Field service management software is quickly becoming a must-have for many industries that have traditionally relied on 50-year-old telephone and paper-based processes. With the power to reduce costs and boost efficiency, these type of solutions enable companies to track requests and manage field staff, while giving them full visibility across different operations at a distance of a click.
However, for many companies, it is also one of the most difficult pieces of the digital transformation puzzle. More often than not, these companies simply don’t have the in-house expertise needed to go through the process of identifying what their customers want and need, building the field service management application, and then integrating it into their existing systems.
But here’s why field service management applications are both unique and necessary; unlike the rest of your business, corralled and contained neatly in offices, field services take place, well, in the field. Field-based employees are creating and collecting just as much data (perhaps more) as employees in the office. And it’s your data, from your customers. Not some random data list you pray is applicable to your business. There are many benefits to having your own field service management software, but the trick is having one that fits your business.
Benefits and Challenges of Field Service Management Software: Off-the-Shelf Versus Custom Solutions
Field service management solutions play a major role in the customer experience strategy of any company with field operations. By accessing information whenever and wherever they need, technicians can streamline processes and orders between the field and the office, pull up a customer’s history onsite, provide instructional material or other general information, all while automating tasks and reducing the risk of human error.
Numerous vendors have popped up with commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS) field service tools, which provide a solution for some, but often require months of customization to fit the exact business need. And for a long time, the alternative—custom-fit solutions—was only an option for the few businesses with the resources and employee-power to afford such an expensive and time-consuming endeavor.
Today, with the introduction of low-code and cloud technology, the possibilities of developing custom, fit-for-purpose field service management software have grown exponentially. It’s now possible to develop a custom-fit application that's designed specifically for what a company needs.
4 Best Examples of Field Service Management Software
To help demonstrate how accessible custom field service solutions are, here’s a collection of some of the best field service apps that we know. Each comes from a different sector and serves different needs, and each is a custom built solution made possible by low-code.
Americares Streamlines Resource Planning While Saving Lives
Most apps are designed to save time and resources. Only a few can claim that they help save lives. The field services app Americares built to manage disaster relief supplies and teams is one such life-saving app.
When disasters strike, Americares sends in emergency response teams to work with local partners to distribute medicine and other resources to the people who need them most. Managing the logistics, shipping, and distribution of these teams and resources is vital to ensuring that limited supplies are available to as many people as possible.
Working in a post-disaster environment usually means working offline, so Americares created a database driven app that connects to their ERP and their local partner’s APIs. This allows Americares to manage orders, inbound and outbound shipments, inventory, partners, and the countries they serve, all in one application.
Learn more and watch a video on Americares’ app here.
Controlling an Inventory of Hundreds of Thousands of Yak Mats on the Road
The majority of product inventories are stored safely at home in a warehouse. Unlike those, Yak Access’s inventory lives on the road—or rather, for the heavy construction vehicles that install our powerlines and pipelines, their inventory is the road. In other words, their inventory comprises hundreds of thousands of hardwood access mats that constantly move across North America anywhere a temporary road solution is needed.
When YakMat decided to replace their ERP system, they took that opportunity to also build front-end apps for the new ERP that would perfectly suit their needs rather than relying on packages that might not be a good fit. With the new ERP in place, they built an accompanying custom YAK MAT Tracker app to streamline the ability to track inventory, create shipments for customers, and keep customers informed of their order status. Order status is especially important when a customer has a large order of mats that must be delivered in thousands of truckloads.
The coolest part? The solution incorporates RFID technology implanted into each hardwood mat. Employees simply scan the mat like an item in a grocery queue, and the YAK MAT tracker app automatically collects the data and adds it to the database. This allows YAK MAT to send daily status reports about the total number of, and the exact location of, each mat to customers and keep them extremely satisfied.
Read the complete case study on YAK MAT here.
No Network, No Problem: City of Las Vegas Field Technicians Get Inspection Jobs Done
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but not because there’s no wifi or cell service. When field technicians for the City of Las Vegas go offline to work in developing areas of the city, the data they collect can’t stay offline. That’s why they created a mobile inspector app with OutSystems low-code.
The Mobile Inspector App seamlessly integrates with their backend, so what users see on-screen is data that is up to date and updated in the backend upon synchronization. With low-code, implementation was easy, and the results speak for themselves.
Inspection times decreased by at least 25 percent, and instead of using clunky laptops that cost a pretty penny, the mobile app allows technicians to use iPads, which cut hardware expenses by 50 percent.
What’s more, because low-code is built for change, the city’s IT department is able to add new features to the mobile app rapidly, sometimes as often as weekly.
Get the full story here.
Yesco: One Field Services App to Rule Them All
When electric sign manufacturer Yesco wanted to build a field service app, they built one as glamorous as their famed “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign known around the world.
Built with the OutSystems low-code platform, their app functions as a lead-gen tool, CRM system, and field service solution, all in one. It handles customer interactions, tracks and manages the sales lifecycle, and performs scheduling, job dispatching, and invoicing.
With OutSystems, Yesco has been able to better align its IT teams with projects and streamline the entire development process for a more productive and efficient delivery schedule.
See everything else Yesco built with low-code here.
Will the Next Best Field Services App Be Yours?
The best field services apps are made, not packaged. If you'd like to learn more about how you can get perfect-fit applications that transform your front lines, visit our field services landing page on OutSystems.com. And if you want to learn more about how you can build perfect-fit field service apps, check out our webinar.