Providing the best possible customer experience is a top priority for companies in the service industry. Embracing digital technology like apps and software is one way to create a competitive advantage and modernize your field operations.
The field service industry encompasses many different types of companies, from residential service providers, utility businesses, transportation and logistics companies, and much more.
All of these companies rely on a segment of their workforce that operates in the field. Because employees are dispersed across different locations, it creates unique business and operational challenges to manage.
The category of field service management software has grown in popularity for companies that need to improve workflows and share information between the field and office. In this article, we will cover how field service software works and how it can help enable data-driven decision-making. Don’t miss out on our upcoming virtual discussion in January, where we will cover this topic in more detail and share real-world examples of how data analytics can impact your business operations.
Building a Business Case for Field Service Management Software
Building a business case to invest in software always means changing from the status quo. Historically, companies have relied on paper-based forms, Excel spreadsheets, and other types of manual processes to capture information from the field.
Because of how time-consuming these processes can be for everyone involved, it’s easy for operational leaders to recognize the need for investment in technology and make the business case for software solutions. For field service companies, building a business case is typically tied to these two operational challenges:
Difficult to scale and grow with manual processes
Most companies realize they need field service management software when they reach a level of business growth where it becomes too difficult or costly to scale efficiently. For example, a field services company is poised for growth but is, unfortunately, running into several common challenges like:
- Time-consuming paperwork or manual processes done in spreadsheets and email
- Inefficient scheduling and challenges assigning work
- Slow billing cycles
- Difficulty collaborating between field and office
All of these issues can become a drain on productivity and can even impact the customer experience negatively. When the paperwork and manual processes become too difficult to manage, companies look to software to help automate how work gets done.
Limited visibility into business operations
Another challenge for companies becomes the lack of visibility into their business operations. When data is difficult to access, it can become a labor-intensive process to roll information up for reporting.
Missing or incomplete data is common in these scenarios when data is not collected in a standardized fashion, resulting in data quality concerns. Getting to useful reporting may take days or even weeks to pull together, making it difficult to inform decisions on time.
Field service management software solves these challenges by ensuring best practices are followed for data capture and then providing the tools needed for data integration and business analytics. Continue reading to learn how GoCanvas works both in the field and in the office.
How GoCanvas Works for Field Service Management
Companies are moving to field service management software to set their business up for success. Here is a brief explanation of how software tools like GoCanvas help the field service industry:
Quality data capture in the field
GoCanvas allows field service companies to design mobile forms that can be completed from a tablet or phone by technicians on job sites. Since no internet connection is required, employees can easily open the GoCanvas app and see the tasks they have been assigned and the forms they need to complete. Other key features include:
- Image capture to document photos and include them in reports
- Signature capture to digitally sign off on work and collect customer approvals
- Automatic calculations to ensure math is performed correctly for billing
- GPS locations to confirm the exact locations of technicians and job sites
- Barcode scanning to look up inventory or equipment
- Mobile payments to seamlessly integrate payment functionality
- Data integrations to pre-populate information from other databases, like a CRM system
GoCanvas helps with data capture by making sure quality data is captured and stored securely as digital records to the cloud. This saves time in the field and enables teams in the office to have real-time visibility.
Workflow tools for the office
Data collection is one component of using field service software. The other component is providing tools to help streamline processes for employees in the office with features designed to improve workflows and data sharing.
With GoCanvas, managers in the office can easily build custom forms, assign work to be completed by employees, and report on information using analytics. Here are some of the key features:
- No-code app builder to easily create and edit mobile forms with a drag-and-drop builder
- Branded reports that are generated automatically and can be emailed as PDF documents
- Dispatch features to assign work and tasks to employees in the field
- Workflow tools when approvals are required or multiple people need to collaborate on the same form submission
- Data integrations to connect information from GoCanvas with the many other cloud-based systems your business already uses
- Analytics to build custom dashboards and reports within GoCanvas
GoCanvas provides the workflow tools needed to simplify how work is accomplished in the field. By connecting the field and the office using software, information is easily accessible for reporting purposes.
GoCanvas helps organizations operationalize their data. Instead of siloed data in spreadsheets or paper forms, information is available to be summarized into trends that inform decisions. Continue reading for an example of how one GoCanvas customer leverages the software in action to save their business time and money.
Software in Action – How TE3CO Saves Time and Money
TE3CO provides mission-critical pressure relief technology and services to customers across the oil & gas industry. They employ a highly-trained and capable workforce of field technicians and engineers.
Before working with GoCanvas, TE3CO relied on spreadsheets and emails to manage their ticketing process but found the system difficult and time-consuming to track. They partnered with GoCanvas to ultimately help them:
- Minimize rework & ensure accuracy by automating data entry
- Streamline data collection through one database
- Identify bottlenecks & improve process efficiency with data analytics
- Spend less time on reactive admin tasks, allowing more time to focus on proactive growth strategy
Now that TE3CO has implemented GoCanvas to help with field operations and management, they’re able to save time and money by eliminating manual processes and having data that’s accessible for decision-making.
John Kovac, Technology Integration Manager at TE3CO, explained that “there’s so much that you can do when you have the proper information to know that you’re running your company properly and that you’re charging properly and taking care of your customers properly.” Leveraging software built for the field, TE3CO has found they’re able to:
- Free up 20-30 man-hours/month
- Save ~$60,000/year in resource efficiency
- Identify leading indicators in 10 minutes vs. three days
- Track tickets in real-time
- Reduce billing time
Software for the field service industry has the potential to make a significant impact on overall efficiency and productivity. Ensuring data is consistent, standard, and accessible can enable organizations to make more informed decisions.
To learn more about field service software and to hear from TE3CO, make sure to register for the upcoming discussion on January 13th at 1 pm ET. We will dive deeper into the topics covered in this article, and there will be time for you to ask questions during the live Q&A. Follow this link for more information and a link to register.