Field Service Management App Development : Off-the-Shelf v/s Custom Solutions

17 Feb 2022

You’ll require essential capabilities like work order management, scheduling, and dispatching to stay successful in Field Service Management (FSM). Because many of your problems will be traced back to inefficiencies in these key competencies, whether it’s bad customer service, low production, or safety concerns.

There are simply too many variables to keep track of when it comes to field services. A custom field service management app, on the other hand, provides complete visibility into all of your operations. As a result, more than 75% of field service organizations with more than 50 employees will use mobile apps that go beyond simple data collection by 2020. Adding features that will assist their staff to succeed and increase overall business efficiency.

Bespoke FSM Apps vs. Off-the-Shelf FSM Software Apps

When it comes to mobile for FSM, it’s critical to consider all of your possibilities. However, many off-the-shelf field service management apps have the problem of attempting to provide an all-in-one solution. As a result, we have a system that no one likes! And one of the most appealing features, the inexpensive cost, vanishes as soon as you try to customize the app to meet your specific requirements. Furthermore, off-the-shelf apps are tailored to you as a business. That is, they were created with your business goals in mind, not the demands of your users.

A bespoke field service management app, on the other hand, is tailored to your unique business and, more crucially, your unique users. With personalized user research and discovery phases, you’ll be able to see where mobile may help your FSM operations the most.

Features of the Field Service Management Software App

The early applications were created in the style of websites, with the goal of capturing and pinning people. However, it became clear over time that consumers do not utilize mobile apps in the same way they do the web. Instead, they want a task-specific mobile app with a slick user interface. When it comes to automating tedious and time-consuming processes, mobile is at its finest.

Your staff will receive jobs promptly with proactive alerts, keeping everyone informed at all times, thanks to a custom mobile solution. Many of your employees’ low-level jobs are automated with an FSM system, which sends customer reminders, ETA alerts, and job updates automatically. Increasing the likelihood of clients renewing their contracts with you by improving the customer experience.

Your staff, on the other hand, may effortlessly update jobs while on the go. This allows your customer care staff to respond to issues in real-time while your employees remain on the premises. Using mobile means no more misplaced paperwork or receipts. As a result, your customer support professionals won’t have to rely on inefficient, paper-based processes or word-of-mouth anymore. Instead, they get immediate access to real-time job opportunities.

Your custom FSM system can then generate timesheets and invoices automatically as a result of all of this. Allowing you to invoice faster and immediately produce unique, up-to-date reports. This allows you to keep a far closer eye on the progress of your employees’ jobs and the overall performance of your company. As a result, mobile devices result in more productive employees and happier customers. However, how will this change in the future of field services?

Future of Field Service Management App

Your users will demand a lot more from your app in the post-app age. Even if it means they will spend less time there. This involves utilizing upcoming technologies such as speech technology and artificial intelligence to create more personalized, proactive experiences.

For example, you might use the built-in gyroscopes on your company handset to restrict you from using your phone while driving. As a result, your employees’ safety is ensured. Alternatively, you may use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to schedule your staff more effectively, balancing worker skills with consumer expectations.

So, what does this mean for field service management apps development?

10 Steps to follow for Field Service Management App or Software Development

1. Define your business objectives and accompanying mobile strategy in advance

Gather stakeholders and create a mobile strategy for the goals you wish to achieve. Choose a seasoned mobile solutions provider to assist you in defining your mobile strategy and guiding you through deployment. Define a quantified business case that is linked to business goals and addresses real benefits such as cost reductions through efficiency improvements, additional revenue, or improved customer experience.

2. Create a roadmap for mobile use cases and solutions

Prioritize fundamental functionality that will provide a great user experience and add value to the business. Not every scenario lends itself to the deployment of a mobile app. Make sure your business stakeholders, as well as your IT team and/or mobile solutions vendor, are involved in defining the mobile use case.

3. Make device selections for your field service company

Allow your device decision to be guided by your business and technological needs. Determine whether your device strategy is BYOD (bring your own device) or established by your organization or service provider. BYOD lowers capital costs, however, company-provided devices allow more device uniformity and control over device configuration and maintenance throughout the whole organization.

Take into account the device’s form factor, operating system, hardware performance, battery life, ruggedness, and required accessories. Choose gadgets that will outlast the “platform wars” on mobile. Consider things like coverage, device support, contracts, performance, and service features like the ability to call and use data services on a smartphone at the same time.

4. Choose a platform for your mobile app

Is your app going to be a native app, a Web app, or a hybrid of the two?

Consider the trade-off between performance and usability. Do your field services organization or corporation as a whole has internal mobile IT standards?

Early on in the process, check in with IT to determine where they stand on the mobile app development platform. The platform choices are also inextricably linked to the device choice. When developing a native mobile app, be sure which mobile device you choose, Android or iOS also as a business you can consider cross-platform app development for your field service management app. Cloud-based app solutions may be swiftly modified and deployed, and they come with a variety of mobile alternatives, ranging from a laptop offline client to a variety of smartphones.

5. Pay special attention to usability and user experience

Develop an app that is intuitive, uses multitouch gestures for touch-enabled devices, is optimized for the device form factor, and follows platform design standards by investing incorrect user interface design and information architecture.

6. Take care of any integration issues

What kind of real-time integration is necessary for cloud-based SaaS solutions (e.g. CRM [customer relationship management], SCM [supply chain management], ERP [enterprise resource planning]) or older systems? Do you require the capacity to work offline?

Also read: Customized Asset Tracking & Management Mobile App to simplify business operations

7. Test,test,test

Test the user interface, functionality, and any integration points thoroughly. Also, instead of using simulators, test on actual devices, and test in the field to simulate a “day in the life” to assess performance and battery life.

8. Prepare for the deployment of field services

Consider deploying to a small launch group first, then fine-tuning before going live with the larger rollout. Create a plan for how users will be activated, such as regionally, by sales/service channel, and so on. Maintain open lines of communication throughout the process.

9. Don’t Forget the Importance of Change Management

Create detailed launch plans that include defined tasks and accountability for the launch. Training should be provided for both the device and the application. Consider training first-level managers who will then train others. Adoption should be measured and remedied as needed. Define the project’s success measures (KPIs) well in advance of its debut. After the launch, collect user input and track performance using pre-defined KPIs.

10. Support for users through a help desk and app upkeep

A multi-tiered support crew can help with device setup questions as well as functional and technical support from the field. Also, employ the first-level management team to provide direct super-user support to end-users.

Pratik Gothaliya

Pratik Gothaliya is the Founder and CTO of Quest Infosense, A web & Mobile app development company. Pratik has accomplished over 9 years of experience in the software industry. Being an integral part of the company he assures uncluttered functionality for service or products development to clients. he promptly stands with unparalleled accomplishment for his clients and people.

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