Which is the Best Field Service Software for You?

What’s the best field service software for your organization?

That depends. The best field service software is one that gets your company results.

  • Improved first-time fix rates
  • Empowered field service technicians
  • Increased revenue
  • Better customer experience

We are a Microsoft partner that works with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service, so obviously, we believe that it’s the best. But let’s talk about WHY!

During the software evaluation process, some organizations get hung up comparing minor field service features – or the way a process is managed. Don’t get bogged down in the details.

Software features change over time. To make a good long-term technology investment, use the questions below to pick the best field service software for your organization.

1. Does this software fit in your IT environment?

You want your field service software to “talk” to the other technology platforms in your IT environment. Because field service touches customer service, sales, accounting and quality control, you ideally want your field service software to share data with those other ERP / CRM / line of business systems. Dynamics 365 is an integrated ERP / CRM platform.

You also want to be able to work seamlessly with your productivity apps like Office 365 and be compatible with your hardware, databases and mobile technology. When you go “all Microsoft”, these integrations come out-of-the-box and continue to improve over time. If you have a mix of Google, Oracle, Apple and other vendor solutions, integration is still possible, but may be more challenging and more expensive.

2. Is it easy to use and well supported?

User adoption is the key to software success. If people must work around the system or must work harder to get their job done, they’ll put minimal effort into using the system. Don’t pick a solution to gather data for management – pick a solution that empowers field service workers and dispatchers. It helps when the solution is familiar and aligns with their normal workday activities.

  • Better routing capabilities
  • Easy job scheduling
  • Great inventory management
  • Lots of help available – online and off

The bottom line is that if users love it, they will use it – and that will benefit everyone!

3. Is the software vendor investing in continual improvements?

The beauty of a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution is that new features get added to each new release of the software. You want to bet on the future of your software, not just look at the features it has today. Look at the software roadmap to ensure the software you’re evaluating is moving in the same direction as your company.

  • Do they seek out and accept customer input?
  • Are they investing in data security?
  • Are the improvements aligned with your industry and business needs?
  • Do they have a network of strategic alliances and partnerships to support their customers?

4. Can you grow and adapt without having to switch solutions?

Business plans change, and processes evolve. If possible, you want your next implementation to be your last implementation. You also want to avoid expensive custom coding, and instead be able to configure the software in the way that you want. Find a solution that makes it easy to scale, adding users and functionality as your business grows.

  • Can you add connected field service capabilities?
  • Can you easily extract data to get greater business insight?
  • Can you add/drop users easily?
  • Can you extend beyond your organization to get visibility into vendor and contractor relationships?

5. Can you afford this software – now and in the future?

Some software vendors give you a great deal for the first few years, then tack on extra costs and services over time. When you evaluate field service software, you want to look at the total cost of ownership over at least a 5-year span.

  • How long will the implementation take?
  • How much will it cost initially to acquire the hardware, software and services?
  • What are the ongoing maintenance costs?
  • How quickly will you be able to make use of the software?
  • Where do you have opportunities to cut costs?
  • Where can you increase revenue?
  • Where might you risk hidden fees?

Only when you understand the big picture, can you tell if this will be the best field service software for you.

Your field service software implementation partner matters, too!

We’ve covered the important questions to ask about the field service software itself, but the partner you choose is almost equally important. Pick an implementation partner that is:

  • Right-sized, so you don’t get lost as a small client or not given enough resources as a large client. You also likely want access to a variety of skill sets, like business consultants, software developers, call center support, and other technical resources.
  • Well-versed in your industry. You don’t want to pay for their learning curve. Plus, a seasoned industry veteran can give you fresh ideas for your field service project.
  • An expert in the software. Field service software should be a major focus for their firm.

If you’d like to learn more about Dynamics 365 for Field Service or the services we offer, you can get started by contacting one of our specialists!

Author: Brad Smith, Director, IoT & Analytics

Other articles you might be interested in:

Top 10 Reasons Why an S&OP Project Can Fail
Remote Assist for Mobile vs. HoloLens: What Are the Benefits?
The Difference Between Field Service & Connected Field Service