We are living in a time now where an ordinary personal device, a phone, can become a powerful transactional tool that empowers service technicians to be very customer-centric.
Field service teams no longer need expensive specialized devices with specific software to communicate while on the job.
In a recent demo of
|FIELD SERVICE||In the Old Days….||Now|
|Service order notes||Technician would write notes on work order, perhaps with carbon copy. Give one to customer. Bring one back to the office. Someone would need to try to decipher the scrawled handwriting from the crumpled, coffee-stained papers and type it into the computer.||When it is time to record what service was done on the job site all you have to do is speak into the phone just like you would speak a text message and that information is transcribed and put into the job description.|
|Signature||Customer would sign the work order or contract. This would be scanned and put into the computer, or just put in a paper file somewhere.
|Customer can sign electronically, with their finger, on the smartphone. GPS tracks exact location and time.
|Billing||After the work was done, paperwork had to be returned to the finance team, typed into the billing system. This could take days or weeks.||The billing system is updated automatically so invoices can be reviewed and sent out quickly.|
|Photos||Each service rep was given a portable camera, hopefully with enough batteries and space in the SD card (or even film!) They could take photos of a finished job, got back to the office, download the images, and manually attach to the work order.||You can use the phone camera to take a photo or video of the finished work and that is automatically stored in on the service ticket.|
|Location Accountability||A technician would get a route set in the morning and be gone for the day….on the honor system.||Using the GPS positioning everyone can see if the field technician is at the client, on the route, or sitting on the beach.|
|Inventory||If a spare part was needed the technician would need to pull them off the truck. If he didn’t keep track, next time the bin would be empty. For larger items, he would need to call the office to see if it was in stock and place an order.||The phone can scan a barcode so you can find the right part quickly and update inventory. Or you can check inventory through voice commands. For example, if you are looking for some kind of mounting bracket. You don’t need to go to your keyboard and type “mount”, just say the word “mount” and it can call up that word and follow the inventory item that is connected to the Acumatica system.|
It seems everyone has a smartphone now. It is not a huge expense for an employer to provide phones for their technicians. Which means even small companies can empower their field service team in a way that was once unimaginable.
The field service industry is huge. Any company that sells a product, installs the product and repair and/or tracks the product would benefit from field service functionality in their ERP system.
Anyone who supports any kind of machinery that breaks and needs repair or preventative maintenance. Companies that provide service contracts. Tech companies that have big assets that need preventative maintenance. The list goes on.
Having this type of powerful functionality available in our modern time is incredible. And you can have it right inside your existing ERP system.
What’s Coming Next?
In all honesty, I'm not over the moon in terms of all the features available in Acumatica's field service right now. Although each release gets better. But the fact that I have this as another tool in my toolbox, to recommend to the right client, empowers me in a very big way. Plus, the strongest reason to use field service management in Acumatica is that is built directly into the core of the core ERP system. It is not an add on application. This is a huge benefit.
I am excited to use
Now you can maintain a real-time view of your customer’s activities across all your operations when field service operations are fully integrated with the back office.
If you are interested in evaluating how you can benefit from using the Field Service features in Acumatica, or you evaluating ERP Software and want a trusted advisor, contact CAL Business Solutions. [email protected] or 860-485-0910 x4
By CAL Business Solutions, Connecticut based Microsoft Dynamics GP and Acumatica Partner