Businesses that provide services at their customers’ locations are constantly called upon to schedule appointments quickly, dispatch the right technicians with the right tools and materials in hand, track the jobs and bill promptly. These processes are difficult to accomplish swiftly, with any level of efficiency, when handled manually. But, aided by field service management software, companies can expertly manage their field staff, equipment and other resources. Read on to learn the many benefits of field service management software, all of which can decrease a business’s operational costs, grow revenue and increase customer satisfaction.

What Is Field Service Management?

Field services describe any service where employees are deployed to customers’ locations to perform work. They are prevalent among telecommunications, high tech, utility and HVAC companies; shipping organizations; construction; and even healthcare and consultancies. Field service management coordinates all of the activities involved in field services, from job scheduling and routing optimization to tracking equipment and employees to issuing work orders and invoices. The aim is to provide clients with the best possible experience — achieved through responsiveness, expert service and resolution — as cost effectively and profitably to the business as possible.

What Are Field Service Management Benefits?

Field service management offers many benefits, among them helping businesses manage their costs and field staff, providing exceptional customer service and reaping the financial rewards in order to grow and expand. Day to day that translates to a field service manager responding quickly to a customer’s needs, assigning the best-skilled employee to the job and making sure the employee has everything necessary to complete the job in a single appointment. The more productive field staff can be, the more assignments they can fulfill and the better the business’s top and bottom lines will be.

Key Takeaways

  • Field service management involves the use of software, workflows and communication solutions to track employees and equipment in the field.
  • Field service management software automates the deployment and tracking of workers in the field, provides analytics and decision support to technicians, and can support warranty or service contract management.
  • The benefits of field service management software vary, from task automation and real-time data access to cost reduction and automated compliance.

Field Service Management Benefits Explained

Field service management coordinates a sequence of events that ensues from the time a customer initiates contact with a business — via a phone call or email or by completing an online form — and continues until the job is completed. In between, service details are captured and recorded to create a work order that lays out what a technician needs to do. The job must be assigned to a technician — ideally, one with the best-matched skill set, who is geographically closest to the customer and realistically available, given their current workload. The worker should be equipped with the necessary parts and tools or else be able to pick them up en route to the customer, knowing they’re in stock. On the job site, the technician may need to use a mobile device to access technical documentation or communicate with colleagues to complete the job. Once the service call is completed, the work order must be updated and the customer billed.

Field service management software can streamline this entire process, bypassing numerous challenges posed by paper-based, manual processes. Companies can realize cost savings by more efficiently routing technicians to jobs. Tracking, collecting, analyzing and sharing real-time information in one central location about the job or the customer’s needs provides greater transparency to all parties. Software can handle scheduling updates, such as canceled calls; reroute a technician, based on the fastest route; and provide up-to-date information about the availability of products and parts.

Technicians benefit, too. Standardized workflow processes, for example, give technicians a framework within which to deliver on the customer’s needs. They also have anytime, anywhere access to the information they need to do their jobs properly. This further improves the customer experience, because their service requests are scheduled promptly, technicians arrive with the inventory they need and their problems can often be resolved within the same visit.

17 Benefits of Field Service Management Software

According to Gartner’s 2022 Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management, revenue from cloud-based field service management software totaled $3.5 billion at the end of 2021, marking an 18% growth over 2020. Meanwhile, a separate analysis(opens in a new tab) projects revenue to reach $5.7 billion by 2026. Indeed, the market for field service management software continues to gain traction as more businesses learn about its many benefits. Features and benefits include:

  1. Enhanced scheduling and dispatching:

    Field service management software enhances scheduling and dispatching by providing real-time visibility into technician availability, matching assignments to the right technicians and optimizing travel routes, thanks to GPS technology. Managers can assign tasks to specialists based on their availability and proximity to clients, which not only saves on travel time but also grants clients faster service.

  2. Reduced equipment downtime:

    Field service management software with predictive maintenance features analyzes data and patterns to predict possible equipment failures or maintenance needs at customers’ locations. These alerts allow businesses to take proactive measures before a breakdown occurs, which reduces customer downtime so they can remain productive.

  3. Real-time data access:

    Field service management software provides real-time access to data that helps field service managers track the status of different jobs, manage resource allocation and ensure that an adequate supply of materials, tools and other inventory is available. Real-time data also improves reporting and analysis by identifying trends, performance metrics and areas ripe for improvement. For technicians, real-time data access places their schedules (and updates), customer history, technical documentation and information about inventory at their fingertips.

  4. Task automation:

    Field service management software automates a slew of repetitive, time-consuming tasks that impede a company’s responsiveness to its service calls and lead to operational inefficiencies. Tasks that can be automated include work order management, scheduling and dispatching, route optimization, reporting and analytics, inventory management and billing. Indeed, automation is a growing area in field service management: By 2025, more than two-thirds of field service work is expected to be scheduled by machine learning–informed algorithms and bots, up from 25% in 2020, according to Gartner.

  5. Improved service delivery:

    Optimized scheduling, faster problem resolution and automated work order management are just a few ways that field service management software improves service delivery. When work is completed efficiently and on time, customers are, naturally, more satisfied and likely to be retained at higher rates, enhancing the reputation of the company. In fact, 60% of worldwide businesses reported that a positive customer service experience improves retention, and 66% said it has positively impacted their company’s growth, according to a 2022 report about customer service trends. On the customer side, 81% said a positive experience would increase the likelihood of another purchase, and 70% reported having done so.

  6. Transparent communication:

    Clear communication with customers is another key to retaining them. Field service management software enables employees, customers and management to communicate easily, often through mobile apps or central portals. Real-time communication features let technicians update job statuses, request replacement parts and access inventory data in the field, without needing to return to the office. It also makes it easier for technicians to contact clients about appointment arrival times, possible delays and billing.

