What are the benefits of digitally transforming field service?
It is undeniable that organisations which rely on a mobile workforce can benefit from field service management software. Gartner affirms the importance of this, noting that 56% of CEOs report increased revenue owed to a digital enhancement of service delivery. In 2022, organisations relying on outdated legacy systems will struggle to stay afloat as the competition heats up. One of my favourite stats (and I do love a good stat) comes from McKinsey. Digitally transforming field services boost profitability by 30% for operators – nice! In the first blog of this series, I went in-depth on the digital transformation of field service and the challenges of traditional field service. In this article, let’s look at the key benefits of field service management software.
What is a digital transformation?
In field service, a digital transformation (as the term suggests) relies on new tech to modify key business processes and overhaul existing services. Many technologies & solutions companies are being introduced as part of renewed digital strategies. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud-hosted resources, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are pushing the digitalisation envelope forward.
Do field service organisations benefit from digitization?
Field service organisations can benefit the most from digital transformation. High-quality service delivery requires seamless integration of frontline and back-office arms. Optimising the information flows between these arms can yield tremendous results for field service organisations and is one of the primary outcomes of field service management software.
Field service leaders are, naturally, well underway with total digital service transformation. The primary driver is field service management software. Unlike those other industries, a field service business does not have to go over a complete overhaul to start digitalisation. Field service management software can integrate into existing business models without changing already established processes. We find the most critical course of action is introducing field technicians, developers and internal management to the new capabilities of field service management software.
Benefits of digital transformation
Digital transformation improves the quality of field services by increasing data and communication efficiency. The most common benefits of a digital transformation are:
- Staying in front of customer demands using the latest in customer relationship management (CRM) integration & predictive services.
- Increased field worker utilisation with higher productivity, training and overall role satisfaction.
- Reduced office administration costs by eliminating paper, surplus administration resources & inefficient operational practices.
- Increased profitability through leaner operations & visibility gained through real-time field service intelligence.
- Reduced invoicing times with real-time progress reports and on-demand invoice generation.
- Increased client satisfaction with same-day project reporting, enhanced communication and increased first-time right rates.
- Reduced insurance claims with enhanced compliance and democratisation access to the latest health and safety guidelines.
The benefits listed above are mainly material, but some touch on digital transformation’s management and well-being benefits. Due to mobile app integrations, companies can improve scheduling practices with the increased operational data available. Delivery schedules are narrowed to the optimal window, increasing work efficiency and wasting fewer resources.
When looking at field service management software under a microscope, you can easily miss some of the more significant benefits. Let’s expand on a few select benefits you should know.
One: Empowerment of Mobile Workforce
Field service management software centralises and enables on-demand resource access, enabling employees to focus on the task at hand. Technicians can capture task information at the point of service, including photos and signatures. They are empowered to retrieve customer and job information from their mobile device anytime. This universal access reduces admin time and wasted travel time, allowing an organisation to deliver a more streamlined and competitive service. Field engineers can complete more daily jobs thanks to real-time access to work orders, schedules, and task information. This information access dramatically increases individual worker capacity.
Furthermore, job details and historical notes can be accessed at the moment, assisting a worker in completing a job first time. First-time fix rates improve, and fewer supplementary visits are necessary, creating additional capacity throughout the working week. These extra jobs and reduced logistics quickly add up to significant organisational gains. Just read this case study on Caerphilly Council which used FSM software to improve service KPIs from a low of 85% to 99.98%.
Two: Real-time Change is Possible
FSM software enables organisations to harness accurate, real-time data. This is highly powerful in today’s customer and market environment as it assures end-to-end compliance and dynamic demand responses. Service leaders can use field service management software to spot trends in data gathered. Management can take swift action to prevent problems before developing and quickly pivot operations to meet changing compliance regulations. By enabling rapid improvements in performance, empowerment and control, organisations can experience significant benefits with field service management software.
Three: Improved Customer Experience
Field service management software enables information access at the point of service. Field-based staff are more informed and able to work efficiently, completing jobs the first time and providing consistent service. Mobile workers can update the customer through communications such as ‘worker on the way’ status updates. With a more efficient workforce, service delivery is more effective, increasing the quality of service and service users’ satisfaction. Baxi Group saw contract sales grow by 5,000 per month thanks to improved SLA compliance and Net Promoter Score (NPS) enabled by FSM software. This success is the kind that keeps the C-Suite happy.
What are the unexpected benefits of field service management software?
As if these benefits weren’t already enough (and there are undoubtedly many), here are even more benefits that you may not have thought of.
Happier Employees at Every Level
A tremendous side effect of going digital is the morale boost it can give employees throughout an organisation. Employees often report that being given the right tools makes them feel empowered to do their jobs better. They feel the happiest when working in companies that modernise in line with industry best practices.
Happier Employees Stay
You don’t need us to tell you that happier customers stay. You may even find that this leads to more referral business or expanded contracts, in the case of Fortem Solutions. Employees also share the success of going digital. The ability to receive more in-depth training and feedback about their work allows employees to focus on problematic areas and grow with the business. This investment in their skills and growth will likely retain the top talent and foster an environment that attracts top talent in a time of skills shortages industry-wide. In short, digital transformation allows all levels of work to benefit.
So what have we learned? A digital transformation through FSM software significantly improves field service delivery’s technical and communication aspects. Streamlined communication between employees and the customer base is possible in tandem with operational efficiency gains and reduced costs. As field service technicians can access more data, they can more accurately complete tasks and predict future demand. This agile and considerate service dramatically improves customer satisfaction and service experience, eliminating error-prone manual processes and the need to return to a site more than once.
Transforming Field Service
It is not all plain sailing, and there are challenges to overcome. Fujitsu found the biggest challenge to their digital transformation was the complexity of the actual implementation. Three-quarters of management and technicians rated it as somewhat challenging to highly challenging. Other obstacles to a digital transformation typically relate to the availability of talented staff, the upfront costs, the time necessary to achieve benefits, and security and privacy concerns. But you are not alone in meeting these challenges. Our field service experts are available to guide you through precisely what the Totalmobile platform can achieve for your organisation. We see it as tailoring the offering to fit like a glove.