Field Service Software
BuyerView | 2013

Every year, Software Advice talks to hundreds of field service software buyers, which provides us unparalleled insight into their motivations for investing in new technology. Recently, we analyzed 597 interactions with companies evaluating field service systems to uncover the following trends.

 

Key Findings:

  1. Most companies didn’t have a preference when it came to the deployment model. For those who did, a vast majority requested Cloud-based systems (versus on-premise).
  2.  
  3. Seventy percent of companies were evaluating field service software for the first time. They wanted to replace manual methods, such as spreadsheets and paper notes.
  4.  
  5. The potential software buyers we spoke to requested features for scheduling, time tracking, work order management, dispatching and invoicing. 

Most Companies Didn't Have a Clear Deployment Preference 

Among the companies in our sample, the software deployment model was not a significant determinant of which systems they wanted to evaluate; 67 percent hadn’t yet settled on Cloud-based or on-premise. This is likely due in part to a vast majority of our sample being first-time buyers. They didn’t know enough about the differences between Cloud-based and on-premise systems to know which model was best for their business.

Among those who did express interest in one deployment model, 89 percent were interested in evaluating Cloud-based software. That’s eight times the number of companies that were interested in an on-premise system.

  • Top Evaluated Deployment Model Among Buyers

  • Buyers’ Existing Field Service System

It makes sense that these companies would be more interested in a Cloud-based system because so much of their business takes place in the field, so easy accessibility is highly desirable. Users of Cloud-based systems can log on from any device that connects to the Internet.

Scheduling/Time Tracking Top List of Most-Desired Features

Ninety percent of the companies we spoke to requested at least one of the following features: scheduling and time tracking, work order management and dispatching. Seventy-six percent requested at least two of these capabilities.

Top Requested Field Service Software Features

Field Service BuyerView Top Features

Buyers Want System to Increase Efficiency and Organization

Regardless of whether the companies were buying a software for the first time, or replacing an existing system, both groups wanted the system to increase efficiency. For example, one first-time buyer said, "There's a lot of wasted time where our people could be on jobs but things are highly unorganized.”

Both groups also cited the need for more, or better, functionality as a top reason for evaluating software (e.g., “I need to be able to track people out in the field”).

For first time buyers, 10 percent cited the need to modernize as a reason for evaluating new systems. “It’s time to join the 21st Century,” as one buyer put it, or “We’ve needed a new a field service system for years, given how primitive our current methods are.”

  • Top Reasons for Purchasing Field Service Software for the First Time

  • Buyers’ Top Reasons for Replacing Field Service Systems

Most Companies in Sample Were Small Businesses

The vast majority of the companies included in our sample had fewer than 20 employees. This could also explain the popularity of Cloud-based systems, as a software with this deployment model typically has a lower cost of entry and doesn't require the company to maintain their own servers.

  • Number of Employees in Buyers’ Companies

  • Annual Revenue of Software Buyers’ Companies

When it was first created, field service software was designed for large companies dealing with frequent trouble tickets for their hundreds or thousands of customers. As we can see, the software has become much more accessible for smaller companies seeking to join the 21st century and improve their overall effectiveness in managing their field maintenance processes.

To further discuss this report, or if you have questions about our research, feel free to contact me at ashleyverrill@softwareadvice.com.


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