Field service software are great. They enable you to gain a lot of insights into what your team is doing. They also enable to save time and money by digitizing and automating time-consuming tasks.
But when saying that, the answer is always the same. "It's for big businesses"; "I don't have the resources for that"; "It's way too complex". That's why we created this blog posts, to give you 5 hidden tips to start with Field Service Software for your small business.
The first question you might ask yourself is why trouble getting field service software at all? There are a lot of reasons but let me give you three :
- Stop asking "What are you doing?" With a field service software, you always know what your operators are doing.
- Stop asking "Where are you now?" With a field service software, you always know where your operators are.
- Start saving time. With a field service software, you don't have to ask the same questions over and over again and you don't have to trouble yourself with complex paper processes to get your on-side report.
That's only a fraction of the reasons why a field service software is good for your small business.
So where should you start with the process of implementing this new software for your field services? Let me give you my first tip.
That's the most important advice you can get when starting with any digitalization project. And it's key for small business starting with field service software.
Why? Because there is a lot of possibilities. You can always go one step further. Get one more information, automate one more process, etc. But that's a slippery slope. Continue on that trend and you will build a huge software infrastructure costing you a limb and that no one in your team is going to use.
For each thing you want a software to do, ask yourself two questions :
- Is it long to do this task manually?
- Do I frequently do this?
If you answered yes to both questions, that's a task you need to do with software. If you answered yes to one question only, having software to do this task will be helpful for you. However, if you answered no to both questions, do not focus on digitizing this for now.
For field service, we have found that the vast majority of people answer twice yes for tasks such as writing on-site reports, sharing those reports with their manager, billing customers or finding out which operator I can send to an urgent job.
For a small business, you have to focus yourself on the "twice yes" tasks. That's where your field service software will bring the best value. Start small; you can always add layers of automation or complexity later if necessary.
This one might feel a bit obvious but it's an important step. To gain the best value out of your field service software, you have to outline your one goal. Having a single goal will help you throughout the usage of your software.
In the beginning, keep your goal quite realistic and limited and to something that will help you. A realistic and limited goal is not bad. It's good. It helps you focus only on software that can bring you great value.
This goal will be your compass throughout the process of selecting and starting with field service software. Always keep it in mind and come back to it. And later, with experience, expand your goal.
For small businesses that are looking into field service software, the most common goals are "Automatically create bills for my customer"; "Keep an eye of where my team is" or "Keep track of all activities performed by my team".
You can check all the features bMoves has to offer to get a look at what you can do.
After having your goal set. You have to define clearly what your needs are to achieve your goal. What are the features that you need? What are the features that would be nice?
List every one of those features in a document. Next to it, enter if the feature is critical (you absolutely need it), important (you need it), or nice to have (it would be useful). Later, when you are reviewing your options, come back to this document. Adapt it if necessary. It's your roadmap to select the perfect field service software you need for your small business.
For most small businesses, when they are looking for field service software. Their needs are quite similar. So, below we list the most common needs described by the majority of small businesses.
- A single, easy to use online software
- A mobile application to record my work
- A platform to visually supervise the work of my team
- The possibility to create, tailor or adapt on-site reports
- A tool to export custom reports
- The possibility to create, remove or update users and their accesses
But more than the features, your needs should also include what you need from the company selling you the field service software. That's stuff like being available to answer my questions, offer available online help, etc.
You have several field service software to choose from on the market. Some good, some complex, some small. You have a lot to choose from. The reflex might be to discuss with some salespeople and chat about their field service software. Then see a demo, get a quote and buy the system.
Well, that's a way to do it. But as a small business, you have a huge opportunity to do this better. You can review it yourself and start using it yourself.
You might ask, how can you review a field service software for your small business? Well, the best way is to get your hand on it! So, target free field service software only and create yourself an account. Free field service software can be of several types :
- Free trial : This type of software offers you a limited time during which you can test it before having to buy it.
- Freemium : This type of software offers you an unlimited time but limits the features you can access
- Free software : This type gives you access to everything features for free, forever. That's the best type to choose because you are not stressed by a clock nor are a limited set of features
So, the best is to pick only free software. That way you can really get your hands on everything the free field service software has to offer you.
One last thing, be careful not to use free software that requires you to enter your credit card information for the free part of it. If you do, they might bill you some things without you realizing you are using paid features.
That's the last tip for you. You should try bMoves, our free field service software. bMoves is built with small businesses in mind and we built it with the help and partnership of several field services team and businesses. With their feedbacks (and we hope also yours in the future), we are always improving our solution to better serve you.
At his core, bMoves is a mobile application. This application geolocates and records everything you do when working. You can fill in custom on-site reports and forms, take notes and use equipment or consumables. Everything done with the bMoves app is visualizable by you in live mode (and up to 10 years in the past). And everything can be exported in custom reports ready to be shared with customers or stakeholders.
For a nice overview of what bMoves is, check the video below. It takes less than a minute and will give you an overview of what you can do with bMoves.