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Field Service Automation? Why Would I Need That?

June 05, 2013

Field Service Automation Is More Than Just a Buzzword

"Field Service Automation sounds like a buzzword that someone invented to sell software!" We've heard it from more than a few business owners. The reality is that despite the long, boring name, Field Service Automation is not only a straightforward concept, it's also relevant to anyone running a service business with folks out in the field.
 
Do these scenarios sound familiar?
 

Dispatch

A potential customer calls in with a problem. Someone in your office answers the phone and hastily scribbles out notes about the prospect's issue and what they need. The potential customer asks for pricing. Your office person puts them on hold and then scrambles for a price book. The price book can't be found. They tell the potential customer that they'll have someone get back to them with pricing.
 
The potential customer, annoyed, asks how soon someone can be out there to help. The office person asks them to wait and checks the appointment book. It looks like Bill is available tomorrow, but it's not clear because it looks like he might be double-booked. Ray is available but he'll be three towns away for a previous job. Mark might be available but the office person is pretty sure he's helping Ray that day. It goes on and on until someone is found.
 
The prospect really needs someone out that day because the problem is getting worse. The office person asks them to wait and starts calling around to find out if anyone is in the area and available. No one seems to be picking up the phone.
 
This kind of inefficiency can lose you jobs and cripple your business. Do any of these issues hit home for your business:

On the Job

  • Field workers are scribbling important data on paper while in the field.
  • Paperwork is lost in transit or forgotten.
  • Field workers forget to sell additional services.
  • Truck/van inventory is unknown or incorrect.
  • Field workers are missing important information about the job while out in the field.
  • Field workers "go missing" while out on the job.
  • Field workers need to provide information about a job over the phone or by returning to the office.

Back at the Office

  • Office workers have to re-key information from paperwork into separate systems.
  • Manually-updated, inefficient spreadsheets are being used to handle everything from customer data to parts inventory.
  • Time sheets are manual, incorrect and/or delayed.
  • Disputes arise with customers over work performed.
  • Invoices to customers are delayed by days and weeks (or lost completely).

Field service automation can free you from all these problems. Get a demo of FieldLocate and find out how quickly you can turn things around for your business and start bringing in more work every week.

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