Help > Glossary > Field Service Management

Field Service Management

For field service managers, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of strategies and approaches that drive the industry forward, and allow you to stay competitive. 

In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about field service management, breaking down the terminology, concepts, key components, and tools that help you keep field operations running smoothly.

What Is Field Service?

Field service refers to a set of activities that involve providing on-site services or support at a customer’s location or in the field.

These activities are typically delivered by a mobile or remote workforce. It may include service technicians, maintenance workers, delivery personnel, and other workers who need to perform tasks and services at customer sites, on the road, or in various locations outside the company’s physical premises.

Depending on the industry, field service can involve different tasks and processes, such as equipment maintenance and repair, installations, deliveries, technical support, consulting, and more. 

To streamline and optimize these activities, businesses often use field service management tools and software.

What Is Field Service Management?

Field service management (FSM) refers to the set of processes and tools businesses use to optimize and streamline the management of their remote or field-based workforce. 

FSM is particularly important for industries like utilities, telecommunications, construction, healthcare, and any business with a substantial field workforce.

Its applications are numerous, and include file access, task completion, communication, dispatch, and coordination. Most of the activities are performed by field service managers who organize fieldwork, gather data, manage inventory, make work assignments and schedules, track work hours, make estimates, and much more. 

To manage these tasks, some companies use traditional systems for field service management where the main focus is on handwritten notes and paper-based processes. 

Most companies, however, have switched to professional software that automates FSM tasks, saving time and improving accuracy and productivity.

How technicians at RWE Renewables reduce daily form completion time by 45%

Who Is a Field Service Engineer?

These professionals complete some of the most common tasks relevant to their lines of business, such as repair, maintenance, and installation. 

For example, a security alarm company and an oil company may both have field service engineers. For the former, if a homeowner reports a malfunctioning alarm system, the engineer visits the home, runs diagnostic tests, and completes necessary repairs. 

For the latter example, the engineer may work on an oil rig. If workers encounter earth they cannot drill into with their current tools, the engineer needs to identify, source, and obtain the equipment they need to finish the job.

Essential Elements of Field Service Management

Several essential aspects go into effective FSM:

  • Scheduling optimization enables companies to assign tasks to the right personnel based on skill sets and proximity, minimizing response times and travel costs.
  • Real-time tracking and monitoring allow you to allocate resources effectively and respond promptly to changes or emergencies.
  • Workforce collaboration tools facilitate seamless communication between on-field workers and back-office teams, enhancing productivity and problem-solving capabilities.
  • Inventory management ensures field workers have access to necessary tools and parts, reducing downtime and improving customer satisfaction.
  • Mobile access and support enable technicians to access information, update records, and communicate with customers while on the go, enhancing efficiency.
  • Data analytics and reporting help businesses gain insights into performance metrics, enabling data-driven decisions and continuous improvement.
  • Customer engagement tools foster better relationships through seamless appointment scheduling and personalized services.

An integrated FSM system incorporating these elements is pivotal for businesses aiming to optimize their field service operations.

What Is a Field Service Report?

A field service report is a document created by a field service engineer to provide a record of activities, tasks, and observations related to a service call, maintenance visit, installation, or repair job conducted at a customer’s site or in the field. 

A report includes the details of the service visit, which are typically the date, time, location, equipment involved, and the specific tasks performed.

It can also include notes on customer interactions, comments, and any special requests or concerns, helping maintain effective communication with the customer.

In some cases, field service reports are mandated by the company policy alone; sometimes they are required by law. Reports are especially important when it comes to incidents involving serious injuries and other catastrophic events. 

A comprehensive field management system, for example Fluix, can ensure you and your field engineers manage your field service documentation properly through automation, digitized reporting, and compliance with standards and regulations.

Benefits of Field Service Management

FSM can help your business streamline operations, enhance customer satisfaction, and improve overall efficiency. Benefits of effective field service management include:

  • Improved productivity. FSM optimizes scheduling and dispatch, helping you allocate the right technicians to the right jobs, reducing travel time, and increasing the number of tasks completed in a day.
  • Better customer satisfaction. Your team can immediately respond to service delays and other issues.
  • Stronger customer retention. According to ZDNet, 94% of customers say they prioritize companies with great service when making repeat buying decisions.
  • Lower costs: You’ll have the data to do field service maintenance and repairs effectively and time them efficiently.
  • Resources for field technicians: They can troubleshoot tasks, comply with rules and regulations, and remain safe while on the job. In addition, a state-of-the-art field management system can help you attract top talent — important when 73% of companies have concerns about eventually replacing their aging field service workforce, according to ReportLinker.
  • Fewer delays to complete requested repairs: This shortens client downtime and increases overall system uptime.

