Top 5 considerations when purchasing a field service software solution
Often buying software is the easy part and a field service software solution is no different. There are many additional factors to consider. For example, implementation, access, hardware, and training, are all important in ensuring a successful project. Let's take a look at five key areas to consider when looking for software to help you manage your service and installation business.
Cloud vs on-premise
A web based solution provides a number of advantages including reduced overhead, security, scalability, and more. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is another layer on a Cloud platform. SaaS is a software licensing model in which access to the software is provided on a subscription basis. Additionally, the software is located on external servers, accessed over the internet, rather than on servers located in-house. An external service provider manages and maintains the software. SaaS gives businesses the flexibility to achieve what they need without the burden of paying for and maintaining a server on-premise.
Company or personal mobile devices
Many organizations have a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy. It is important to consider if you want your field workers using their own mobile device or one that is set up by your IT department. If they are using their own device you need to consider data security. Important considerations on the security side include data encryption, data storage, data ownership, management of personally identifiable information, and much more.
If your field workers are using their own device it will be impossible standardize on one platform. For corporate devices there could be a learning curve for users and training required. Additionally, ensure the field service software solution being considered operates on all of the platforms.
With workers in the field internet access is not always possible. You need to ensure your field service solution provides both offline and online access. Firstly, this ensures critical information is captured in the field when it is top of mind. Secondly, it eliminates the use of paper forms in situations where internet access isn't available. Lastly, it can synced to the field service solution or ERP when mobile access is available.
Classroom training for technicians in the field isn't practical. In many cases, they are out on service calls and rarely in the office. Additionally, they don't have the time to devote to day long training courses. You need a solution that provides easy access to how-to videos, virtual training and a knowledge base. This enables users to train at their convenience and access help information as needed.