Blog

Choosing Field Service Software: What You Need To Know Before You Buy

Posted by Matt Woodward

May 12, 2014

field software serviceWhen you begin considering new software solutions, it's logical to start your search with systems that are specifically designed for your industry. You're a field service company, so you need field service software.

Unfortunately, this approach typically leads companies down a narrow-minded path with few options – even fewer of which are actually viable. When you choose a solution within your industry without considering other approaches, you handcuff your business to a software system that simply doesn't help your business grow and thrive.

A far better strategy for choosing field service software involves looking at the needs you're trying to meet – now and in the future. This requires software that's customizable, and, above all else, flexible.

Flexibility requires conscious bending of the rules.

The typical approach – the "rule" – when you're looking at field service software has traditionally been to start within your industry. As we discussed above, this is a mistake. You need to bend (or, better yet, abandon) those constrictive rules in favor of an approach that's favorable to your business, not just your industry. Start with a few simple steps:
  • Stop thinking about your employees, departments, company or industry as a bubble. It's time you realize the connections you share within your business and your industry. Use them to your collective advantage.
  • Look at your current processes. What needs to be improved? What would those improvements look like, and what is the best way to attain them?
  • Listen to your team. Work with each level of your team, from individual employees to whole departments, and collaborate to build a list of necessary features for your field service software.

Focus on the future.

As important as it is to assess your business's current standing, it's equally important to consider the growth you're trying to encourage. When you determine where you'd like your business to be in the next quarter, year or decade, it's easier to establish the support you need to get there.

The field service software you choose today needs to be flexible enough to keep up with your growing, ever-evolving business. New circumstances and processes are sure to arise, and your field service software needs to be capable of adapting to these changes without hindering your company’s productivity in the meantime.

Differentiate between specificity and constraint.

It's nice to have specificity in your software, but only if you’ve designed it. But, specificity that's ideal for another business translates to constraint for your business. It's important to recognize the difference so you're not tied to a solution that simply doesn't fit your needs, only because you've been blinded by the face-value specificity it offers. In addition, many field service applications are so specifically designed that they may not work for your system at all. Functionality is diminished because the system has been designed with someone else in mind.

Go mobile and global.

Mobile accessibility is particularly important for businesses in the field service industry, so your field service software needs to be easily accessible via a laptop, smartphone or tablet. One of the easiest ways to ensure this accessibility is to migrate your business management software to the cloud.

Field service technicians need specific job and customer history, equipment specifics and warranty information. Your oil rig drivers need directions for effectively navigating and getting to and from job sites. Your accounting department manager needs to have access to customer payment information as it's being entered into the system. Ultimately, your application should be accessible by everyone from your FSEs to your CEO.

Your software should be multi-functional, featuring general tasks and department-specific capabilities. All of your employees should be on the same global system, so your field service software needs to have capabilities that span every department in your business.

When it comes time to consider new field service software, don't tie yourself to a solution that's too specific to actually benefit your business. Start with your goals to find a field service software solution that suits your needs. Your smarter approach is rewarded when your business grows and flourishes.

Learn more about SMB Suite's comprehensive cloud ERP software. Our suite of business management tools integrates field service software, accounting and payroll, business intelligence and much more. Let us take care all of your departments' needs and help your business not only grow, but thrive.

Find Your ERP Solution