Industry Insights

Smart Field Services: Digitizing The Modern Field Service Management

Digitize your field service management to increase the speed and accuracy of data. Online maps and digital documentation can enhance your results.

Under growing pressure to offer to collect field observations at lower costs, field service management is primed for innovation.

Companies clinging to traditional methods are subject to slow and inaccurate processes—but smart field services can fix these problems, helping you modernize and improve your bottom line.

We all understand that in order to stay at the head of the pack, you must employ the best and most modern solutions. Using the newest technology can dramatically improve efficiency—after all, this technology is designed to solve the failings of legacy processes. For example, field services must be able to update everyone with work schedules rapidly and accurately—something newer software solutions account for.

And yet roughly half of all organizations have not deployed field service management software as of yet. It’s is understandable why companies have stayed with manual techniques like spreadsheets, phone calls and whiteboards and why they experience the costs add up. A spreadsheet list of jobs does not give you the same intuitive view for planning as an online map of where all the jobs are and what status they are at. Traditional methods result in more scheduling problems, miscommunications, and typos as data is manually typed into spreadsheets or client’s corporate systems. They’re just not appropriate for modern field service needs.

Smart field service management solutions from Encepta resolve these challenges by moving these workflows into apps and online portals. Encepta includes online maps, digital documentation, and software integration to streamline collaboration, making fieldwork fast and cost-effective.

The Problems With Manual Field Service Management

Operations management presents many challenges, such as delivering quality service safely and profitably. Manual techniques for field service management can fill a gap temporarily; however, doing things by hand does not satisfy long-term needs and should not be seen as a stable solution.

Already it’s too complex for manual methods to competitively organize field service, make real-time adjustments, and communicate efficiently. You’re just too exposed to communication failures and other errors.

Field staff traveling around doing pieces of work at various geographic locations need to collect and keep track of field observation data. They need to do reasonably complex tasks, usually conducted by an expert. But these experts are becoming increasingly rare as they retire, adding pressure to digitize field service management ASAP.

Scheduling and Work Order Issues

It’s complicated enough to handle tasks for one job. But things become even more complicated when you’re dealing with multiple jobs simultaneously. Dynamic changes to scheduling only add to the challenge. For example, if a job runs late it’s suddenly a choice of finishing the job well or getting to the next job on time.

Conflicts also occur when you have a field technician scheduled for two places at the same time, or two workers scheduled for an event where there should only be one. These problems are serious, as a failure to arrive when expected can cost you the job. Such problems also impact field technicians’ morale.

Scheduling difficulties may go unresolved by manual field service management. Problem patterns can even go undetected, since you may have workers who routinely leave work unfinished without the system noticing. Manual approaches simply lack the planning and documentation features of a digital solution.

Staff Transparency and Miscommunication

Manual field service management does not openly and objectively transmit data from the field to the office. Copying information from paper into a spreadsheet or database is subject to falsification, whether intentional or accidental. You lack the instant and automatic synchronization between systems that digital services provide.

Mix-ups from manual techniques risk erroneous or out-of-date information about costs and time to complete jobs. You also won’t have a comprehensive store of photos of the job and the finished work. On top of these problems, it’s cumbersome and expensive to manage large amounts of paperwork.

Failure to organize field work can therefore inflate your overtime costs while leaving staff frustrated. It’s an unnecessary loss of productivity.

Inefficient Processes and Workflows

Manual processes are messy and prone to poor teamwork. Each person goes about tasks differently, making it difficult to assess what exactly is slowing down performance. Your operations lack the standardization and visibility provided by field services management software.

Employees using a manual system also lack the tools to manage time and performance effectively. Neither you nor they can tell precisely when they’re spending too long on a problem, or not doing enough.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) can help identify inefficient processes and workflows. For example, you may want to record locations and performance ratings. However, you need accurate data to measure KPIs. And the best way to collect this data is with an automated service—not human guesswork!

Smart Field Services: Leveraging Software for Better Performance and Results

To solve the problems of manual techniques, you need smart field services like Encepta. Our software solutions simplify teamwork between field technicians and the office: updated maps keep work on track, automated documentation provides transparency, and integration with other software ensures a smooth workflow.

Take as an example the field service technician Zack Henry.

Working with Encepta he improves his performance and results, as Encepta’s software solution helps confirm utility data to a precision of 10 cm. This is much more efficient than discovering a mistake later on! The same technology also works for telecommunications assets and other industries.

Zack uses GIS field maps and measures the locations of power and gas lines, as well as other related infrastructure. Software integration allows accurate data to flow among different applications, giving Zack’s coworkers access to and confidence in the results.

Let’s dive deeper into how smart field service software solutions (such as the software and digital solutions provided by Encepta) can help your business.

Online Maps for Job Planning and Optimization

Field service management is fundamentally about sending workers to cover an area efficiently. In the modern world, digital maps are the only way to do this effectively.

Encepta provides detailed online maps so you can see jobs and statuses in real-time.

An online map offers huge logistics advantages: instead of searching for locations or backtracking, you can see the exact locations as you need them. Everyone on the team can quickly and easily see the assets in their geographical context.

Online maps translate into faster service times. Field technicians will appreciate the more efficient routing, which means less fatigue—they’re hired to fix problems, not to drive around needlessly. Enhanced visibility lets you assign team members to where they can deliver the most value.

Digital Documentation for Transparency and Collaboration

Digital documentation ensures that you know what field service workers are doing at all times. Collect before-and-after pictures to track fixes; completion pictures mitigate risks such as warranty or site disruption, and step-by-step job progression images provide quality control.

Encepta’s digital documentation helps you easily determine if any improvements are needed in the fieldwork. Intelligent documentation drives a quality management plan; furthermore, the system manages media such as images and video—all the content you need for each service location.

Smart field service management improves your documentation. Instead of inconsistent images that may disappear, or workers wasting their time on uploads and annotation, the system does the hard work automatically.

Software Integration for Seamless Workflow Between Teams

Encepta’s technology supports integrations with other smart tools, enhancing their functionalities synergistically. For instance, a work procedure may require a measuring or scanning tool to ensure accurate data. By combining GPS data with other resources, employees have access to the location data in all their apps.

You’ll also retain full access after the initial work is done, since Encepta stores data in a purpose-built software platform rather than a spreadsheet. Modern software supports efficient collaboration throughout your organization.

Integrating your various field service management software tools boosts collaboration. Scheduling and routing share common data; content and geographic locations are in sync. You can also tie in the data with asset tracking or other systems for an even more complete solution.

field service management
Image Source: Shutterstock

Digitize Your Field Service Management with Encepta

Smart field service management saves time and money. You’ll improve teamwork and communication while preventing costly errors. People now expect fast service—and smart software solutions are the best way to deliver.

Encepta’s industry-leading field services technology boasts features for real-time monitoring and data collection. GIS and data experts and engineers pull together the necessary data, then analyze the output to make detailed maps. You can also monitor data in real time with convenient dashboards, customizing them for your organization’s specific needs.

Technology is ever-evolving and offers an undeniable advantage over manual methods. It’s no longer affordable to entrust field services to outdated techniques—people need the speed and accuracy of smart field services. Now you can deliver with Encepta.

Contact us today to begin digitizing your field service management.

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