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Myriad vendors offer field service management solutions for fleets. Different systems address different types and sizes of fleets ranging from a single metropolitan shop to a global company with agents and partners that cover the entire world. We’ve written this buyers guide for buyers who want to understand this complex market.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
What is Field Service Software?
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Field Service Software BuyerView Report
The Vendor Landscape
Market Trends You Should Understand
Benefits & Potential Issues
Recent Events in the Industry
If you have ever waited from noon to 6 pm for a representative to appear, you know the importance of a good system. This mobile field service software category helps companies schedule and track outside operations. For representatives, it provides schedules, routes, customer information, and information regarding necessary supplies and parts. Managers can schedule outside agents and resources, track customer history, and manage work orders.
Core functions include trouble ticketing, repair center, order management, SLA compliance tracking, resource scheduling, dispatching, route planning, parts inventory management, contract management, partner management, and forecasting and reporting. Advanced programs feature mobile support, failure analysis, RMA management, voice-generated customer appointment reminders, and project management.
In the customer support spectrum, these systems expand on help desk (HD) systems and overlaps customer support systems. HD systems provide applications for trouble ticketing and directed problem resolution but do not offer field-related functionality. Customer support systems may provide scheduling and inventory management or may integrate to a complete system. Some solutions also focus exclusively on one function, service dispatch software, for example.
Before starting your research, you’ll need to assess what kind of buyer you are. We believe 90%+ of buyers fall into one of the following categories:
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. Check out a summary of the results below, or click here for the full report.
|This type of buyer...||Should evaluate these systems|
|Direct buyers||MSI Pro, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, SAP, Oracle, Maximizer CRM|
|Contract work buyers||MSI Pro, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, ServiceMAX|
|Enterprise suite buyers||Oracle, SAP|
|Small business CRM buyers||SugarCRM, Intuit, Eclipse, ServiceTycoon|
But there are two potential issues. The first is obvious: there is a potential to over-schedule reps, which decreases both their effectiveness and level of job satisfaction, and also decreases customer satisfaction since appointments are missed. The second problem is more typical of enterprise software; proper implementation, change management and adoption is required for customers to realize the true benefits.
At its genesis, field service management software was built for very large companies. The systems were standard for every user and narrowly focused in functionality. Today, field service companies have a plethora of vendors and functionalities to choose from. This ranges from service scheduling software specialists to work order tracking software makers. Buyers also have a range of customizations at their disposal.
With the more recent proliferation of Web-based service dispatch software, developers have come out with new tools for mobile devices. A field service app can be equipped to mimic desktop activities and mobile software is available almost anywhere. Below are recent updates from the top-recommended field management software vendors.
Dataforma - On May 1, Dataforma announced via Facebook an update to its iPhone app. The application is available from the Apple app store. The post said the V.0.2 version comes with enhanced photo upload functionality that allows workers to upload photos while continuing to work. The app enables employees to access their Dataforma field service scheduling software on their iPhone. Also, users can update in real time and track and update requests from start to finish.
FieldOne Systems - On January 23, FieldOne Systems revealed during the 2012 AHR Expo its cloud-based FieldOne Sky product. The move closely followed the company taking its flagship product mobile. Officials said the FieldOne Sky solution allows users to dynamically customize workflow and integrate with enterprise systems. Workers can also create dashboards and charts on the go and seamlessly integrate with Microsoft Outlook and Office.
Service Pro Field - MSI Data announced on March 19 a new partnership with mobile developer Retriever Communications. Under terms of the agreement, MSI will integrate Retriever’s platform into its own product. Previously, Retriever was only available in Asia and Europe. Together, the tools help companies automate workflow and paperwork while on the go.
LeadMaster Lead Management - LeadMaster now markets its solutions through Tech Data Corp thanks to an agreement the companies formed on January 23. Tech Data runs a network of more than 60,000 value-added resellers who will sell LeadMaster-branded solutions. LeadMaster also recently announced a partnership with real estate lead conversion technology company, HomeStar Broker Solutions Corp. Under terms of the agreement, LeadMaster serves as the cloud computing engine for the HomeStar platform.