The Risks of Disconnection in Field Service

Disconnected Field Service Management

A successful field service business is built on service. But what exactly does this mean and what does it require? Well, take a second to ask yourself this: What constitutes a perfect service call?

The concept of a perfect service call requires everything to move together. A customer calls, a technician is deployed with the right parts, tools, and knowledge, and the service is completed. Though this may sound like any other call, few calls have the hand-offs and information transfers needed to make this happen.

The Rarity of Perfection

More often than not, a customer will call, already stressed that the equipment is faltering. Said customer then has to wait for you to find their information—equipment, warranty information, and the like. After the time spent finding this, you have to put them on hold again to find a technician.

It’s at this point that you realize one of the following: Maybe the only technician with the right certifications is booked for hours or days. Maybe you don’t have the part, maybe the part is on a different truck. Maybe you have the right technician and equipment, but the one tool you need is on the other end of town.

Now remember, you’re trying to gain all this information while your already-stressed customer is waiting for you to give them a service window. You’re clicking around apps and opening spreadsheets, calendars, and databases to see what you can do. After what seems like an eternity for the customer—who, by the way, is losing money for every minute of downtime—you track down everything, only to say that the best you can do is tomorrow.

Was this the truth? Maybe. You might have actually been dealing with an incredibly rare problem only serviced by one possible person, who just so happens to be the only person available for every single job he or she is already on. What’s more likely is this: You didn’t have the right information at the right time.

The problem with the above mentioned scenario is that nothing was available. Dispatchers had no idea who was calling, what machinery they had, or what they needed. Once given this information, they had no idea which of your technicians had knowledge of the equipment or if anyone could be redeployed.

The Cause: Disconnection

The problem with this is simple: Inflexible scheduling and a lack of connection stood in the way. Too often, customers are already stressed when they call in—and need some kind of reassurance that everything is going to be fine. Rarely can field service companies relying on outdated and disconnected products provide this.

Inefficient scheduling and out of stock situations for replacement parts create service call delays. Ineffective communication destroys customer relationships. Technicians cannot provide superior service if they do not have the resources they need to do the job right the first time.

Service delays, poor communication, substandard service, and poor customer support negatively impact customer satisfaction. Frustrated customers buy less, and unhappy customers switch to your competitors.

Service-driven organizations with disconnected, piece-meal applications struggle to drive growth. Lack of integrated marketing and sales automation applications limit new business opportunities. Incomplete inventory management and procurement features cause stock-outs and rush orders, wreaking havoc on service schedules dependent on replacement parts and equipment. But there’s a better way.

The Solution: Integrated Field Service Management

Delivering the perfect project requires everything to flow. When a customer calls, you already have a reasonably clear picture of who they are and what they have. You may even know that they’ve used the equipment for [x] months and are likely to suffer from a specific problem. Knowing that other customers have had the same challenge, you’ve already stocked your warehouse with the equipment needed to fix the issue.

But this requires connection. Rather than relying on some random stack of products that can’t work together, you already have the right knowledge at your fingertips to service the customer or prevent the problem altogether. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to get this.

Acumatica and The Donas Group: Delivering Adaptable and Integrated Field Service

For field service businesses, the ability to serve customers on location is your strength. To do this, especially in an environment in which customers have higher expectations, you need to have a clear picture of what, where, when, and how much. Businesses need real-time understanding of all activities, and the right field service management solution delivers.

Drive growth with the comprehensive Acumatica Field Service Edition. The extensive application provides connected financials, project accounting, order management, and inventory applications.

Put into action with the help of experts like those at The Donas Group, Acumatica provides in-house and remote workers with access to information anytime, anywhere, on any device.

  • Technician availability, credentials, certifications, and location help dispatchers identify each service call’s best resource.
  • Route optimization ensures that technicians get to jobs faster. Inventory management and purchasing combine to maintain adequate stocking levels for service parts and supplies.
  • The mobile app affords instant access to equipment details, warranty information, and service history.
  • Flexible billing options satisfy the most demanding customers.

To learn how Acumatica Field Service Management can benefit your business, contact The Donas Group for a free consultation and product demo or browse the other field service resources below:

Why Service-Driven Companies Thrive with Acumatica Cloud ERP

10 Ways Field Service Companies Grow With Acumatica

ERP Comparison Matrix