Salesforce is the most powerful and versatile technology used by businesses today. With over 100,000 customers, it’s one integrated customer relationship management platform that gives all your internal departments a single view of the customer. And that’s possible with its several cloud products: Commerce Cloud, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Data Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Community Cloud, Analytics Cloud, App Cloud, and IoT.
For Field Service Management, Salesforce has extended its services through Salesforce Field Service Lightning (FSL). Though there are other field service solutions on AppExchange to address Field Service Management needs, Salesforce’s robust product FSL has everything your team needs to manage the complex logistics and onsite operations effectively.
Field Service Management, at its core, is a system that keeps track of all components in a company’s field operations like inventory management, customer portals, vehicle tracking, customer information, scheduling, and more. Its role is very significant in many industries, especially those that are dependent on mobile workers or contractors working outside the office. Some of the prominent industries include HVAC, Construction, Solar Panel Installation, Property Management, Electricians, and more. FSL effectively brings all the fragmented and unorganized parts together.
In Salesforce terms “Field Service Lightning is a Single platform where we can connect all our workforce, products, and customers to deliver a better onsite service.” Coordinating field operations—including scheduling service appointments, dispatching mobile workers and equipment, and tracking vehicle locations, product stock, and appointment status—is nearly impossible without an automated system. Thank goodness for Field Service Lightning!
Field Service Lightning works with Service Cloud, adding functionality for dispatching, monitoring, and reporting field service representative’s activity. Field Service Lightning supports different areas like Case Management, Territory Management, Version control, Dispatching, Mobile Application.
The two major features that make Field Service easy and flexible are Dispatch Console and FSL Mobile Application.
Dispatch Console the workplace for Dispatchers:
The Dispatcher is the most important component in Field Service Management – the one who controls/ monitors all the appointments and assigns them to the mobile workforce based on different parameters likes skills, travel time, and more. To do that, he/she uses the Dispatch Console to ensure the right job is assigned to the right-field technician at the right time.
It features a dynamic map and a highly customizable Gantt chart showing upcoming service appointments, different territories with active team members and a lot more.
Once service appointments are created by the Agent, the ball falls under the Dispatcher’s court. He/she will be considering different parameters like skills, operating hours, location, travel time, availability, etc., and will be assigning the appointment to the Technician.
The Dispatcher Console included in the “Field Service Lightning” package helps dispatchers schedule, optimize, and dispatch service appointments – all from one screen.
Features supported under Dispatch Console:
- The user interface is crisp and clean, which allows customization based on the Dispatcher’s requirements or terms he works on.
- It has easy filters on Appointment lists like Schedule, Unscheduled, In Jeopardy, etc. He can custom create filters if that’s what suits his business.
- Gantt view – Is a place where a Dispatcher can see all territories and Technicians. He can see the available time, absence, scheduled time of any Technician.
- The Dispatcher can set the frequency to view the Gantt chart as daily, two days, weekly, monthly, etc., depending on the need. He can also have different filters to see Technician’s absence, overtime, and more.
- He can schedule, reschedule, or cancel appointments easily with a button click.
- He can easily communicate with his technicians using Chatter and also view any Technician’s route details.
- The Console gives the Dispatcher a choice between manual and automatic scheduling. To manually schedule, he can directly drag and drop the appointment. For the automatic assignment of Appointments, Dispatcher can use different options like Schedule, Optimization, and Candidates button provided in the FSL package.
- The Gantt provides a bird’s-eye view of your team’s utilization percentages – A service resource’s utilization is calculated by comparing their total operating hours to the number of hours they’re scheduled to work. Utilization is calculated only for non-capacity-based service resources.
- Dispatchers can use keyboard shortcuts to work faster on Dispatch Console.
- For easy identification and grouping of appointments, a Dispatcher can add different color codes based on the status.
- A Dispatcher can view the KPI’s of Technicians clearly – Total schedule time, Average travel time, No.of completed Appointments, No of Appointments with Rule Violations, No.of Appointments are in Jeopardy.
- A Dispatcher can locate rule violations easily – The dispatcher can keep track of violations like overlapping, travel time, availability, by hovering over the Appointment in Gantt view.
All-In-One Friendly Mobile App:
Another important component of Salesforce’s Field Service Lightning is the All-in-One tool, Mobile App, for field servicemen to deliver great onsite service. This mobile app experience leverages Salesforce in a lightweight design optimized for a modern mobile workforce. This App is highly customizable, meaning you can design it in a way that fits your business needs. We have Salesforce Field Service Lightning for Android and iOS.
Major features available in Field Service Lightning Mobile App:
- One of its prominent features is that it supports offline; meaning Technician can even work when he doesn’t have internet connectivity and can sync all the changes once he is back online.
- Push notification is one other helpful feature so that the Technician will never miss any event and stay up to date.
- The technician can use Chatter for communication with contractors, partners, dispatchers and even customers. Whenever Technician is onsite and faces some issues/troubles solving a customer problem, Chatter helps him to communicate with his manager/other technicians and complete his work.
- The Mobile App can be branded according to your company’s own branding lines by customizing the color of the pages, success pages, list views, etc.
- Configurable layouts and actions for easy and smooth Field Service for technicians. You can also use fieldsets for page layouts so that it would be easy for modification further.
- There is a possibility of Geolocation tracking. The technician’s live location will be synced to the system of the configured interval.
- Create previews of service reports summarizing field service visits. You can also capture multiple customer signatures and generate a service report.
- Work Order overview screen helps the field service resources to find all the required information about the issue, customer, asset history and more.
- Help your team find other work orders in the same location so they can take care of nearby jobs.
- We also have the Inventory tab where your team can have track the available products in his trunk. He can also request parts/products wherever required.
- Technician also has the capability to create his absence based on his availability from Mobile App.
- Before installing FSL Mobile app for field technicians, you need to make sure that below requirements are fulfilled.
- Field Service Lightning mobile users need the Field Service Mobile user license to access the app
- All major Android devices are supported (with version 5.0 and later)1. This app is optimized for Samsung, Nexus, and Pixel devices.
- For iOs iPhone 5s or later models are supported. iPad 4 and later models are supported.
- For optimal performance, keep your mobile devices’ operating systems updated and upgrade to the latest model of devices as allowed by your mobile plan.
Field Service Lightning is the best solution available in the market for field servicemen and Dispatchers. A dispatcher can use Dispatch Console to assign the right work to the right men at the right time. Similarly, Field resources can also work easily and deliver the work smartly using Mobile Apps.
Solunus, a North-American based Salesforce Partner, prepares businesses for their next-generation customers. Established in 2014, we simplify Salesforce for you to build more meaningful customer relationships. We partner for a win-win arrangement with a clear ROI that the client realizes by the end of the engagement. Our 350+ years of cumulative industry exposure and Salesforce experience underpin our position as the right Salesforce partner. We are a team of Salesforce Certified Professionals, CRM Architects, and certified Agile Scrum Masters with a passion for making a difference.
About the Author
Mounisha Surapaneni has 3.8 years of experience with Solunus. As a Senior Developer, Mounisha is exposed to different areas like Service, Sales based applications like Salesforce, Service Max and Field Service Lightning, Communities. She feels it honoured to have worked with reputed clients in Service-Based applications.