For many businesses a field service team is what helps a business flourish and succeed. It allows a firm to distance itself from the competition. Your engineers and technicians on the front lines drive revenue, fix problems, and provide face-to-face services with customers and enhance your public profile.
Enabling your service engineers, technicians, and field representatives with mobile field service apps will improve their productivity, reduce their administrative burden, and generally make them happier and more content with their jobs. The ability to purchase custom tablets at a fraction of the cost of an iPad now makes this deployment much more cost-effective.
Mobility solutions will also drive numerous improvements to the organization’s overall processes, customer satisfaction, and ultimately revenue. Revenue drivers include accurate and timely billing, improved communication between the office and the field, better insight into operations, and improved customer satisfaction.
Choosing the right way of bringing mobile technology into your field service team takes careful consideration and thorough research. With so many choices, it’s not impossible for a business owner to make wrong decisions on hardware, apps or investment in mobile platform development. If you are just starting to think about going mobile with your field service organization, you are already lagging behind the competition.
Here are the three basic steps to go mobile in a way that drives strategic improvements and competitive advantages:
Planning and Research
Before starting to research vendors and devices, it’s very important to spend some time planning. Start with your organization’s KPIs. Which of them need to be improved?
Learn what your technicians want and need to improve productivity. Spend a couple of days on job sites and pay attention to situations that require important information exchange. Note the environmental conditions of the workspace. Once you understand what you need, it is time to find your perfect solution.
Choosing the Right Mobile Devices
There are many choices, but again, it all comes down to the specific needs of your organization. For service technicians doing specialized jobs in the field, the best choices might be rugged tablets to fend-off weather and accidental damage. Field service teams often evaluate three choices that may suit their needs: tablets, smartphones, and hybrid devices called phablets. The main four questions you need to ask yourself when choosing a device:
- Would a smartphone suffice, or do you need a tablet? If your technicians and engineers need to access detailed information, drawings or graphics while on the field, a larger tablet screen size may suit them much better.
- What are the environmental conditions? Is there a lot of heat, frost, wetness,dust or dirt? It’s possible you are going to need rugged tablets.
- Android, Windows, or Apple? The right mobile operating system that is both efficient, secure and compatible with your existing platform is very important.
- What is your budget for integrating mobile technology into the business?
Choosing the right Software Solution
Your new devices won’t get maximum value without the right software. Investing in complete solutions is what fast-thinking organizations do, and it is shown to position them well for growth and productivity, as shown in this infographic published by the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA).
Your techs should be able to do the following on their devices:
- Capture and process information
- Have clear insight into job details and customer history, if needed
- Capture signatures and photos
- Always be able to see their schedules
Each firm requires its own set of functions and you might need additional features. Perhaps you need a time tracker for jobs, or want to capture travel time as well.
Going mobile is inevitable for field service organizations in today’s world. Doing it right is what differentiates successful implementation from a costly mistake in terms of both time and money. Having a well-thought plan and sticking to it always leads to success.
Minno has been providing high-performance mobile devices to businesses at an affordable price for more than five years. By delivering directly from the factory to you, Minno can deliver a superior product at a fraction of the cost. For more about Minno, visit our About Us page.