Field Service Management (FSM) systems serve as invaluable tools for effectively coordinating teams of field workers.
By streamlining and automating various processes, these systems empower organizations to efficiently plan tasks and optimize travel routes to the next job locations, among other benefits. Furthermore, FSM systems enable comprehensive record-keeping of work details, facilitate reporting on task execution and subsequent settlements, and simplify the creation of insightful summary reports. Incorporating FSM systems can yield a substantial enhancement in work execution efficiency while simultaneously reducing operational costs. Despite their numerous advantages, there exist many misconceptions surrounding these systems.
In this article, we want address and debunk ten common myths related to field work and worker management.
Myth 1: FSM systems are expensive
Many entrepreneurs, especially in the small and medium-sized business sector, assume that FSM systems are far beyond their financial reach. When thinking about implementing any system, it is, without any doubt crucial to factor in the costs. However, it is equally vital to assess the potential benefits of such an investment.
FSM systems like GeoTask & GeoTraxx, excel in automating work planning and routing processes. By doing so, they not only reduce the time spent on planning but also enhance task execution efficiency. This, in turn, allows businesses to accomplish up to 40% more work within the same time frame.
All this translates into:
- reduced operating costs,
- lower vehicle operating costs,
- better use of employees’ time
- higher quality of service,
- greater customer satisfaction,
leading to significant gains that can far outweigh the initial cost considerations. This last aspect – customer satisfaction – is one of the most important features letting companies stand out from their competitors. According to Gartner’s survey on Customer Experience, already 2/3 of companies are competing primarily in the field of customer experience.
Software providers also present the opportunity to take advantage of different billing models, tailored to accommodate the diverse needs of companies of various sizes. This flexibility ensures that businesses can harness the full potential of FSM systems without incurring extra costs, aligning the pricing structure with their specific requirements, and optimizing the utilization of these tools.
In our experience, the implementation of a Field Service Management system pays off as soon as you manage a medium-sized fleet or team, starting from 25 users (licenses). So, it is undeniably a wise investment in the development of the company.
Myth 2: FSM systems are difficult to use
While there is always a learning curve and a so-called “transition period” in which users have to get used to a new tool, modern FSM systems like GeoTask & GeoTraxx are designed with users and their convenience in mind.
GeoTask & GeoTraxx show a particularly strong emphasis on aesthetics (which, as research shows, enhance productivity). The system is also constantly improved taking into account user feedback, so subsequent changes are made to solve real problems that users encounter in their daily work. You can also test the GeoTask & GeoTraxx system for free and see how it performs in a specific company and industry.
For some of our customers, users of GeoTask & GeoTraxx, a short 1.5-hour training on the system was enough to immediately start using the solution efficiently while they gradually explored more advanced functionalities.
Myth 3: FSM systems are only for large enterprises:
It’s a common misconception that FSM systems are only suitable for large enterprises with very large field crews and hundreds or thousands of tasks completed each month. While it’s true that in these companies, these types of systems are particularly helpful, if not essential foe efficient work execution, the reality is that FSM solutions can be customized to meet the needs of companies of all sizes, including smaller ones. Even with a task volume of only 150-200 per month, it is worth considering using task management automation with FSM.
At this level of operational scale, the intricacies of task planning and settling become sufficiently complex. Consequently, employing a solution crafted for field work and employee management can bring tangible financial benefits.
Shorter delivery times, improved service quality, and lower operating costs. GeoTraxx supports DBEST, a Polish furniture producer and distributor.
See how GeoTraxx has helped DBEST streamline the furniture delivery process from ordering to delivery, and how it has helped improve service quality while reducing the associated costs.
Myth 4: FSM systems are only designed to manage technicians in the field
Some believe that FSM systems are only designed to manage the work of field technicians. While this is indeed their primary function, FSM systems have a much broader application. It can include:
This makes them valuable tools for various departments & roles within a company including dispatchers, inventory managers and customer service teams.
The aforementioned work reporting capabilities are especially noteworthy. They provide a problem-free way of demonstrating that a task has been completed in alignment with the specific requirements of the client or ordering party. For instance, consider a scenario where a manufacturer contracts a delivery company for furniture transport; in such cases, these systems prove invaluable in showcasing adherence to conditions defined by the client.
In the GeoTask & GeoTraxx systems, from the mobile application, it is possible to take photos – i.e., provide photographic documentation of the execution of the work, fill out forms or submit a signature.
