A Graphic of the Top-Performing Field Service Products
FrontRunners quadrants highlight the top software products for North American small businesses. All products in the quadrant are top performers. Small businesses can use FrontRunners to make more informed decisions about what software is right for them.
To create this quadrant, we evaluated over 200 Field Service products. Those with the top scores for their capability and value made the quadrant.
Scores are based largely on reviews from real software users, along with other product performance details (e.g., what features they offer, how many customers they have).
Nope, Products in Any Quadrant May Fit Your Needs
Every product in this quadrant offers a balance of capability (how much the products can do) and value (whether they’re worth their price/cost) that makes them stand out in the race for small business software success.
FrontRunners has four sub-quadrants:
Depending on the specific needs of a software buyer, a product in any of these sub-quadrants could be a good fit.
Why? To even be considered for this FrontRunners, a product had to meet a minimum user rating score of 3.0 for capability and 3.0 for value. This means that all products that qualify as FrontRunners are top-performing products in their market. They appear in the quadrant in relation to how their peers performed.
For some buyers, a specific FrontRunners sub-quadrant might be best. For example, Field Service software systems with an emphasis on GPS tracking or another specific capability might be found in the Contenders quadrant. On the other hand, systems with a wider array of basic capabilities might be found in the Leaders quadrant. And Field Service solutions that are specially designed for HVAC or plumbing companies might be found in the Masters quadrant.
You can download the full FrontRunners for Field Service report here. It contains individual scorecards for each product on the FrontRunners quadrant.
Products Are Scored Based on User Reviews and Other Data
You can find the full FrontRunners methodology here, but the gist is that products are scored in two areas, Capability and Value.
To be considered at all, products must have at least 20 reviews and meet minimum user rating scores. They also have to offer a core set of functionality—for example, work order management is a required capability along with scheduling and dispatching and billing and invoicing.
From there, user reviews and other product performance details, such as the product's customer base and the features it offers, dictate the Capability and Value scores. Capability is plotted on the x-axis, and Value is plotted on the y-axis.
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FrontRunners scores and graphics are derived from individual end-user reviews based on their own experiences, vendor-supplied information and publicly available product information; they do not represent the views of Gartner or its affiliates.
Providers listed as Runners Up were considered for inclusion in the quadrant, but were ultimately not included for one or more reasons: they did not have enough reviews; they did not meet the reviews score minimum; they did not meet the ultimate Value and Capability minimum scores; or they did not meet our functionality requirements for the market.
A myriad of vendors offer field service management solutions, and different systems address the needs of different types and sizes of businesses, from small pest control, locksmith or landscaping operations to global enterprises in industries such as communications or manufacturing. We’ve written this buyer's guide for buyers who want to understand this complex market.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
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:
Advanced field service solutions 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 percent or more of buyers fall into one of the following categories:
Direct buyers. These buyers work for firms that maintain their own unit. They have straightforward needs which are addressed by a wide range of providers.
Contract buyers. These buyers work for firms that contract out work. These buyers have special requirements for passing work requests, tracking request fulfillment and tracking customer satisfaction.
Enterprise buyers. These buyers work for large organizations. These buyers may have multiple fleets and they place a premium on integrating information across units and with the customer support organization.
Small business buyers. These buyers work for small businesses moving beyond Microsoft Outlook, spreadsheets or even whiteboards and sticky notes, and want to add FSM capabilities for planning orders and tracking customer satisfaction.
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 a random sample of these interactions with companies evaluating field service systems to uncover the following trends. Click here for the full report.
|Reduce scheduling costs||One of the big costs is the actual scheduling of calls. Manual systems needed to leave large “windows” for appointments and allow ample time between scheduled stops. These systems can schedule appointments more densely and reduce travel times through intelligent routing.|
|Increase customer satisfaction||Systems can increase customer satisfaction in three ways. First, they can state more precise arrival times for technicians. Second, they can predict the tools and parts that a rep will need. Third, they can allow the customer to pick the most convenient appointment time.|
|Reduce parts inventory costs||Systems can analyze history files to predict which parts will fail on what schedule. Companies can use this information to more accurately manage part inventories to reduce costs.|
|Reduce fuel costs||Intelligent route planning is a feature of most systems. It calculates the most efficient way for sales agents to drive to their appointments. This can dramatically reduce mileage and consequently fuel costs. 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.|
Reduce scheduling costs. One of the big costs is the actual scheduling of calls. Manual systems needed to leave large “windows” for appointments and allow ample time between scheduled stops. These systems can schedule appointments more densely and reduce travel times through intelligent routing.
Increase customer satisfaction. Systems can increase customer satisfaction in three ways. First, they can state more precise arrival times for technicians. Second, they can predict the tools and parts that a rep will need. Third, they can allow the customer to pick the most convenient appointment time.
Reduce parts inventory costs. Systems can analyze history files to predict which parts will fail on what schedule. Companies can use this information to more accurately manage part inventories to reduce costs.
Reduce fuel costs. Intelligent route planning is a feature of most systems. It calculates the most efficient way for sales agents to drive to their appointments. This can dramatically reduce mileage and consequently fuel costs.
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.
Mobile. When Microsoft introduced the Tablet PC version of Windows in 2001, field work organizations were listed as a market. More than a decade later, mobile field service apps are available for all major mobile and tablet platforms from Blackberry, Android and iPhones to iPads and Windows 7 tablets.
Software as a Service (SaaS). Many vendors now offer cloud-based products, typically through a monthly subscription plan.
Web-based interfaces. Reps and managers can interact with Web-enabled systems at the office or on the road. Web-based tools can also let partners access the systems and can even allow customers to schedule their own appointments.
Customer support consolidation. Vendors are including more functionality directly in CRM and service/support software. For example, Microsoft Dynamics CRM lets agents generate a trouble ticket, set an appointment, create an order, and dispatch a rep. Once the rep has completed the work, the order is closed, which closes the trouble ticket.
AnalytixInsight acquires parts of Euclides Technologies. Big data analytics company AnalytixInsight will acquire the field service management assets of Euclides Technologies, which includes the SaaS-based enterprise solution Fixify. The acquisition allows AnalytixInsight to enter the workflow analytics space, create new revenue streams and benefit from the growing field service management industry.
GE Digital acquired cloud-based solution ServiceMax for $915 million. The company will add analytics and insights to ServiceMax’s logistics, workforce optimization and deployment models. The acquisition will also allow GE to enhance its vision for Industrial Internet, which is a network of devices connected by communications technologies that provide superior analytical capabilities.
FieldAware partnered with Mitel. The partnership enables both to develop an integrated solution that will leverage Mitel's mobile, real-time and cloud communication as well as its contact center technology with FieldAware's cloud-based mobile field service management solution. The new solution will offer tools to manage end-to-end work orders, prioritize customer requests and upsell during service calls.
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