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Field Service Management

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Field service is a difficult job in which workers must be able to perform their tasks in demanding conditions and with a  high level of precision. With Shipcom’s technology advantage, our mobility solutions, and  AIDC technologies implementation, companies can enhance the value of their field technicians by providing them with the timely information, parts, and tools they need to perform the job.

Shipcom’s CATAMARAN® solution allows service technicians to send and receive work orders, document service calls on-site, and order parts all at the point-of-work. By being able to access critical data from the service site, technicians can complete the job correctly the first time, reducing callbacks and improving customer service. Technicians can also generate invoices from back-end systems, receive the customer’s approval and signature, and complete the payment process onsite, thereby decreasing customer disputes, shortening the billing cycle, and improving cash flow.

Additionally, management gains visibility into the activities and efficiency of their field maintenance workforce and can better assign technicians and more effectively manage costs and materials. This leads to more efficient and effective service calls and better customer satisfaction.

Shipcom’s solution effectively covers all aspects of a service business by supporting closed-loop problem resolution in the areas of call handling, preventive maintenance, contracts, schedule optimization, shipping, receiving, depot repair, parts, logistics, inventory management, and invoicing functionality.

AIDC enabled Field Service Processes

 

Customer information management

Successful and profitable business relationships begin with a thorough understanding of customers. It gives a service organization immediate visibility into each customer’s profile and comprehensive relationship information. Accessing this information in the field allows service technicians to understand the type of support they need to deliver.

 

Service request management

Field service applications provide complete call management and resolution capabilities, allowing users to quickly and accurately create, assign, and manage customer service requests. Field engineers, regardless of where they are located, have immediate access to a customer’s complete profile, including existing open issues, related product issues, service agreement information, and information pertaining to the customer’s operating environment. Audit trails allow organizations to maintain security and increase visibility of transactions on key data elements by automatically recording changes made to customer-specified fields within the application.

 

Contracts and warranty management

Effective product warranty tracking can provide a significant productivity gain for service businesses. Defective parts covered by a manufacturer’s warranty can be returned from the field for credit or zero charge repair. Service providers can save considerable amounts of money by closely tracking warranty information and assuring maximum credit for parts. Contract management spans the entire contract life cycle, from opportunity identification, pricing, and proposal generation to service delivery execution on contractual commitments and contract additions to cancellations and renewals. Visibility into product warranty expirations enables an organization to strategically re-prioritize service sales resources to improve customer retention, win-backs, and off warranty contract capture rates.

 

Proactive asset automation

Asset management allows organizations to seamlessly track and manage assets across their customers’ installed bases as well as their own internal service inventories. Many service businesses incur unnecessary costs to repair, replace, or fix products that still have valid manufacturer warranties because they cannot track multi-tiered warranty coverage. The ability to track assets in or out of warranty is therefore critical to running a profitable service business. Parts returned from the field that are under warranty can be returned for credit or zero charge repair. Service providers can avoid substantial costs by closely tracking warranty status and assuring maximum warranty recoveries. Proactive asset automation enables organizations to manage multi-tiered product warranties and, consequently, receive significant service productivity gains.

 

Preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance manages and automates complex proactive services in order to help companies deliver increased value to their customers. Specific assets or entitlements can be associated with a preventive maintenance plan that defines which actions to take and which products to cover based on time interval, usage, threshold, or event triggers. It enables customers to generate preventive maintenance service requests and activities automatically. This often has a critical revenue and cost-avoidance impact for service and creates a higher level of customer service.

 

Dispatch and scheduling optimization

Several tools are available to automate the dispatch and scheduling of field service professionals. Users can view each service region’s schedule and intelligently drag-and-drop new activities onto the dispatch board. Dispatch the right technician, with the right parts, at the right time and deliver the right level of service. Users can compare employee skills with the skills required to perform each activity and return a ranked list of field service personnel to the dispatcher. High priority service activities can be immediately escalated and/or communicated to field service personnel via automated paging and wireless messaging. In your contact center, use knowledge tools for first-tier troubleshooting. In the field, these tools deliver solutions and best practices to your technicians who face complex problems. When you deliver the kind of service your customers demand, you increase loyalty and build profitable relationships.