  7. Integration with other business systems:

    Integrating field service management software with other business systems — such as inventory management, customer relationship management, human resource management, accounting, and enterprise resource planning— means that data will flow seamlessly for real-time access by technicians and managers. This eliminates the need for manual, error-prone data entry, triggers inventory purchases when levels dip below a certain threshold, ensures that invoicing and billing flows smoothly and helps to track work hours.

  8. Rapid response to service requests:

    When customer experience is on the line, every moment counts. Faster response times is a top priority for businesses, cited by 67% of field service leaders who were surveyed for a benchmark report(opens in a new tab) about field service operations. Field service management software not only identifies the technicians closest to customers’ locations, but it also ensures that the right technician (or team) is assigned to jobs, based on required skill set and the ability for them to get to the location using the fastest route possible. Field service management software can even direct resources from one job to another higher-priority assignment.

  9. Fuel and travel cost savings:

    By basing assignments on which technicians are closest to customers’ locations, field service management software helps companies save on fuel costs and travel time. Field service management software selects the best routes for technicians to follow, allowing for factors such as traffic and job priorities.

  10. Reduced idle time:

    Anytime a technician is not traveling to an assignment or working, an organization could be losing money. Field service management software optimizes field technician assignments so that workers can complete more tasks in less time, which improves productivity. By scheduling new tasks to a technician who’s already in the customer’s area or calculating the most efficient route to the next service location to minimize travel time, software helps companies minimize downtime.

  11. Optimal resource allocation:

    Field service management software can identify the best resource for a particular assignment, based on criteria such as the technician’s level or area of expertise, proximity to the customer and availability. This ensures that the right technician with the necessary expertise and equipment is assigned to a task, minimizing the time to job completion.

  12. Increased first-time fix rates:

    First-time fix rate is a field service efficiency key performance indicator that measures how often field staff complete a job on their first visit. Field service management software can improve this metric by ensuring that the right technician is paired with the right job and that the technician has access to information about the job, how to handle it and the tools and materials they’ll need before arriving at the location.

  13. Opportunities for upsells and cross-sells:

    Nearly half (49%) of service leaders say their top driver for ongoing service efforts is to increase their service-related revenue, according to a report by IDC(opens in a new tab). Indeed, service calls present an opportunity for technicians to recommend more advanced and/or related products and services, potentially increasing the company’s revenue. Field service management software makes customer data, such as previous purchases and service history, easily accessible, so technicians can check which new products and services might appeal to customers next. They can also learn how to position their pitches, when they have access to information about the latest products and services, features and promotions.

  14. Improved contract compliance:

    Field service management software improves contract compliance by tracking service contracts and ensuring that all terms and conditions are met, such as for response times, scheduled maintenance and payment terms. The software can also manage changes, automate contract renewals and manage billing and invoicing.

  15. Automated compliance checks:

    By automating compliance checks, field service management software makes sure companies are in alignment with regulatory requirements, safety standards, industry protocols and internal policies. The software may provide checklists to ensure that all steps or inspections are completed, as well as real-time monitoring and alerts, which immediately notify a technician or manager if an anomaly arises. Field service management software also stores compliance data for easy access for audits or reports.

  16. Enhanced data security:

    Field service management software can enhance data security and protect customers’ information through the use of advanced encryption, strong password requirements, multifactor authentication and role-based access control. With a cloud-based solution, the vendor automatically applies security updates and patches, adding another important layer of protection.

  17. Proactive risk mitigation:

    Through predictive analytics, real-time monitoring and automated notifications, field service management software empowers companies to proactively address potential molehills before they become mountains of operational disruptions — for the customer, technician and business alike. Viewed from the lens of safety, field service management software provides technicians with instant access to resources that can assist them through complicated or hazardous jobs.

field services management benefits
Companies, technicians and customers can all benefit from the use of field service management software.

Streamline and Optimize Field Services Management With NetSuite

When customers need you on-site for a service activity, they don’t want to wait. NetSuite Field Service Management by NetSuite ensures their satisfaction by replacing traditional paper- and spreadsheet-based work with an automated solution that streamlines the process of scheduling and dispatching technicians and teams to customers’ sites, based on expertise, proximity, and availability. The solution boosts productivity by providing field staff with access to all the information they need to complete a job, which helps increase first-time-fix rate. The software also features proactive inventory management and provides operational insights that improve decision-making, enhance the customer experience and enable the business to maintain its competitive edge.

Looking for a deeper dive into NetSuite’s field service management system?

Watch this live demo for a firsthand look at how the application eases scheduling, gives field technicians the necessary job-specific information, updates inventory based on what’s used in the field, and automates billing.
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Field service management software is critical for every business that provides service calls. From scheduling, deploying and tracking workers in the field and providing access to important data and analytics for decision-making to automating time-consuming tasks so that staff can focus on more value-added work, field service management software ensures that companies are well-equipped to optimize their resources, satisfy their customers and see the results in their top and bottom lines.

Field Service Management Benefit FAQs

Why is field service management important?

Field service management is important because it allows a business to provide top-notch customer service and an improved customer experience. Field service management software enables companies to respond quickly to customer needs, reduce operational costs and maintain a competitive edge.

What are the three key elements of field service management?

Three key elements of field service management are scheduling, dispatching and real-time monitoring. Scheduling enables companies to allocate tasks efficiently. Dispatching assigns the right technician for the right job. Real-time monitoring enables companies to track jobs and tasks and make adjustments as necessary.

What are the advantages of using field service software solutions?

There are many advantages to using field service management software solutions, including improved employee productivity, reduced operational costs, real-time access to data, improved customer service and enhanced data security.

What is the purpose of field service?

Field service provides customers with technicians who visit locations to install, repair or maintain equipment or systems.