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As a service manager it is your job to make sure that the service processes run smoothly. To achieve this you must know: the status of each and every project, the to do list, the challenges and when your field service technicians are ready for their next job.
However, it is quite challenging to keep an overview of all this data. Every part of the service process requires another system. Luckily there are several types of field service software available that can help you keep control. But how do you pick the software that is right for your organization?
To help you out, we have created six steps that guide you through the decision making process. This way you have a good idea of the possibilities once you have compared all the options and you can make a well-considered decision.
Step 1. Map out your short and long term wishes and demands
Many people start by looking for functionalities when selecting field service software. We get that. As a specialist you know what you expect of the software. But don’t focus on the features before you have figured out your wishes. What will really help your company grow? What do you need at this time? What will you need in half an hour? And in two years? After all, you want a package that can grow along with you.
Step 2. Write down a couple of examples of standard work orders
To map your processes in even more detail it is useful to gather a couple of different work orders. These examples provide insight in the processes and they are a good starting point that can help you prioritize the functionalities needed.
Questions you should ask are:
- What type of work do we support?
- What methods and procedures do the technicians use?
- What data do the technicians gather?
- What happens with this data?
Stap 3. Select functionalities
Now you have mapped your processes you can start determining which functionalities your field service software needs. Make a list of functionalities that you really need. We have mentioned a couple of functionalities that may be relevant to your organization below.
- Digital work orders
- Planning & Dispatching
- Time logging
- Inventory management
- Digital invoicing
Stap 4. Request demo’s
Now you know what the software must offer, you can make a selection of possible providers. Choose 3-5 providers that match your criteria and request a demo from all. This is how you get to see the software in action.
Step 6. Involve your employees in the purchasing process
Never do the demo alone. Let your specialists join the session. Every employee has other requirements to the software. By involving them in the selection process you make sure they are on board with the upcoming change and you may even by surprised by their ideas.
These are a couple of exemplary questions that are important for your specialists:
Questions for the technicians:
- Do I need a mobile device to access the software?
- Can my customers pay on the spot?
- Can I check the stock?
- What impact does this have on my daily work?
Questions for the back office:
- Is the system easy to use?
- Does it integrate with the back office systems that I use?
- What will a work order look like?
- Is it possible to export a client list from the software?
Questions for the IT department:
- Is the software in the Cloud or on-premise?
- How do we integrate the software we already have?
- How do we import our data?
- Will there frequently be updates? And what do these entail?
Step. 6 Compare pricing models
Have you tested the different software applications? Then you probably have a favorite. It all depends on the price whether you go with it or not.
Within the software sector there are different pricing models being used. Examples are: pay per user or pay per employee or location. Make sure there aren’t any hidden costs.
Be critical and ask the following questions:
- Are all the features already in the package of will there be add-ons?
- Is the price modulair?
- Do I need to upgrade in time to another edition that will make the price go up?
- Do I need to purchase my own software or is it an all-in price from the cloud?
When you are aware of the demands of the different users, and have asked the right questions to the software providers, you will find the software that suits your organization perfectly.