 

Knowledge management

Field service engineers can manage and locate information and solutions using integrated knowledge management technologies. Field service professionals can locate information quickly and easily from corporate knowledge bases containing technical documents, videos, product specifications, operating procedures, FAQs, web pages, and known customer service solutions. A database of all the marketing and service-related materials is made available to field service professionals so that they are well informed and responsive to customer needs.

 

Workflow management

The best way to reduce costs is to streamline your operations. Automate processes—like dispatch activities and entitlement verification—to increase efficiency and  accuracy. Deliver enhanced workflow capabilities to further automate and standardize business processes. Organizations need to standardize service delivery processes to improve service effectiveness.  Organizations can reduce training time, quickly deploy best practices, and ensure more effective, consistent service. Shipcom’s solution enables businesses to define, automate, and enforce – at a global and local level – specific business rules, policies, and procedures using a graphic, drag-and-drop user interface; it also performs functions such as escalation of overdue service events, email notification, screen pop-ups of events that require action, and data updates to generate callbacks, correspondence, and other actions.

 

Optimized parts and logistics

Logistics and materials managers can now track service inventory and optimize stocking of spare parts. Shipcom’s solution allows field engineers to fully manage their trunk/truck inventory while on the road and quickly perform parts lookups when necessary. Ensure that your team receives the parts they need to do the job right with spare parts inventory and purchasing tools. Minimize repeat trips by field staff and manage costs by controlling parts and develop collaborative relationships with your suppliers. Manage return material authorizations and control shop floor repair processes. Consolidate service order items and ensure accuracy for orders needed to fulfill service calls.

 

Service inventory management

Organizations can manage the entire service parts life cycle. Inventory can be tracked in real time at any level of granularity: trunk inventories, field offices, service warehouses, repair centers, third-party logistics, repair providers, or in any location such as aisle, shelf, or bin. Real-time part information is accessible to the customer service representative, field service engineer, or logistics manager using the part locator systems, which offer real-time access to inventory and allow everyone in the service organization to make informed decisions on parts status and availability. Return merchandise authorizations (RMA) and service orders can be processed, enabling a service organization to react quickly to a customer’s requirements and process service orders in time to meet service level agreements. Dispatchers and field service engineers can use their access to order processing information and parts availability in each trunk stock to synchronize the dispatch of parts and engineers.

 

Service analysis

One of the critical requirements of any enterprise application is the ability to analyze, track, and report on mission-critical business data that is recorded in the application. An excellent enterprise application enables an organization to uncover patterns that help them understand and evaluate their operational costs against performance goals; it also allows organizations to quickly identify root causes of service issues and trends, improve retention by tracking customer satisfaction indicators, analyze revenue trends and drivers, and proactively manage operational performance through analyses such as resolution rates, service provision costs, and service workloads. Dynamic visualization of this information enables service teams to correct product quality issues, working across the enterprise to categorize, prioritize, and assign product defects for resolutions based on incoming customer service requests and root-cause analysis performed during the repair cycle.  Further questions that may be answered include:

 

1. How can I minimize my service call expenses?
2. Is my field operation meeting organizational goals?
3. Which service calls are the most time consuming?
4. How can I improve my field service processes based on historical trends?
5. What is the impact of new product releases on my field staff?

 

Solution Benefits

  • Improve first-time fix rates by receiving the latest work history, repair procedures, and compliance checklists at point-of-work
  • Enable efficient parts selection and delivery by allowing technicians to view parts availability and place orders so that parts arrive at the customer site before the repair visit is scheduled. Further, part orders can also be approved by a customer onsite
  • Improve accounts receivables by updating labor and material charges, receiving customer approval for parts and service costs, generating invoices, capturing customer signatures, and confirming billing information – all onsite – which increases invoice accuracy, reduces customer disputes, and improves cash flow
  • Increase customer service with access to maintenance history and customer profiles. Technicians not only arrive onsite with full knowledge of the repair and correct parts, but they can also up-sell new features and services to customers, improving service and customer retention
  • Improve profitability through the development of profitable pricing models, definition of service level agreements, and validation of entitlements
  • Manage existing accounts more effectively
  • Ensure that contracts start and continue profitably, and that customer commitments are always met
  • Effectively manage complex product warranties for better margins.
  • Increase productivity and design business processes for maximizing revenue
  • Retain your most profitable and valuable customers satisfied by ensuring that your field organization has all the facts before making a service call