Top 10 Benefits of Using a Field Service Automation Software

The Field Service Management (FSM) Software market is growing at rates never seen before if the recent statistics are anything to go by. According to the latest estimates, the FSM market is worth $3.5 billion and is expected to hit $5.9 billion by 2024.

It’s understandable why this is happening. Technology is advancing, and we all know it’s every entrepreneur?s dream to optimise the use of the available resources while guaranteeing customer satisfaction. If technology can deliver this through automation, why not? Every business now wants to automate things, and the focus is to maximise resource output. You should, therefore, not be surprised to see the FSM software industry booming. If you just considered the field service industry, you’ll realise that there are so many software applications to help with service automation, whether full or partial.

A good example is FieldElite , which helps with the management of field workers. From your desktop or the palm of your hands, on a tablet or smartphone, you can take full control of your field workers, manage scheduled jobs, and use maps to manage work assignments for the already dispatched field workers. Not only does FieldElite help you handle tasks in an accountable manner but also provides options for accounting and reports, all managed in an easy to use dashboard.

But why would organisations need to invest in a Workforce management app? Below are some of the key benefits of using a Field Service Management software.

Field Service Software: Improves Efficiency

Improved worker efficiency is one of the main advantages of field service software like FieldElite. 

Most FSM software programs allow the administrator to send tasks directly to the field worker?s mobile. More often than not, the FSM software provides vital information, including service history, optimal route to the site, the tools required, and contact numbers, among other details.

This improves efficiency by ensuring that the client’s needs are taken care of promptly. Where it’s about machine maintenance, the downtime would be as short as possible.

Field Service Software: Enhances Professionalism

FSM software programs are known for ensuring professionalism in the manner in which business activities are conducted. Of course, professionalism is attained through several factors, including working with a team of professionals. Such a team, using FSM software, results in enhanced efficiency and excellence.

A field service software like FieldElite helps you to consolidate all your business information into a single central database. With different access levels, your employees will access only as much information as is relevant to their respective duties.

An FSM software is ideal because the stored information can be accessed from any location, meaning field workers can pick new tasks while in the field, provided they’ve got the requisite tools. Instead of having to come back to the office, the employee would access all the information and execute the necessary task.

Field Service Software: Enables Resource Optimization

Resource optimization is one of the key determinants of a company?s profitability. While businesses vary in size and purpose, they all share one thing in common ? the desire to increase productivity while ensuring the optimal usage of resources.

Besides productivity, field service software also allows for efficient utilization of the available resources to cut down on costs.

Field Service Software: Ensures Better Coordination

FSM software facilitates improved coordination with the workforce. The software streamlines the management of the entire field service life cycle, ranging from labour to work orders, returns, contracts, warranties, and equipment.

The idea is to bring all the company?s field-related operations to a central point. And now, with easy data accessibility from a central platform, improved coordination is easily achievable.

Field Service Software: Guarantees Higher Accuracy

Adopting the field service management software is more than just a way to improve efficiency. It goes a long way towards improving a company?s accuracy. When a field service management software is used to trace a company?s activities, all the tasks are tracked on the mobile device, keeping the managers informed of every step.

Besides, the technicians also have a free reign to record the diagnostics, quality information, test results, and the parts consumed. All the information can be captured using text, audio, videos, and still photos. This guarantees minimal to no instances of data manipulation.

Field Service Software: Improves Customer Satisfaction

Field service management software improves customer satisfaction. How does that happen? Well, using a field service software like FieldElite allows for quick response to customer queries. If there?s one thing that quickly turns your customers off, it’s delayed response to their requests. With the field service management software, however, you can respond to such requests quickly and effortlessly.

Moreover, your customers can also track the service engineer to ensure they’re well informed of any anticipated delays. With quick response time, customer machines have more reliable uptime, which is the desire of every client.

Field Service Software: Provides Flexibility

If there?s one thing that customers like when dealing with a company, it’s flexibility. Instinctively, customers will always want different options to choose from when using a service without appearing to be confined to one provision. Having limited options would also appear boring.