With a strong field service management structure, you can scale your business and enter new markets with efficient operations, faster response times, on-time arrivals, and quicker issue resolution.

What Industries Should Take Advantage of FSM?

FSM can improve operations for any industry that involves:

  • Installation of off-site equipment, like a telecommunications system at an office building
  • Maintenance and repair of off-site equipment, including emergency repairs
  • Scheduled visits, such as home care, social work, or hospice
  • Delivery and fulfillment, such as mail and traveling sales
  • Event management, like deployment of security staff across a broad geographic area

In fact, 86% of decision makers who responded to the ZDNet survey said they see field management as a critical component of business growth.

Why Effective FSM Is Important for Your Business

FSM holds together the many moving parts of your field service operation. 

Without effective management, you increase the risk of operational errors that can waste time and money. These errors can also reduce client confidence and satisfaction.

Data reported by Globe Newswire indicates an FSM market share of $4.24 billion, expected to grow to more than $7 billion by 2027. 

Increasing adoption of digital solutions will drive that growth, especially as businesses access AI tech to automate repeated tasks and processes. 

The report also cites the availability of customizable, usable-friendly software solutions.

Why Should Your Company Consider Field Service Management Software?

Technology plays a critical role in the future of field service management. The modern business world requires managers to embrace software for their companies to compete and thrive. 

In a Finances Online survey, more than half of engineers said they could use software to review the client’s service history before a visit or access service manuals. 

In addition, 48% would rely on these solutions to access the company’s knowledge base, 42% to check the inventory, and 30% to view training modules and videos. 

Adopting an FSM software solution like Fluix will bring these key benefits to your business as well.

Secure Document Storage

It is much easier to secure digital documents than their physical counterparts. 

In addition, you risk losing paper records in the event of a disaster like a flood or fire. You may be unable to retrieve the necessary information, which could have a devastating impact on your business.  

When using Fluix for field service management, you can store and access documents and forms within the platform, making it a centralized repository for critical field-related documents. This can help field service technicians and managers access essential files remotely.

Remote Accessibility and Offline Mode

The ability to work on smartphones and tablets is essential for the remote workforce. This enables field service technicians to access documents and forms remotely, whether they are on-site, in the field, or working from a remote location.

Field service personnel can work with documents and forms in Fluix even when they are in locations with limited or no internet connectivity. Changes and data captured offline can be synchronized when an internet connection is available.

Streamlined Communication

Custom workflows, which can include various steps, such as document reviews, approvals, and task assignments, can help with communication and accountability among team members who are responsible for different services.

For example, field service technicians can be assigned with tasks and have access and update documents and forms in real-time. This means that changes made by one team member are immediately visible to others, facilitating instant communication regarding updates or changes.

In Fluix, you can also send notifications to field service technicians’ devices, keeping them informed of new tasks, updates, or important messages.

Lower Costs

How much would you pay to cut your quality inspection time by 69% or more? 

What would you pay for software that allowed your team to spend 75% less time on reporting or saving 100 days per year on safety reports? 

What would saving $300,000 per year in labor costs mean for your business? 
These are real results from our clients who access our field service management software for as little as $30 per month.

Your Partner for Effective Field Service Management

Effective field service management is vital for businesses as it directly impacts customer satisfaction. It enhances workforce productivity, reducing operational costs and maximizing the number of tasks completed. 

You can achieve this effectiveness by using dedicated software such as Fluix which is  specifically designed for these tasks. 

Fluix is a mobile document and workflow management platform used in field service management. It can offer you features for mobile document access, workflow automation, offline data handling, document sharing, and data collection. 

Proper field service management also maintains equipment and assets, improving their lifespan and reducing downtime, which is critical for various industries, such as manufacturing, utilities, and telecommunication.

Want to Improve Your Field Service Management?
Let our experts show you how to do it in Fluix easily
Was this article helpful?
Thanks for your feedback!
Oops, something went wrong. Please, try again later.
We're sorry about that, please contact our support for help.
1 out of 2 found this helpful