If conditions preclude typing (the employee’s hands are busy, it’s too cold), they can use the voice control option and simply dictate the necessary information.
An interior design company
Learn how GeoTask helped to improve the work of dispatchers, field staff, and consultants as well as customer service in the area of claims, and furniture delivery & installation.
Myth 5: FSM systems are only for technical industries
There is a widespread belief that FSM systems are primarily intended for technical industries such as energy, district heating, water & sewerage, or telecommunications – where a lot of work is related to network maintenance and expansion.
Although these industries are indeed the ones that use FSM systems most commonly, this type of solution is flexible and can be adapted to many different types of work. They will come in handy wherever there are many geographically dispersed tasks to be performed. They will work great in areas such as furniture delivery and assembly, sales support, field surveys, home services, healthcare, insurance, repairs, customer installations and more.
Learn how GeoTask supports the processes of sampling planning and sample marking and delivery to the laboratory at J.S. Hamilton.
Myth 6: FSM systems are only for companies that provide services
It’s not true that Field Service Management systems are only applicable to service provision companies. Although they are most quickly associated with repair or maintenance work, FSM systems will work equally well for managing your own infrastructure and tasks within your organization.
FSM systems are also great for manufacturing companies that have their own or leased transportation fleet making deliveries of their own products. The system allows you to distribute tasks between your own employees and subcontractors depending on needs, availability, and other parameters.
Myth 7: FSM systems require a continuous Internet connection
It is a common misconception that FSM systems are completely dependent on a continuous Internet connection. GeoTask & GeoTraxx solutions, allow users to access relevant information in the mobile application even in areas with poor or no Internet access. When the connection is restored, the data is synchronized, ensuring that the information is up to date.
Myth 8: FSM systems are not secure
The primary concern here, of course, is that of the security of the data collected in the system. Serious FSM system providers are aware of this, which is why they prioritize this topic and implement appropriate security measures, such as regular security tests, security audits performed by external companies and others.
The FSM systems we offer are available in a SaaS model in the Google Cloud environment, which is a highly secure environment, as confirmed by many certificates.
The solutions can also be installed on the user’s infrastructure, which gives them full control over the system and the data stored in it.
When deciding on an FSM system, it is always a good idea to pay special attention to the security aspect and ask the provider what their approach is here.
Myth 9: FSM systems are only for companies with complex work processes
Just like size (see: myth 3), the complexity of a company’s processes is not necessarily a contraindication to using field worker management systems.
FSM systems such as GeoTask & GeoTraxx can be adjusted to the complexity of the user’s processes. It can handle the very complex ones brilliantly but will work equally well for relatively simple processes.
What is key here is the dispersion of work in the field and the large number of tasks to be performed. If you spend several hours a day arranging work schedules, it is worth considering automation.
Furthermore, even in cases of straightforward logistics operations (such as executing a simple service or delivery task) effective communication of the action plan to the task requester holds paramount importance. It ensures that the ordering party gains a comprehensive understanding of the fieldwork company’s operational plans and enables them to prepare necessary materials accordingly. The FSM system plays a vital role in simplifying and enhancing this essential communication process.
In conclusion, whether you are dealing with simple or extremely complex processes in your company, it is worth checking out the capabilities of the FSM system. These are very flexible tools, giving you the ability to adapt to extremely diverse requirements – specific to your industry or even a particular company.
Myth 10: They are difficult to implement
Nowadays, cloud-based systems (SaaS) are very popular and widespread, which means that all you need is access to a web browser and login credentials to use the system. You don’t need any special infrastructure to run the application or an IT team to take care of it. You can even start using the system the very next day after making the purchase (bearing in mind that you need to feed the system with relevant data about tasks, clients, etc.).
You can choose GeoTask & GeoTraxx in this model or use a more “traditional” version, installed on the user’s infrastructure. Also in this case, it is a very simple process, because GeoTask & GeoTraxx are out of the box solution – ready for implementation right away.
Field Service Management (FSM) systems like GeoTask & GeoTraxx are versatile and flexible solutions, making them suitable for organizations in many industries and of different sizes with varying degrees of process complexity – from the simple to the highly complex and sophisticated.
It’s worth getting to know the essence of FSM systems well. Don’t succumb to myths, take advantage of the opportunities provided by these solutions and improve your company’s operations, increase task execution efficiency, reduce operational costs, increase service quality, and stand out from the competition.