Since 2014, we have seen a steady increase in both new field service businesses coming to market, as well as strong growth in existing operations. What is even more interesting is the number of retailers, wholesale distributors and manufacturers who are looking it minimise their exposure to increasingly competitive markets and insulate their revenues against the fluctuations they have had in recent years to changes in consumer demand.
At Klugo, we have helped a number of Australian businesses expand and future proof their operations by adding field service software solutions to their existing NetSuite ERP solution. These businesses have mostly been wholesale distributors and manufacturers who were wanting to bring what used to be a cost centre, (in that they had to pay subcontractors to compete routine and preventative and panic maintenance) and turn this into a key business profit centre by hiring a team of technicians direct and engaging directly with their customers.
Field Service Management Applications combine important functionalities like enterprise asset management (EAM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) to offer you a near all-in-one tool that can manage all of your business processes with total traceability. These programs are designed to provide a simple and user-friendly interface across all areas of a business field service company.
So, what makes a great Field Service Management software?
A number of things in truth, depending on what type of business you are. Different Field Service Management software’s in 2019 offers a wide range of features and functionality. Whilst some packages are designed for small companies and some for large; there’s really only one solution on the market that is designed to provide everything a small business owner needs. NetSuite helps them connect sales, back office and service scheduling teams to the technicians in the field who are carrying out the work.
NetSuite provides an end to end solution and can scale with the business as you grow so you can be sure you are not investing in a technology that you will outgrow in a few years. In addition, NetSuite lets users start as simply as they require, in some cases with core financials and inventory management, and then scale the solution to other areas of the business, such as sales and CRM, work order management and field service management as their needs change.
The Field Service Software Boom, Results Speak for Themselves.
Customers who have chosen to branch out into field service software solutions have reported many key benefits almost immediately. Whilst the additional revenue stream has strengthened their businesses as a whole; it has also strengthened their relationships with their customers by providing better service. A one-stop shop to meet their customer’s needs, from evaluation and sale through to after-market service and customer response.
In 2019, customer service is king. Many businesses are starting to realise that building strong long-term relationships with customers means that they not only have a lower cost of sale, and better repeat business but can sell a broader range of products and services ongoing. This relationship makes customers much ‘stickier’ and results in lower customer turnover.
As a business owner, becoming more aware a of what technology is available and making a plan to migrate is key to the continual improvement of your systems strategy, and an Integrated Field Service scheduling software solution could just be the beginning.
Why Use Single System Technology?
Many businesses we work with have used software as a means to fill a gap, rather than looking at the problem holistically. They may have started with a simple accounting package, such as MYOB or Xero, but kept most other information in spreadsheets and documents.
As time went by, and spreadsheets became hard to manage they invested in some smaller, disparate systems to solve the immediate problems they were facing:
|To many customers to keep track of?
|Add a Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
|Inventory getting out of control?
|Add an Inventory Management Software.
|Warehouse is becoming inefficient?
|Add a Warehouse Management Software.
|Marketing is taking too much time?
|Add a Marketing Automation Platform.
|Too many technicians to manage manually?
|Add a Job Scheduling Software.
Whilst their intentions were good, what they ultimately ended up doing was creating silos of information that were difficult to access, required data duplication in multiple systems and prevented any real-time reporting. As time went on, and the businesses become more complex the inefficiencies and in some cases risks that this strategy presented were no longer acceptable.
Field Service companies now have a better choice for small business field service software, and the earlier they make this choice, the more scalable and flexible their organisations will be. NetSuite Field Service Edition provides small, medium and large field service businesses with a single platform to run their entire operation.
From Marketing, Sales, Quote and CRM, Project and Job Costing, Tasks and Work Orders, Job Scheduling and Financial Automation, NetSuite for Field service is the only solution in the world that gives field service businesses everything they need to grow.
A new way forward with Klugo.
Klugo are Field Service specialists. So much so, that we started our own software development company to build NetSuite native applications to handle the unique requirements of a field service company. If you would like to learn more about how we have helped our customers modernise their IT strategy, then feel free to reach out for an obligation free discussion.
Key Benefits and Areas of Considerations.
Reduce scheduling costs.
Significant costs for field service businesses come with scheduling service calls for clients. Manual systems mean schedulers need to leave large “windows” for appointments and allow ample time between scheduled stops. Field Service Management Software allows users to schedule more appointments efficiently. White space is also reduced with increased efficiency on data capture in the field.
Increased customer satisfaction.
Systems can improve customers’ satisfaction in three ways:
- They can provide more accurate data to allow for more precise arrival times for technicians.
- They can predict the tools and parts that a rep will need ahead of the job based on previous jobs or routine work order requirements.
- They can allow the customer to pick the most convenient appointment time, which can reduce administration time and cost in working out ideal times of a visit.
Reduce parts inventory costs.
Systems can analyse history files to predict which parts will fail on what schedule. Companies can use this information to more accurately manage part inventories being carried to reduce inventory costs with low turnover.
Reduce fuel costs.
Intelligent route planning is a feature of most FSM systems. It calculates the most efficient way for a technician to navigate to their appointments, dramatically reducing travelled kilometres and consequently lowering petrol costs.
Market Trends and Terms to Understand in Field Service.
Designed for Mobile.
When Microsoft introduced the Tablet PC version of Windows in 2001, fieldwork organisations were listed as a key target market. However, the software that ran on these devices was the same as a standard PC or laptop. Almost two decades 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. These apps are designed with the end-user in mind to minimise the time required to capture data and take advantage of the devices native features like sign-on-glass.nced settings.
Customer support consolidation.
Functionality in CRM to give service and support. For example, NetSuite lets customers generate a support ticket, set an appointment, create an order. Schedulers can then pick up these requests, schedule a rep and track the progress of the job in real time. Once the rep has completed the work, the order is closed, which closes the support ticket and can prompt automated billing.
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 platform and can even allow customers to schedule their appointments. The internet has brought owners, technicians, schedulers and customers together with a single collaborative environment.
Software as a Service (SaaS).
Cloud-based platforms that are typically accessed through a monthly subscription plan. In the long term, this model proves to be cheaper. Whilst on-premise software used to have a once of cost, realistically that once off cost only covered one version of the software, and ongoing maintenance spend was still required.
Interested in Finding Out More About NextService?
NextService is the world’s only NetSuite Native Field Service software. Built exclusively on the NetSuite platform, NextService provides an extension to native NetSuite functionality to include a drag and drop scheduling board, custom field service management dashboard, enhanced job and case forms and a customisable mobile app that allows technicians to complete jobs in the field and have the data sync straight back into NetSuite in real time.
NextService is leading the market in Field Service Technology and is empowering field service business to simplify their IT system, take control of their business operations and grow with the confidence that their system will scale with them.