software, apps

SaaS solutions for fieldservices

Slowly SaaS increases it’s marketshare and becomes a more acceptable solution in today business. Better and faster technology certainly contributes to this development. Reliable and fast access is important, especially when it concerns field services.

Traditional field services.
For years it has been a challenge for many companies to organize field services. The field engineers with direct client contact are much more difficult to manage then any other in-house department. How did they spent there time? Are they really client oriented in their contacts? Is the work executed in a effective and efficient manner? In most cases these questions led to a immense flow of paperwork. Each and everything needed to be registered by the field engineers. The downside was that field service spent a significant part of their time on administration. Most of the cases not their core knowledge. Neither a desirable way as it prevents them from doing exactly what they are supposed to do: Offer services to your clients, in either repair, maintenance or controls.

For quite some years we are familiar with small mobile solutions that offer administrative support. Mobile order and time registration slowly started to gain foothold. However, the first devices had quite a limited capacity. Slow processors and hardly any memory. It restricted the possibilities to diminish the red-tape. As a result, many field engineers did not see the advantage for their work. It led in many cases to resistance among the engineers. Another disadvantage was the limited synchronization options. In case an order or time is registered on a mobile device, an organization requires to transfer this information digitally without to much manual interference. Existing financial, order or even ERP systems had quite some problems to handle the mobile information. Expensive interfaces were required.

With the rise of SaaS a new range of opportunities became at hand. SaaS takes the other route, by creating a cloud that can be accessed from every angle. Whether you are at home, in the field or at office. The Cloud is a central point of software applications that offer various solutions for your enterprise. It allows the mobile devices to connect to the software at any moment and synchronize the information. Todays SaaS solutions offer the opportunity for seamless integration with existing ERP systems. It allows to setup a fully digital connection between back-offices and field services. But also Sales can easily take advantage of the mobile solutions. With Apps, solutions such as visit reports, CRM, parts management and time registration are possible. Todays devices and connection have progressed in such a way that every field worker can actually experience the advantages. It finally allows to eliminate the immense paper stream.

An important factor while implementing SaaS solutions is trust. Organizations should be aware that the primary work of field engineers or account managers, is to serve your clients. Not to load them with a broad spectrum of registration, although that becomes quite tempting. Organizations should focus on the information that really contributes to a better service. To improve the quality and reliability of work. In case of regular maintenance solid planning can be adopted, but when it concerns fast reaction repairs services, rigid planning will frustrate your process, engineer and finally your client. Todays clients demand a first time solution. The engineer should have the time and means to realize such service. That means that the planning shifts from full control to monitoring the progress and interferes only on strong variations. Analysis on data can point out trends and developments which can be adapted in the process execution. But especially when it concerns customized and specialized services, the organization should give trust and responsibility to the field engineer.

Devices and upgrades.
Upgrades of the SaaS applications can be fully tailor-made. Either a company accepts the general upgrades, which are initiated upon requests of all users. It can also pass upgrades or request company specific developments. Choosing the right mobile devices can be tricky. Is the device workable for the engineer in terms of user friendly, good graphic interface and quickly accessible software? Also should companies be aware the upgrades of software can have a significant impact on the performance of the devices, but also the upgrade of the firmware can interfere with your software. As todays developments on mobile devices are at top gear, careful selection and consideration is anything but a luxury. During various implementation projects, this part of the work appeared to consume most of the project time.