What Is Field Service Management And Why Is It Important?

field service worker

As more and more businesses incorporate a remote work component into their workflow, field service management becomes essential for success.

In this article, the experts at Inch discuss how field service management techniques and software can bring order to an inherently chaotic aspect of your business.

What Is Field Service?

Field service is a broad category of work performed anywhere other than on company property.

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.

Common jobs that have some aspect of field service work include:

  • Electrical maintenance
  • Internet repair
  • Healthcare
  • Sales
  • Inspectors
  • Emergency vehicle repair
  • Shipping
  • Delivery

Any task that takes place at another location can be considered field service. Because of this broad definition, more and more businesses are providing this type of amenity to their customers.

Doing so, however, makes it essential for your business to also incorporate a way to organize and optimize that remote workforce. That’s where field service management comes in.

What Is Field Service Management?

Field service worker

Field service management (FSM for short) is the process and practice of managing your business’s employees, equipment, service, and operations offsite in the field.

In many cases, FSM also refers to the tools and software that a company uses to execute its field service management program.

For example, apps such as Inch and Sling make it easier than ever to provide essential support activities for your remote workforce, such as:

  • Scheduling work orders
  • Assigning team members to specific jobs
  • Dispatching employees
  • Communicating with employees in the field
  • Managing inventory
  • Gathering and correlating data

All while you’re in one place and they’re in another.

Essential Elements Of Field Service Management

field service worker working on electrical wires

1) Time Tracking

Time tracking is one of the most essential elements of field service management.

In the past, many businesses relied on pen and paper to conduct this important activity. That often meant assembling multiple timesheets, entering them into a computer, and then examining the data to look for trends and discrepancies.

Now, the Inch app makes it easy to track and control when your team works without having to collate reams of paper and spend hours on end entering the 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.

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…

Regardless of whether you manage a remote team, the Inch FSM software can help your business simplify time tracking for more accurate payroll.

2) Communication

One of the biggest speed bumps to effective FSM is communication. Distributing information quickly and consistently to a large team can take quite a bit of time out of your day if done incorrectly.

With Inch, however, 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 keep everyone informed — and stay informed yourself — without skipping a beat.

3) Scheduling

Scheduling app for field service management

The cornerstone of effective field service management is organized and efficient scheduling. Keeping track of who is working on what is key to your success. Inch makes that possible.

Couple that with Inch’s sister app, Sling, which expands your workforce management to new levels, and you’ve got a suite of tools that will make it easier to run every aspect of your business.

4) Task Management

A key component of FSM is organizing and executing necessary tasks.

Whether your team members work in-house, offsite, or online, delegating work and ensuring that it gets done in a timely and correct manner is crucial for your business’s success.

Incorporating FSM processes and technology into your standard operating procedure makes coordinating complicated tasks much simpler than they were just a decade ago.

The Inch app, for example, gives you the power to distribute tasks across your team and prioritize what gets done when, whether employees are in the building or across town on a service call.

Team members 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.

Why Effective FSM Matters

Scheduling app for field service management

1) Productivity

With the advanced features that the Inch FSM software has to offer — and the efficiency they produce — your team’s productivity is likely to increase dramatically.

Even if you implement new programs and processes one at a time (instead of all at once), you’ll see productivity improve somewhere in your business. It’s just that powerful.

2) Agility

Trying to manage your on-site workforce is hard enough. Adding a field service component can be a nightmare. That’s why the best field service management software allows you to see and make changes in real time.

With Inch, for example, if a repair person breaks down en route to a call, they can contact you through the app, and you can dispatch another team member to cover the appointment with as little downtime and inconvenience to the customer as possible.

This gives you the agility and speed to manage the ups and downs of your remote workforce without breaking a sweat.

3) Efficiency

Efficiency is all about getting things done in a timely manner.

With advanced task management, time tracking, and process checklists, the right FSM software boosts efficiency wherever your team is working and on whatever job they’re focused.

4) Customer Service

Efficient and effective field service management has a direct impact on how your customers feel about your business.

When you provide quality service with as little delay as possible through proper FSM, your reputation will improve and more customers will flock to your door.

5) Transparency

In field service management, transparency must go both ways — from team member to management and from management to team member.

You need to be able to see what your employees are doing, and they need to be able to see what you’re doing (and why).

FSM apps make that transparency possible by giving everyone insight into what other parts of the business are doing both in real time and over the long run.

The Best Tool For Field Service Management

Inch app for field service management

If you’re looking for a digital solution to all your FSM needs, 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 task 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.

Inch also simplifies communication. Employees can perform a wide variety of tasks from their tablet or phone, including:

  • Work from a shared task list
  • Get clarity on work that needs to get done
  • Receive voice-assisted reminder notifications
  • Clock in and out of tasks at different locations
  • Complete work assigned to them
  • Communicate 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.

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 during the week or what tasks they will perform, Inch gives you unprecedented control over an inherently complicated process and makes it easier than ever to create the best workforce schedule for your business.

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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