It’s now fairly common for field service engineers in telecommunications and other sectors to use mobile applications to keep them in touch with head office, help them manage their schedules and route planning, and gain access to information about assignments and the tools, skills and knowledge they need to do them. But it’s not only technical field staff that can benefit from a field service mobile app. Those in sectors such as care, insurance, sales and more can also optimize their working day.
What are the benefits of field service mobile applications?
In short, a field service app can optimize all processes involved in having staff on the road, performing their duties and keeping up to date with head office.
First, workers know their schedule for any given day, and are presented with a route on their mobile device to help them get from place to place in the most efficient manner. Clearly, this offers savings on time and travel costs for the company. What’s more, those schedules and routes can be automatically updated in real time and presented to the field worker via their mobile device.
Second, a field service mobile app means staff on the road are always connected to a wealth of information. They have access to all the details they need about each client, and about the task that awaits them when they arrive. They can even see the parts or tools required, and use a built-in knowledge base to check anything they are unsure of. This increases the first time fix-rate, which in turn raises the level of customer satisfaction.
Third, communication improves between each member of the field team, and their colleagues in the dispatch office. There is often no need to make a call or send an email, for a field service app can allow instant messaging at the touch of a button.
An, of course, unforeseen circumstances are taken care of too. If a client cancels or changes a maintenance order, for example, the technician knows about it before they even set off. In the event that a field service worker needs to be re-allocated due to an emergency, the app can ensure everyone knows what is going on, where they are supposed to be, and what they are supposed to be doing.
What makes the ideal field service mobile app?
Field service mobile apps are marketed on the basis of their perceived strengths and benefits. At minimum the ideal field service app should meet certain requirements.
Rapid access to up to date information in real time is at the heart of such an app. This includes a calendar view, as well as task status, workflow details and warehouse modules, all of which should be updated automatically. It should also allow smooth communication, including the use of attachments, and facilitate data secure digital data collection, storage and transmission – doing away with an awful lot of paperwork. For a field service mobile app to be effective, it must utilize GIS for route planning and location identification, and must integrate with the company’s other external and third-party systems. And of course, all of this has to work even when a user’s mobile device is offline – with automatic updating the moment they reconnect to a network.
August 6, 2021
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