For a lot of businesses working in the service sector, such as those offering telecommunications services or heating and plumbing installation, there is a strong reliance on keeping their field engineers connected to the business throughout their day-to-day operation. This is particularly important as it helps to streamline the activity of the engineer, and offer a seamless process for the customer.
Using software and apps to keep field engineers connected can allow them to quickly find customer data, such as addresses and phone numbers, as well as offering the option to quickly order spare parts and provide quotes and invoices to the customer.
Depending on the size of your service business, you may already be considering investing in software to support your field engineers. The 3 examples below demonstrate the different options available, which come with varying levels of features, and costs.
1. Full Service Field Management Software
For larger companies with engineers and staff in the field, such as those installing medical equipment in hospitals and related locations, to those offering services to homes, such as smart meter installations, it’s vital that the engineer is connected to the business and it’s databases.
Field management software, such as that offered by companies like RedZebra Software, offers a full suite of features and options to keep your engineer connected, and efficient in their delivery of the service.
For example, engineers can have full access to the stock list, should they need to order an additional item to complete the job. They can also check existing stock levels and locations, so that they can inform the customer of a delivery date.
Other benefits include digital form filling, reducing time spent and potential errors with handwriting. As well as the option to provide instant quotes and invoices for the customer, helping to reduce admin work later on, and speed up payments.
2. Google Docs
Google Docs, the office suite provided free of charge by Google is the single most used piece of software by the majority of businesses. Mostly used for standard documents, from word processing to spreadsheets. However, with a little knowhow it can also be used to create databases which could be used to help engineers in the field.
It’s worth noting that creating such a system in Google Docs is incredibly timely, and will likely require some expert assistance. It’s also not going to compare in ease of use and list of features compared with a full scale field management software option. But it could be used for more basic things, such as keeping a list of available stock, as well as custom information (providing it is secured and complies with GDPR).
3. Communication Apps
If you’re operating a very small service business without complex needs of field engineers, and have a low to zero budget, you may want to consider using communication apps such as WhatsApp or Skype to help keep your engineers connected.
Such options offer zero ability to access customer databases or stock levels, and certainly won’t offer features for creating invoices or quotes – but they can help to keep your engineers connected to someone in the office, who can provide support over chat or calls.