To this extent, it would be wiser to adopt advanced FSM software. Advanced FSM software is compatible with mobile phones, meaning users can easily manage their tasks from isolated locations. FSM software can either be device-agnostic or device-specific. The device-specific type supports Android, Windows, and Apple iOS. This guarantees mobile-friendly tasks where users can easily manage the assignments via mobile application..

Field Service Software: Stores Client History

The mentioned software stores client history precisely. All the past data, including order history, are stored separately and accurately. In so doing, the field technician gets easy access to the tools, specifications, and technician instructions that aid them in their operations. The result is increased productivity and on-time service delivery.

Field Service Software: Enables Asset Management

Naturally, companies offering different repair services have plenty of assets to store. Accordingly, retrieving a specific part out of the large collection would be daunting.

With a field service application like FieldElite, the staff members can track down all the products effortlessly using the GPS. Furthermore, the FSM software ensures excellent maintenance of assets.

Field Service Software: Improves Oversight of Field Workers

The FSM software comes with many useful tools, including a built-in GPS tracker. The GPS tracker oversees the operations of the on-field workers, providing precise details about their geographical location, actual arrival time, and most importantly, the distance from the job site.

While this might not be useful at all times, it comes in handy when you need to assign an urgent task to the nearby technician. Call it a classic example of dynamic scheduling.

Final Thoughts

With so much at stake, it’s increasingly compelling to include the Field Service Management Software in your business. With every industry moving towards automation, your business cannot afford to lag.

Quick and efficient service delivery through FSM software may be the difference between you and your competitors.

The FSM software is no longer the cherry on the cake but a must-have tool for your survival in the highly competitive market.

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Top 3 reasons to get into Multi-Channel Retail

Multi-channel retail, which nowadays understandably includes online channels, is something you just have to do this year. Every single day you put off doing it, the competition gobbles up market share that should have been yours. There are a number of reasons why even successful retailers are now going into multi-channel retailing. Here?s three of the most important ones.

1. You’ll get a BIG jump in sales

Not counting this year, which could be getting a big boost from major activities like the Queen?s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympics, sales of UK retailers have been experiencing tremendous growth particularly from their online channels. Already two years ago (2010), a number of UK retailers boasted significant increases in sales as a result of multi-channel retail initiatives. These retailers included:

  • Argos, which got a whopping ?1.9bn from multichannel sales back then;
  • House of Fraser, which reported a 150% jump in its online sales in just 6 months; and
  • Debenhams, whose profits rose by 20%

There were many others. Now, the reason I?m showing you 2010 figures is because online retail sales increased by 14% in 2011 and those same businesses still added to that growth. So, if only you had enough foresight and started expanding your business to the Web two years ago, you could just imagine what your sales would have been today.

The good news is that, it’s not yet too late if you start now. Here?s why…

2. Those numbers are going to keep on growing

We’re getting all sorts of predictions from leading researchers regarding the possible growth of the Internet economy. All these predictions have one thing in common. They all have a positive outlook. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), for instance, predicts an average growth of no less than 10% per year in the G-20 nations.

3. Most online retailers aren’t doing it right yet

Although many retailers have already started bringing their business to the Web, most of them are doing it the wrong way. For example, many of them fail to integrate their offline and online channels. This is a serious shortcoming because it leads to customer dissatisfaction.

When a customer goes to your website and sees something he likes, you wouldn’t want him to drive all the way to your store only to find out that the item isn’t available there or, if the item is there, that it isn’t priced as he expected. The lack of multi-channel integration is very common among multi-channel retailers.

These inadequacies are actually good news because it means there are still many areas you can improve on. After improving on them, you can then highlight those areas as your key differentiators.

If you’re still looking for more reasons on why you should go into multi-channel retailing, read this post:

5 Numbers Showing Why the Time to Invest on eCommerce in the UK is Now

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Large scale corporate transformation

Large scale corporate transformation are the necessary actions required to increase performance in an organisation. It leads to greater performance results and greater organisational growth. It is a lasting change and can range from getting new leaders to combining the functions of different departments. It can also involve the introduction of a new phase in the life of an organisation. Large scale corporate transformation can be measured using three variables. The first variable involves determining how deep the change penetrates to all levels of the organisation. The second variable measures how entrenched it becomes in the organisation while the third measure determines the percentage of the organisation covered in the change.

