5 Factors to Consider Before Purchasing Field Service Software
Field service management software can be extremely beneficial if your business employs field agents who are scheduled to perform installations or repairs in customers’ homes or businesses. The software can help you schedule appointments, keep track of parts and equipment, handle routine and preventative maintenance, and more. However, the amount of field service software on the market can be overwhelming. To help you find the right package for you, we’ve compiled five factors to consider before making your final purchase.
Is field service software a good fit for your company?
The first thing you should consider when making decisions about a service management program is do you really need it. No one wants to spend money if it isn’t absolutely necessary. If you are spending an exorbitant amount of time working on field agents’ schedules, you find yourself running short on parts and equipment your agents need, you have an excess of materials, or your customers’ aren’t getting there needs met on the first call out because agents don’t have the proper parts with them; then you probably need field management service software. However, if you only have a couple of agents, and scheduling and inventory is not typically a problem, you might consider holding off until your needs change.
What features do you need from your service management program?
The next factor you need to consider is exactly what you want from your software. Each software package is slightly different so it is important to make sure you get exactly what you need. Make a list of every field service tool you require so that you can compare it with the tools offered by the software you are considering. Most software comes with basic features such as schedule management and optimal routes, equipment and inventory management, preventative maintenance management, and reports and metrics. However, advanced features like an online customer portal, automatic customer contacts, and quality assurance are only found in some software packages. Know what you want, and research your options to find the best fit.
Do you need an on-premises or web-based software?
Another factor to consider is which type of service management software you need. On-premises software does not generally have mobile capabilities, but it is most often a less expensive option. It is also generally easier to implement into an already existing network. Web-based software can be accessed from anywhere that internet is available which makes it a good fit if you need features such as mobile point-of-sale or cloud-based information.
What is your budget?
When considering a software purchase, you need to have a clear idea of how much money you have to spend. There’s a wide range of price points. So shop around, and get the best deal you can for the money you have available. One good way to accomplish this is to do your research, and make a short list of products that you think would meet your needs. Then, you can request a demo of those products to determine which is the best value.
Which product is easiest to use?
Once you’ve made a list of a few software options, test them to see how easily they can be integrated into your system. Get opinions from everyone involved; from company administrators to the field agents who will be using the software the most. Spend a considerable amount of time discussing pros and cons before making a final decision. Having a group to help make the decision insures that the software will meet the needs of everyone within the company.
Purchasing a field service management program is a big step, but following these guidelines can help you make the right decision for your company. By determining its necessity, choosing field service tools, deciding on on-premise or web-based, knowing your budget, and checking for usability; your field service management program can help you get the job done efficiently and correctly.