People who are barely aware of field service management think of this domain only as technicians using their toolboxes to get things fixed or installed. But those who actually work in this industry know how modern technology has revolutionized it.
Over the years, the way they manage day-to-day tasks has changed drastically. And it would not have been possible without the introduction of innovative technology.
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Imagine the time when computers were first introduced. Before that, there was no shortage of paperwork compared to the hammers and wrenches, even in a mechanic’s office. But soon, spreadsheets took over ledgers and storage boxes. Managing a business became much easier with electronic tools.
As expected, the innovation did not stop there. Like any other business sector, field service experienced a transformation as technology kept evolving. With the advent of the internet, it took a few extra leaps and continued to progress.
Currently, we can see advanced technologies like cloud storage, machine learning, and artificial intelligence ruling the latest technological trends in the domain of field service. Even small, local businesses are now leveraging these technologies, along with some cutting-edge digital tools, to gain a competitive advantage.
One innovation that has really stood out among these latest innovations is the field service mobile app. While technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning seem too complex or expensive for small and medium enterprises, mobile technology has been far more widely embraced by businesses everywhere.
It is currently the most popular technology among service-based businesses, as it has made a significant contribution to the transformation of field service management.
If you wish to know more about these mobile apps, and, more importantly, how they have revolutionized the field service industry, keep reading.
What is A Field Service Mobile App?
By definition, the field service mobile app is an all-in-one digital tool optimized for a mobile workforce. It is an application that connects field service technicians with the back office, giving them access to critical data on demand.
It also allows them to perform a wide range of tasks online, such as reporting, clocking in and out, viewing work order details, creating invoices, updating job status, ordering parts and items, and so on.
The mobile app, however, is not just meant for field technicians. Business owners, managers, and executives can also take full advantage of this innovation to manage day-to-day operations on the go.
To elaborate, a field service mobile app is essentially a mobile-optimized version of field service management software, a cutting-edge technology that helps businesses automate and streamline their processes.
With this app, a manager or executive can easily schedule and dispatch technicians, create work orders, manage recurrent orders, monitor and track technicians in real-time, create estimates, manage databases and inventory, generate reports, and send invoices directly to the customer, even when they are not in the office.
Most field service apps are available on Windows, iOS, and Android.
Importance of Mobile Technology in Field Service
In the last decade, the popularity of mobile technology has skyrocketed. It has a visible impact on almost every aspect of human life – be it communication, education, healthcare, finance, entertainment, or business.
Smartphones are no longer a luxury item; they have rather become a necessity in our daily lives. Research indicates that more than 68% of the world’s population currently uses smartphones, and it is most likely to reach 496.7 billion users by 2028. Naturally, the business world jumped at the chance to use the innovation to their advantage.
Like any other industry, field service businesses were also prompt on their feet to leverage the benefits of mobile technology. In particular, it turned mobile applications into its biggest competitive advantage, and quickly enough, they became an integral part of field service management. It filled some of the most significant gaps in the process, making field service management more efficient.
For a field service business to be successful, professionalism and responsiveness are the two main ingredients when communicating with customers. As the first point of contact for field service, it is the technician’s job to ensure a positive customer experience. To this end, field service technicians now use mobility solutions as one of their most productive and efficient tools.
Being able to work online with a wide range of devices and applications makes it easier for the field workforce to do their jobs in a productive and well-informed fashion. Think about some of the most prevalent challenges that field service technicians face right now.
Issues such as disrupted communication, lack of real-time access to data, reduced productivity, inefficiency, and poor collaboration come to mind at once. All this could significantly affect performance and, therefore, customer satisfaction, risking profitability to a great extent.
This is where mobile technology plays an important role in field service management. It can mitigate all the issues mentioned above simply by giving remote access to data on demand.
For instance, instead of calling the back office every time an issue arises, field technicians can now resolve the issue on their own by using a field service app. Powered by cloud storage technology, these apps store and organize all the important data a technician needs to complete a job perfectly.
This includes customer information, job details, routes, historical data, information about parts and equipment, and more. This not only improves service quality but also saves time and improves customer satisfaction.
To sum up, the results are improved customer service and, as a result, increased profitability when field service processes are combined with mobile field service applications.
The Benefits of Field Service Mobile Apps
Access to data on demand is not the only advantage that field service management apps provide to businesses. It can significantly transform the day-to-day operations of a field service company in several ways. For example,
1. Database Management
Being powered by cloud storage technology, field service apps store and organize all your data on a centralized platform, ensuring security at the same time. This means not only you or your technicians can access it anytime you want, but it is also safe and organized.
Unlike dealing with physical paperwork, you will never have to worry about misplacing a document or finding it in a pile of paperwork ever again.
2. Efficient Tracking of Teams and Resources
Besides cloud storage, most leading field service applications also feature GPS technology. This is perhaps the most transformative capability of these cutting-edge tools. With this, business owners can track and monitor their field teams, vehicles, and even parts and equipment in real-time.
This feature does not only add more transparency to team mobility, but it also saves a lot of time and operational costs.
3. Improved Communication
With mobile apps. Field technicians do not have to regularly check with dispatchers for schedules, nor do dispatchers have to check with techs for job progress. They can communicate with each other seamlessly, no matter where they are.
4. Smart Scheduling
Emergency service calls can arrive at any time. However, dispatchers can create new work orders and make changes to the technicians’ schedules at any time with mobile apps, even when they are not in the office. On the other hand, technicians can get automated alerts and notification of any change in the schedule, making sure they never miss an appointment.
5. Better Cash Flow
With a mobile app, technicians can add items or parts to the final invoices and send them directly to the customer, right from the field. Again, the app lets them capture electronic signatures approving the invoices and even get paid instantly, thus improving the cashflow for the company.
The main thing that is changing the field services business right now is mobility. And mobile apps for field technicians give them easy access to data whenever and wherever they need it by creating a centralized knowledge-based platform.
Having this ability is crucial to boosting efficiency in every aspect of the field services business. Access to data can speed up and optimize the resolution process. It can also help a service business to add more transparency to the process and, therefore, increase productivity.
On the other hand, the enhanced performance and increased first-time fix rate can significantly improve customer satisfaction, which in turn enables the organization to retain its loyal customer base and increase profitability. Overall, the introduction and growing application of field service mobile apps is a win-win scenario for everyone involved in the process.