlining processes; and do more of what I know best—coding.