The market volume for Field Service Management solutions (FSM) is 3.6 billion dollars worldwide by 2021 [1]. This means that the digital work management platform for service employees is finally emancipating itself from ERP and CRM systems, some of which have also integrated FSM functionalities into their complete solutions. We have compiled the six most important selection criteria for an effective Field Service Management software evaluation.

Why you need a Field Service Management solution

The vision of Industry 4.0 – a networked world of work – can only be realized if the human and machine factors are equally taken into account. While the industry has focused strongly on the digitalization of machine processes in recent years, there has been a growing awareness that service employees can make a significant contribution to data-driven organization. Because only the linking of IoT and service data results in a holistic picture of relevant production and organizational processes. But even the optimization of service processes reaches a new level of maturity through a Field Service Management solution and contributes to a positive further development of the value chain.

Ensure effective software evaluation

The right choice of software is critical to ensure that digital processes are implemented as planned and executed by all parties involved. Cross-departmental cooperation and early involvement of users is highly recommended already during the evaluation process. 

However, you can easily make an initial good pre-selection of Field Service Management solutions yourself based on six selection criteria:

1. Strategic consulting

A Field Service Management solution should be implemented against the background of your digital strategy. Make sure that the software provider can provide you with strategic guidance, even if you already know your exact requirements and have other digital consultants at your side. A recognizable strategic approach of the software vendor to the challenges of its customers is an important quality feature.

2. Modularity of the software 

A powerful Field Service Management solution includes numerous functionalities such as order planning, time recording and defect management. You should definitely have the option of using only selected functionalities. Perhaps your organization requires a gradual introduction of new processes. Perhaps you want to handle selected work steps as usual for the first time and instead “only” support your service technicians with better knowledge management. Although there are best practices in digital industrial services, each company differs in its needs and current capabilities. 

3. Integrability 

Most industrial companies will sooner or later integrate their FSM software with their ERP and CRM solutions for selected workflows and cross-system data exchange. Integration with IoT platforms is also becoming increasingly important. Therefore, pay attention to the standard interfaces and flexibility of the FSM software.

4. User-friendliness

The success of your mobile service technicians depends heavily on the user-friendliness of the Field Service Management software used. The new solution should relieve your employees of administrative work processes. A good criterion for comparing the ease of use of different software products is the amount of training required. Also check whether the user interface can be adapted to your corporate design. This has been proven to increase user acceptance. 

5. Online & offline availability

The offline availability of digital services is particularly important in the industrial sector. Your mobile service employees will regularly be in areas or production halls with poor Internet connections. If you are introducing digital processes, it must be possible to implement them offline at short notice. 

6. Innovation 

If you start out with only the basic functionalities of a Field Service Management solution, you should still consider the degree of innovation of the software products. Your requirements for the software solution will change over the years. However, you should already today make a sustainable decision for your digital working environment. Only work with a software provider that is one of the pioneers of the coming FSM generation. The availability of innovative functionalities such as a digital voice assistant and a convincing software development plan will help you to assess the innovative power of the providers. 

The ultimate guide to Field Service Management 

If you want to learn more about the use of Field Service Management solutions, we recommend the WorkHeld FSM guide. Our experts have compiled best practices and use cases for you from their many years of project experience.

If you want to know if WorkHeld is the right digitization solution for you, contact us now – we will be happy to help you!

[1] MarketsandMarkets (2017): Field Service Management Market – Global Forecast