project document management automation tips for field service

7 ways automation impacts field service today

Automation is expanding its role in industrial and business functions. Gartner predicts 69% of managers’ routine tasks will be fully automated by 2024. Automation allows leaders to focus more on customer experiences, high-level decision making and empowering their employees — by reducing risk, labor hours, and the time it takes to complete everyday tasks. 

Yet, field service and construction teams have been slow to replace tedious manual tasks with automation. They struggle to identify the best tools for collaboration and approval functions required in automating processes from the field to the office. If you find your team in a similar situation, this list should spark some ideas to improve your operations: 7 Ways Automation Impacts Field Service Today. 

1. Maintain Accuracy With Project Document Management Software

Paper systems are error-prone and costly. Construction Business Owner estimates companies incur $10 in costs each time a single piece of paper is submitted for processing by field service operatives. Real-time, automated data exchanges via modern project document management software are replacing repeated manual entries required by paper-based systems, saving time and money. Modern project management tools also empower mobile field service teams by allowing them to access documents from any device or location; which reduces errors when transmitting data from the field between multiple departments. 

2. Update Field Data Across Back-Office Systems

Countless construction companies struggle with legacy back-office systems. Most have at least three systems involved in everyday processes, according to Field Technologies Online. But document management automation can update data accurately across any number of systems, removing the risk of errors and replacing tedious tasks.

3. Auto-Populating Work Order Forms

Field technicians spend countless hours filling out paperwork in the field. This is time spent away from servicing customers. But companies can add even more value via digital reporting using software that auto-completes repetitive fields in work orders. Auto-complete tools may save only 30-seconds or so per work order, but this adds up to hundreds of hours of saved for your entire workforce. Imagine what you can accomplish with those time savings! 

4. Accurately Track Team Locations and Progress

Tardiness and logistical problems are inevitable. What matters is how you respond. New systems allow managers to track technicians’ progress and locations and easily update customers about arrival times, delays, and potential problems. Many of these functions can be automated so they are easily activated when time is critical. Email integration, real-time progress reporting, and other automated features make anticipating delays easier for all parties — including customers.

5. Schedule Recurring Maintenance

Your teams may visit certain sites regularly for maintenance. Automation makes managing these functions easy. Workflow automation solutions free managers from having to manually reschedule services, while also allowing them to centralize critical data teams need for recurring jobs.

6. Automatically Attach Field Data and Files

No job is the same, and saving unique files such as photos with GPS coordinates, and markups to inspection forms are necessary. Manual processes are prone to human error with incorrect data entry, lost documents, or overlooked files. Automated tools simplify these processes in one unified system. Field reps and site engineers can easily update, edit, store, manage and distribute all documents and files immediately — eliminating the high cost and risk of human error.

7. Conduct Site Inspections and Monitor Inventory

Document management automation can handle just about any routine task. This includes site inspections that feature regular criteria and inventory reporting. Automated systems can update teams when inventory is low and indicate when site inspections are required for compliance purposes. 

If you’re having problems implementing automation for your field team, or don’t even know where to start, we’re here to help. Field teams use Fluix to complete routine tasks in seconds, simplifying complex workflows into a few taps of a button on their iPads. You can launch Fluix as a standalone solution, or integrate it into your existing digital toolbelt. Best of all, Fluix scales easily to meet your business demands. Start your free trial now.