Managing field service has changed a lot since the time of Ghostbusters. And yet, companies are finding it challenging to manage their team of service technicians or field agents efficiently.
There was a time when the dispatchers used legacy field service applications, and spreadsheets to track technician activities and field workers complete their work order using paper and pencil. With kind of an established process, it is tough for organizations to keep up with the increasing customer demands and remain competitive in today’s world.
Though the scenario has changed a bit, field service leaders still have the concern to ensure that their field workforce is operating at optimal efficiency and productivity. It’s difficult for organizations to deliver high-quality field service work that’s on time and budget. Field service has got no room for miscommunications, delays, or even incomplete information. All thanks to Industry 4.0, which helped in eliminating the inherent challenges of the traditional process and allowed communication among the devices. As a response to the technology advancement, came in the Field Service Management.
What is Field Service Management?
Field Service Management manages the organization’s end-to-end field activities like scheduling, invoicing, billing, optimization, customer portals, vehicle tracking, and customer information.
There are three critical users in Field Service Management:
1. Field Service Agent/Call Center Executive:
Service Agent is the first point of contact for clients. Once the agent receives a service request from the client, he/she will create a case on a particular request. From the case, the agent will create a work order and service appointment.
2. FSL Dispatcher/FSL Admin:
FSL Dispatcher deals with the records, work orders, and service appointments. The dispatcher will have the dispatch console access to dispatch service appointment to the right Technician at the right time. The dispatch console plays a major role here to dispatch service appointments more efficiently.
3. Field Service Technician:
The Field Service Technician uses Field Service Lightning mobile app on their mobiles/iPads to receive service appointments. The first task of the Technician is to inspect the work order if it needs any parts. If yes, the Technician needs to check for those parts in his inventory/ van location. If the Technician doesn’t have required parts, he’d need to request for the parts from a nearby warehouse or from other technicians. Once he receives the required parts, he adds them in the line items for the work order.
While the technician adds parts to the work order, the list price automatically populates from price book, which is associated with the work order’s work type.
Once he adds line items to the work order, the Technician will generate a service report and take a signature from the customer and completes the work order.
Introducing Salesforce Field Service Lightning
Salesforce Field Service Lightning is an additional feature of Salesforce to expand the Service Cloud offerings.
Field Service Lightning deals with Service Cloud, adding functionality for dispatching, monitoring, and reporting field service representative’s activity.
It helps to dispatch the right Technician in the right place, at the right time. It optimizes and automates the core business process.
Benefits of Field Service Lightning:
Recommends the right time to customers based on existing schedules and travel time.
Assigns work based on skills and availability.
Allows field service reps to complete their work orders right from their job location.
Allows Technicians to capture electronic signatures for work orders or service reports.
Supports around 3,000 and more field service reps, including contractors.
Provides the ability to supervise by viewing and managing work from their Gantt charts or even map views.
Provides the ability for admins to configure and manage specific work rules to manage territories, service level agreements, or business priorities.
Significant features of Field Service Lightning:
Field Service Lightning Configurations
When we install the Field Service Lightning package, we get three major users – FSL Agent, FSL Dispatcher, and FSL Technician. Based on each user type, corresponding permissions need to be assigned. For instance, we need to assign the mobile settings to get notifications on the Calendar of an FSL.
Work Order & Service Appointment Management
Work orders are the heart of the Field Service Lightning as they represent the work to be performed by the Technician for customers.
Service appointment represents field service visits to customers; service appointment describes the information related to scheduling, assignment, and work order details.
Technicians will get notified by Service Appointment to view customer information, work order, and asset-related information.
Asset tracking & Management
Asset tracking will be used to track the information about products that customers use. If customers installed sensitive/competitive product, a preventive maintenance plan may be created to plan, schedule, and track work on the asset.
Preventive Maintenance plans can be generated automatically from service contracts with required duration according to requirement. Work orders will be created automatically depending on the set frequency.
Schedule and Work Dispatching :
Schedule Management will play a major role in Field Service Management. Dispatchers will schedule service appointments to technicians at the right time and the right place and for the resource with required skills.
In the Salesforce FSL, Dispatcher Console allows to manage and monitor technicians’ workload from the one place in real-time and is available as a map or a Gantt chart.
Field Technician Mobility via FSL Mobile App:
Technicians will get an opportunity to access and update the crucial information in customer location with this app, like work orders, Service Appointment, inventory, and parts. The important advantage of the mobile application is it’s also available in offline mode.
Parts/Inventory management is used to track and manage parts/products which are available for storage, request, transfer, and consumption to complete the work order by Technician.
The Technician should take care of maintaining parts/products in the warehouse.
Service Report output Document:
The Technician will generate service report after completion of the work order. The service report will have all the information related to work order like customer information, pricing information, product details (related to parts like a discount, list price, unit price, tax, and total price).
The Technician will take customer acceptance/signature while generating the service report.
Resource management plays a key role in field service management. It will help you track resource availability, absence during the dispatching service appointment.
Salesforce Field Service Lightning meets the core business process of companies in different domains of industries, and it also helps resolve Field Service calls quicker, increases worker productivity in the field, and digitizes the appointment-scheduling.
Field Service Management will place the right employee at the right place and at the right time.