When customers experience a situation in which they need a technician on site, the timeless way of getting a hold of a field service organization is to just pick up the phone and call them. For some, that is a simple way of doing business, however, depending on the business and nature of the repair needed, it could mean long hold times waiting for a dispatcher to get on the line, and a lot of information needs to change hands to create the work order. No one wants to spend an extended period on the phone to get a technician on site, so field service management software is designed with many ways to automate the process of creating work orders so that customers can get back to their own business. With quick input from customers, work orders are generated automatically and are ready to be scheduled, without the need to tie up a phone line.
The HVAC industry is amid a boom of growth, as according to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand will increase by 30 percent between 2010 and 2020.
Think about all those commercials you see on television about financial planning and preparing for your future retirement. Invest now and live happy later. They make it sound so simple. Obviously the more you save and put into retirement plans, the better off you will be once you reach that golden age.
There are two main streams of revenue for HVAC companies. Either they are installing large units on malls, hospitals or office buildings, or they are maintaining those units through preventative maintenance contracts and service level agreements.
Buying a field service software isn’t as simple as walking into your nearest Best Buy, grabbing it off the shelf and installing it on your computer. It’s a complex decision that requires demonstration of the product, implementation of the software and a full understanding of the benefits of what you’re purchasing.
If you’re going to implement field service software, getting one that is already integrated with your ERP and CRM systems is the optimal option. Harmony between two sets of software will not only increase the communication lines between the two programs but also save you valuable time on having to re-enter data that has already been put into one system. Think of it just like you would any part of your business. Your service department needs to be working with your accounting department for invoicing and billing, your inventory warehouses for stock levels, and sales for new products or services. If the lines of communication in person-to-person conversations are broken, it can cost your business dearly. It’s the same with your field service and accounting software.
Field service software can do a lot of things, but one thing it can’t replace is your technician’s interaction with customers. Through the Internet of Things technology, preventative maintenance schedules, and past repair history, technician’s can learn a lot about an upcoming job before they get to the job site. But often first-hand information from the customer is what really will decide what needs to be addressed. With your technicians, often being the face of the organization, they are who customers see every day, dealing with growing escalations and concerns, and are walking into a customer’s space not fully knowing the situation at hand. So, while no field service application can speak to a customer directly, it can be a helpful tool to your technicians to bring a service call to a quick resolution, while keeping your customers satisfied.
The Definition of a Good Field Service Application
Customers today want field service automation. They want machines to do the talking. Rather than waiting for something to break or someone to notice a faulty piece of equipment, the growing trend now is for machines, through sensors, to detect a defect and send a message that it needs to be repaired.