Corporate transformation is essential for a company that seeks to have a greater impact and a longer life in its business sector. The process requires time and resources. The whole establishment needs to support it for success. Not only does the top management need to back it, but stockholders and staff members also need to buy the idea. This is because when the process of corporate transformation hits a barrier, it will take the entire organisation to keep it on course and complete the process. Without the support of everyone, most organisations will not complete the process.

Business transformation in recent times has begun to combine finance, HR and IT departments into one functioning piece of an organisation. This has resulted in leaner, faster, and more efficient corporate entities that produce high results and has a greater impact in its overall functioning. These three key departments are the backbone of any organisation, and the combination of the three creates an efficient organisation that translates into high performance results.

One crucial aspect of large scale corporate transformation is IT transformation, which entails the entire overhaul of any organisation’s technology systems. It adopts a more efficient platform that enhances its overall operation. IT transformation involves the use of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and open systems. This process is the revamping of the existing technology used to support the organisation and is critical for aligning the business functions to the mission of the organization. It touches on the current hardware and software and how they can best be improved upon for greater results. This process is necessary in the entire business transformation.

The question that needs to be addressed is how any organisation can make this process successful. First, it requires the understanding that it is not just a goal to be achieved, but a new way of thinking embraced by the entire organisation. Secondly, the leadership in place needs to be fully involved and dedicated to the process and to realise that it takes time and effort to complete such a mission. There also needs to be flexibility and adaptability in order to learn from mistakes and keep moving forward. Constant communication is also critical to ensure that everyone involved understands the current stage and the next steps to be done. Change is the only constant and is necessary for progress and success.

Introduction to Matrix Management

A leader is responsible to empower his people and get the best out of them. Yet an organisational structure can either help or hamper performance. Worst, it can make or break success.

Looking at the fast-changing world of the global economy, whatsoever slows up and obstructs decision-making is a challenge. Hierarchical management is rather unattractive and functional silos are unlikable. Instead, employees desire to create teams equipped with flexibility, cooperation and coordination.

Recognising that companies have both vertical and horizontal chains of command, the matrix model is created. The concept of this principle lies in the ability to manage the collaboration of people across various functions and achieve strategic objectives through key projects.

Consider this scenario:

Ian is a sales executive of a company. His role is to sell a new product under the supervision of a product manager. The manager is expert about the product and she is accountable to coordinate the people across the organisation, making sure the product is achieved.

Moreover, Ian also reports to the sales manager who oversees his overall performance, monitors his pay and benefits and guides his personal development.

Complicated it may seem but this set-up is common to companies that seek to maximise the effect of expert product managers, without compromising the function of the staffing overhead in control of the organisation. This is a successful approach to management known as Matrix Management.

Matrix Management Defined

Matrix management is a type of organisational management wherein employees of similar skills are shared for work assignments. Simply stated, it is a structure in which the workforce reports to multiple managers of different roles.

For example, a team of engineers work under the supervision of their department head, which is the engineering manager. However, the same people from the engineering department may be assigned to other projects where they report to the project manager. Thus, while working on a designated project, each engineer has to work under various managers to accomplish the job.

Historical Background

Although some critics say that matrix management was first adopted in the Second World War, its origins can be traced more reliably to the US space programme of the 1960’s when President Kennedy has drawn his vision of putting a man on the moon. In order to accomplish the objective, NASA revolutionised its approach on the project leading to the consequent birth of ?matrix organisation?. This strategic method facilitated the energy, creativity and decision-making to triumph the grand vision.

In the 1970’s, matrix organisation received huge attention as the only new form of organisation in the twentieth century. In fact it was applied by Digital Equipment, Xerox, and Citibank. Despite its initial success, the enthusiasm of corporations with regards to matrix organisation declined in the 1980’s, largely because it was complex.

Furthermore, the drive for motivating people to work creatively and flexibly has only strengthened. And by the 1990’s, the evolution of matrix management geared towards creation and empowerment of virtual teams that focused on customer service and speedy delivery.

Although all forms of matrix has loopholes and flaws, research says that until today, matrix management is still the leading approach used by companies to achieve organisational goals.

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