Transforming a company’s field service operations using field service apps can be a key component of a company’s drive to digital transformation.
When companies embark on digital transformations, they frequently target their core business processes and IT infrastructure. Often overlooked, though, is the role a company’s field service operations can play in digital transformation. Transforming field service operations using mobile applications can be a key component of a company’s drive to digital transformation.
Benefits of Digital Transformation in Field Services
That’s one of the takeaways in an article published by the global consulting management company ATKearny in its article, “Field Services Races Toward Digital.” The piece notes that, “Some companies uncover as much as $20 million in annual cost savings by adopting new digital approaches, insight-enriched customer relationships, and advanced data analytics.”
The article also says using digital tools like mobile apps for field service workers increases customer satisfaction. Going mobile helps companies gain new customers, reduce costs, and improve deliveries. It also frees up customer service agents for more valuable tasks such as sales calls.
Gartner's “Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management,” found that “By 2020, 70% of organizations will cite customer satisfaction as a primary benefit derived from implementing field service management, up from approximately 50% today.” Gartner analysts report, “By 2020, more than 75% of field service organizations with over 50 users will deploy mobile apps that go beyond simplified data collection and add capabilities that help technicians succeed.”
"By 2020, more than 75% of field service organizations with over 50 users will deploy mobile apps that go beyond simplified data collection and add capabilities that help technicians succeed."
The ATKearny article emphasizes that arming field technicians with mobile devices and apps that only handle logistics isn’t enough. Companies need to use field service apps for much more, in particular gathering important customer data (aka, mobile data collection solutions). That data can then be analyzed to help transform the way the entire business operates. The article concludes, “Placing the customer at the center of digital transformation tends to guide strategies for improving other services and processes.”
4 Necessary Features for Mobile Field Service App
In particular, field service management software it can accomplish these four important steps:
- Ensure visibility into future demand. This is vital for a customer-focused enterprise.
- Match supply with demand. The article notes, “With greater insight into demand, the next step is to meet the demand in a cost-effective manner. Flexibility in areas such as labor arrangements and scheduling practices is becoming the hallmark of labor policies at top field-service companies.”
- Digitally improve demand forecasting. The article points to a gas company that digitized its field service workers. As a result, “Nearly 95 percent of all deliveries were automatically forecasted, compared to zero under the old model when staff members determined delivery schedules. For the customers, this means they rarely run out of gas. For the company, it means fewer resources are expended to make each delivery.”
- Drive workflow and standardize processes. The same gas company, the article says, “Implemented a workforce mobility solution across its fleets. This solution interfaces with its existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) and back-office systems, seamlessly capturing and transferring data to and from the field. The solution automates the entire gas delivery process, eliminating error-prone manual calculations and paper processes. The new technologies reduce fixed costs and allow service centers to concentrate on what they do best: deliver gas.”
Best Software to Build Field Service Apps
Alpha TransForm is ideally suited for building mobile apps for field service workers. Alpha TransForm crafts mobile field service apps in minutes. The apps have offline capabilities and utilize the latest mobile features (camera, GPS, etc.) for fast, accurate data capture.
Allow your mobile workforce to:
- view service history of customers
- receive push notifications
- receive and update work orders
- access service reports
- capture customer signatures
And with Alpha TransForm your technicians can access and use the app without internet connectivity.
Alpha Anywhere has the unique ability to rapidly create intelligent mobile forms and field apps that can easily access and integrate with any database or web service. These apps can also exploit built-in role-based security or robust offline functionality.
Field Service App Case Studies
Many companies have built field service apps with Alpha Software technology, including field inspection apps:
- A major offshore drilling company built a mobile app to capture real-time maintenance information.
- American Pool, the largest commercial swimming pool management company in the United States, gave supervisors and maintenance technicians mobile access to its CRM platform. Field workers could access data in real-time and easily collect field data.
- The Inventory Services Network built a powerful, high-speed inventory data capture solution with Alpha Software technology.
Free Field Service App
Alpha Software created a sample field service app template you can download for free. For details and to access the sample app for free, read my blog post, “Inspection Apps For Field Workers: A Field Service App Template.”