What Is Field Service Management Software? | An Expert Guide

field service worker working on wires

With more and more employees working remotely these days, field service management software has become essential for keeping everyone organized, efficient, and productive.

In this article, the workforce-management experts at Inch discuss how apps can bring order to a notoriously complicated aspect of your business.

Field Service Management Defined

Asking the question, “What is field service management software?” ultimately leads back to the underlying concepts — field service and field service management — on which the whole issue rests.

So, before we discuss software specifically, let’s take two steps back and examine the core principles that make it all work.

Field Service

Field service worker cleaning a window

At its most basic, field service is work performed away from a company’s property or base of operation.

Based on that definition, any task that takes place at another location can be considered field service, including activities such as:

  • Delivery
  • Home healthcare
  • Shipping
  • Sales
  • Construction
  • Appliance installation and repair
  • Infrastructure maintenance

The list goes on and on.

In many ways, the online work that was all but mandatory for a while could be considered field service as well. That makes field service management and field service management software more important than ever before for businesses of all types and sizes.

This type of long-distance work poses a number of issues that may not be present with on-site teams, including coordination, dispatch, communication, necessary tasks, file access, and support.

That’s where field service management comes in.

Field Service Management

Field service management (FSM) is the process and practice of managing your business’s employees, equipment, service, and operations while they’re offsite.

In past decades, FSM relied on such things as hard copy work orders and hardline phone calls from technicians to a dispatcher or field service manager.

With the introduction of cell phones, remote employees were able to communicate better with their home base and with their coworkers in the field.

Then, with the advent of tablets and the spread of wireless internet, remote workers were able to access a wide variety of documents, tools, and schedules from wherever the job took them.

It was from those two converging technologies — cellular communication and wireless internet access — that FSM software was born.

What Is Field Service Management Software?

 field service management software on a phone

Field service management software is a broad category of apps specifically designed to execute, organize, and streamline offsite activity.

For the most part, these programs provide essential support for the remote workforce and those who manage them, including such tasks as:

  • Dispatching
  • Scheduling team members
  • Assigning tasks to specific employees
  • Managing inventory
  • Communicating over short and long distances
  • Recording work data

Not only does modern software make the remote technician’s job easier, it makes the manager’s job easier as well.

With the core components of FSM software in place, managers and technicians alike can focus on getting the job done right the first time.

Core Components Of Field Service Management Software

 field service management software on a computer and phone

1) Time Tracking

One of the most important components of field service management software is time tracking. This feature allows you to track both your team’s full workday and an individual employee’s time on task.

For example, technician A clocks in at 8 a.m., gathers her tools, drives to her first appointment, and gets to work resolving the issue. An FSM app with powerful time tracking features can compile this data to help you improve the way your business and your team works.

In the past, many businesses relied on pen and paper to conduct this important activity. That often meant relying on hand-recorded data, entering it into a computer, and then examining the output to look for trends and discrepancies.

Now, the Inch app makes it easy to track and control when your team works without having to allow for user error, deal with incomplete forms, collate reams of paper, and spend hours entering information into your computer.

And, with Inch, you no longer have to cobble together multiple apps that don’t mesh well just to keep everything digital. Inch is your one-stop, turnkey solution to task and field service management.

In fact, incorporating the Inch app into your workflow can have a dramatic effect on one of the largest expenses your business has to contend with — labor costs.

With the Inch app, not only can you assign tasks to anyone, anywhere, but you can also:

  • Turn any phone into a time clock and allow employees to clock in and clock out from anywhere
  • Set up geofencing so that team members are in the right place when they start and end their work
  • Prevent early clock-ins and forgotten clock-outs
  • Reduce time theft
  • Export timesheets for simplified payroll processing
  • Much more…

Whatever type of team you manage, the Inch FSM software can help your business simplify time tracking for more accurate payroll.

2) Task Management

At the heart of the best field service management software lies scheduling and task management.

It doesn’t matter if your team works in-house, offsite, or online, the twin activities of assigning work and making sure that it gets done in a timely manner are crucial for your company’s success.

The Inch app, for example, makes this easy and gives you the power to distribute tasks across your team and prioritize what gets done when — whether the right person for the job is just down the hall or all the way across town.

Employees can even access the task list from any device — phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop — so they always know where they need to go and what they need to work on next.

3) Process Checklists

 field service management software

Another core component of FSM software is the process checklist.

Process checklists make it much easier for those working offsite, remotely, and in-house to comply with and adhere to standard operating procedures.

This feature of comprehensive FSM software gives your team members guidance in the form of step-by-step instructions on what needs to be done (and in what order) for regular and novel tasks alike.

You may, for example, use an FSM app to create process checklists for such activities as:

  • Cleaning
  • Compliance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Emergency protocols
  • Communication
  • And much more

The applications for process checklists are endless and infinitely beneficial for businesses of all kinds. FSM software gives everyone in your business access to this powerful tool.

4) Communication

One of the biggest restrictions of modern field service management software is communication. Staying in touch with your remote team can be a full-time job in and of itself if performed incorrectly.

So, whether you communicate by talking directly to each employee or by distributing information via SMS and push notifications, the tool you use for the job becomes incredibly important.

With Inch, you can send private and group messages at the click of a button and organize conversations by different teams, locations, or skill sets.

That way, you can send and receive communication without skipping a beat.

5) Wireless Connectivity

The very nature of off-site work makes it absolutely necessary that your field service management software works anywhere, anytime, and on any device.

Inch, for example, is based in the cloud, so you can use it anywhere you have internet access — be it wired or wireless.

Inch is also available on Windows, iOS, and Android devices, giving you and your employees the flexibility you need to be in sync no matter what device you use.

Choose The Best Field Service Management Software

Woman happy she chose the best  field service management software

If you’re looking for the best field service management software, Inch is the app for you.

Inch is a voice-operated workforce schedule and management app that is perfect for field service management in all regards.

The software incorporates job management and time tracking in one powerful solution and is designed to make it easier for managers and employees to get aligned on their to-dos, ensuring that all tasks get completed on time.

In addition to these core features, Inch also simplifies communication in a number of important ways. Employees can perform a wide variety of tasks from their tablet or phone, including:

  • Working from a shared task list
  • Getting clarity on work that needs to get done
  • Receiving voice-assisted reminder notifications
  • Clocking in and out of tasks at different locations
  • Completing work assigned to them
  • Communicating with managers and each other

All of that and more without having to touch a mobile screen or report back to the office.

For managers, Inch makes it easy to distribute tasks manually across their teams or populate tasks automatically based on preset conditions.

This unique feature ensures that all work is covered and keeps employees accountable and clear on their specific responsibilities, expected outcomes, and deadlines.

Workforce managers can also assign work to the employees that are closest to the jobsite or have tasks generate automatically as the need arises and follow work progress and task completion in real time.

Inch helps eliminate frustration for employees, headaches for managers, and inefficiencies for the business.

Whether you need help setting up when each team member will work or what tasks they will perform, Inch gives you unprecedented control over a complicated process and makes it easier than ever to keep your business’s field service activities organized, efficient, and productive.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit TryInch.com today.

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