Field service management software has helped service-based companies streamline their operations. Using the software, business owners or managers can swiftly schedule jobs, obtain customer information, and fill out forms in the field; however, if the software isn’t cloud-based, you’re missing out on some important benefits.
An increasing number of industry players who manufacture, operate, or manage medium or high-tech equipment are now leveraging advanced software to monitor and manage their assets; IoT, linked objects, and digital twins are phrases we are all becoming familiar with.
However, several businesses still rely on relatively low-tech siloed solutions, such as Excel spreadsheets and paper-based processes, to handle their day-to-day operations. This could be a serious disadvantage in today’s competitive market environment, especially when it comes to data security.
In particular, service-based businesses rely on timely access to accurate information. Without secure and proper data storage, your field service organization is vulnerable to security attacks, which can result in serious revenue loss.
With the rise of cloud-based field service management software services, however, you can now assure the security of your data while streamlining processes.
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Cloud-Based Field Service Management Software: Overview
To understand the benefits, you need to understand the concept of cloud-based field service management software. Essentially, the phrase “cloud-based field service management software” refers to two separate ideas: field service management software and cloud technology.
Organizations can utilize field service management (FSM) software to digitize service-related data and use it to improve business processes and streamline operations. FSM provides a centralized framework for managing all service-related tasks and operations. Other departments within an organization, such as sales and finance, can use it to make data-driven decisions as well.
On the other hand, the term “cloud-based” refers to software that is stored, controlled, and accessible via the Internet. Cloud-based software, as opposed to on-premise software, streamlines IT processes by eliminating the need for complex on-site installations, regular maintenance, or upgrading systems.
As evident from these concepts, cloud-based FSM is a type of cloud-based computer program that helps organizations manage field service activities more effectively.
Common FSM capabilities include scheduling and dispatching technicians, managing work orders, service contracts, and compliances, supervising third-party contractors, tracking important key performance indicators (KPIs), planning predictive maintenance schedules, managing inventory, and so on.
FSM automates and simplifies important activities within the service organization, offering scalability, efficiency, and more visibility to the front and back offices.
Benefits of Cloud-Based FSM Software
The very nature of the job necessitates field service technicians working on-site, often in remote places. Without a robust communication and database management system, they will lack access to necessary data, which will hinder their productivity.
However, if they have access to a cloud-based field service app, they can retrieve data from the cloud by syncing their devices with the FSM software. This means they can get the most up-to-date information even when they’re on the go.
Allowing technicians to obtain job-related information from their smartphones or tablets/iPads eliminates the danger of making decisions based on outdated information. They may see the prior service history at a glance, as well as notes on the client if something changes even at the last moment.
2. Improved First-time Fix rates (FTTR)
Using redundant information in the field might lead to unnecessary work and blunders on the job site. This has an impact on your First Time Fix Rate (FTTR), costs your clients’ money if the asset is down for an extended period of time, and decreases your productivity.
You can ensure that your team is using the most up-to-date forms and workflows by attaching them to each job when it is assigned. Your staff will not be using outdated forms or files on their devices; instead, they will have access to anything they require through their app.
Repetition of service due to manual errors can also cause delays in having your client’s assets operational. Cloud-based apps maintain consistency in your team’s work while also empowering your field team by providing them with all they require.
3. Automatic Updates
Once purchased, commercial off-the-shelf FSM software begins to depreciate. To keep your system secure and up to date, you may need to pay for expensive and regular updates. This will also require a significant amount of your time and attention.
A cloud-based solution, on the other hand, keeps your software secure by automatically installing the most recent security updates with little to no work on your part.
4. Data Security
Hacks and breaches can cost your business millions of dollars in lost data, labor, and revenue. Furthermore, exposing confidential client data can be extremely damaging to your company’s reputation. Cloud systems protect your data by storing it in a secure and centralized off-site location.
Cloud-based FSM software gives you encrypted data, which is the safest way to keep all of your company’s important information. Furthermore, highlighting your company’s dedication to data integrity and customer information encryption will help you win over decision-making customers.
Cloud-Based vs. Non- Cloud-Based FSM Software
The servers for cloud-based FSM software are located on the internet. This means that your company will not have to purchase any hardware or manage the servers. A third party hosts and supports the server.
Furthermore, cloud servers enable access to real-time information from any place or device. That is, assuming you can connect to a cloud network and validate your identity.
Non-cloud-based FSMS, on the other hand, have their servers located on-site. The servers are hosted on your office premises, and they must be managed by professional IT personnel. This is frequently costly because you must spend on hardware as well as human resources to keep the servers running.
One of the most cumbersome parts of using on-premises FSM software is the difficulty and cost of upgrading. Even the most recent version requires someone to update each and every system in the workplace.
That’s expensive, both in terms of staff time and software costs. However, cloud-based field service management software allows the provider to change the entire software without having to replace individual devices or servers.
This also eliminates the need for providers to maintain several versions of the software. Instead, they will continue to use a single cloud solution and will maintain and improve that software. One update for one program is much more cost-effective and ensures that your company is always using the most recent version of field service management software.
Considering market trends, Cloud-based Field Service Management Software allows you to stand out and gain a competitive advantage. Once you’ve moved away from outmoded, old-fashioned approaches like paper-based forms and spreadsheets, you’ll instill confidence in the potential customer.
Cloud-based software enables you to use a single, all-in-one platform to store asset and customer information, dispatch work to engineers via their smartphones, and provide a client portal for potential customers to check on job progress.
To sum up, it can be safely said that cloud-based FSM software is the future of the field service industry.