Discover what technologies are replacing traditional clipboards and improving the lives of workers
By The Custella Team
The shifting topography of field service has steered providers to embrace field service management solutions at an unmatched rate. It’s almost comical in this day and age for a technician to pull out the old clipboard and carbon-copy quote, or invoice these days, as every service company seems to use a field service management app. These field service management apps bring speed, ease of use, and centralized organization to the field service company, and a better experience for the customer.
Strategy Analytics stated the international mobile workforce capped 1.5 billion in 2017, and mobile technology is holding pace with the field agent’s demand for better software. With the growing number of field-based employees rising, organizations require field service management apps to provide them with more business-critical information outside the office.
As reported by Field Service, an event featuring luminaries in field service customer experience, automation is the greatest driver of new revenue for field service companies. This makes sense when you think about it—the less manual office work technicians have to do per job, the faster they can move through tasks. Field service management apps mold the mechanization into a viable option for the increasing mobile workforce, using technology to optimize operations.
A large stack of papers comes part and parcel with being disorganized, which in turn leads to more stress and anxiety. In fact, the American Institute of Stress found in a study that policemen found paperwork more stressful than the dangers inherent of pursuing a criminal. So its less a matter of “why”, but more of a question of “which” field service app is best suited for particular users. When looking for a new field service app, make sure that it has the best features that suit the business in question.
“The international mobile workforce capped 1.5 billion in 2017, and mobile technology is holding pace with field agent’s demand for better software.”
Paperwork comes with an abundance of pitfalls: from misplaced documents to illegible handwriting. The shift to digital media is spurred by the issues that generations past have faced, every time a particular piece of information has to be found, requiring endless hours of manpower sifting through folders. With the introduction of computers, and the handy ctrl+F quick search tool found in many systems, data no longer resides in the nether regions of the unknown. A user can easily look up keywords to find what they need, and cut down their time wasted on search quests.
Another common issue with paperwork is the people who handle it. A popular notion recalls the illegible handwriting of doctors, with a study revealing that 25% of the time pharmacists would dispense incorrect medication due to the prescription’s bad handwriting. Lethal consequences can be avoided with the adoption of digital channels for communication.
The existence of the Cloud also means that data can now be uploaded online. Paper documents are prone to physical damage, and the wear and tear of time. So unlike the cloud where information can be retained, undamaged forever, information written down can disappear the same way thousands of texts did when the ancient library of Alexandria burned down taking with it hundreds of years of literature. A company that would want to insure itself from a similar fate, would certainly value digitizing its data.
Physical data is also much slower in the way it is transferred from one location to another. In a scenario not uncommon to field service, the customer/client fills in their form incorrectly and sends it via post to the service company. On receiving the document and identifying the missing/incorrect data, the company has to notify the customer and resend the document back. This to-and-fro could cost several days, ultimately translating to bad customer experience. The advantage of technology is that communications can be a lot faster with real-time updates possible from field service workers and their customers.
“Paperwork comes with an abundance of pitfalls: from misplaced documents to illegible handwriting.”
To eradicate these issues, field service management tools like Custella come with:
1. Cloud backup
With field service management, save invoices, customer history, and vital job information in the cloud for both office and field technicians access anytime, anywhere. Eradicates the possibility of physical damage over time, as well as keeping all records available to the relevant parties no matter when or where they need it.
A critical piece of the billing cycle puzzle. When technicians can take payment at the job site, the company’s accounts reconcile quicker, and clients know what they are paying for so there would be no discrepancies later on. The workflow speeds up as well, knowing that the customer will be paying for the service immediately if it can be resolved; essentially your fieldworkers are part-timing as salesmen.
3. Image, document, note attachment, and digital signatures
Catalog individual customer needs and job requirements on location. Images help clarify otherwise messy issue descriptions, with helpful visuals. Digital signatures provide quick, actionable authorization right next to order, so there’s no need to turn pages and bury through paperwork looking for verification.
4. Customer Resources
Track customer needs, maintenance histories, and if necessary, identify up-sell opportunities right at the job site. Remember the part about having a mobile technician workforce that is essentially converting your sales figures.
5. Dispatch, scheduling, time tracking
The core of a field service management tool: make the workforce more flexible and efficient with field workforce optimization and mobile-ready dispatch. Get real-time analytics to know where your field workers are, where they’re going, and provide rapid response to any emergencies that they may have. Automatic time tracking via GPS or geofencing makes payroll easy and takes away the manual process of documenting wages. What will you do with the extra time and resources not wasted in paperwork? Perhaps invest it back into polishing up customer service and brand awareness?
6. Internal document storage, contracts, tax information
To lessen misunderstandings, give technicians and managers access to job-critical documents in the field and reduce confusion over agreements and job scope. Get the job done with the least amount of hassle, and micromanagement, knowing your field workers are in good hands with all the instructions they need. And hey, if they get themselves into a situation that they can’t navigate through, getting in touch with the company is just an in-app click away.
As a mobile and web field service management application, Custella eliminates hefty paperwork, through its digital smart features and optimization of operations.
Paperwork has greatly been an indispensable evil in operations; reports, quotes, invoices, notes, receipts, calendars, and more – are overcritical parts of the organization, as well as being the ‘treacle’ that slows it down and gets in the way.
While we’re not quite at the point where paperwork can be completely eliminated, we are at a point where the prevalence of digital devices is helping to reduce the quantity of paperwork our businesses must handle day-to-day. When it comes to businesses that require field agents, or are involved in external services, the need to adopt paper products is quickly reducing with the acceptance and implementation of digital, professional, administrative support systems for mobile devices and all-in-one apps.
Custella focuses on multi-level synergy rather than individual optimization. It ties in managers and their agents in the field and optimizes the operations of the field service.
Using automation, optimization, and real-time analytics, Custella can help companies address:
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