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Field Service Management: Automating Invoicing in the Service Economy

Field Service Management: Automating Invoicing in the Service Economy

There’s a been a strong shift in recent years where most products sold today have a service component that’s necessary to keep them working smoothly. At the same time, many items that were once sold as products, are now sold as services. This shift is called servitization.

The service economy presents a big challenge for machine manufacturers who are used to focusing on delivering great products, and now need to switch gears to include providing great service for those products and customers. This switch is very important since manufacturers will increasingly earn most of their revenue from service offerings rather than actual sales of products. However, servitization is also an opportunity as it allows companies to provide customers a complete solution by selling products with integrated services.

Offering customers more services also means that manufacturers dealing with large field service teams can’t continue to work with spreadsheets or paper when out in the field. Additionally, they can’t afford to wait several months to be paid for their services. Automating invoicing is more valuable for businesses than ever, and here’s how field service management software can help:

Invoice Faster

To keep your business running, it’s important to get paid by clients, and getting paid quickly is even better. Field service software allows businesses to cut down on the time from servicing to invoicing by as much as 50%. And faster invoicing means receiving faster payments. “We have already successfully reduced the time between servicing and invoicing from several weeks to an average of six days on more than 50% of our customer service calls,” says Andreas Heinz, Head of IT at Kardex Remstar.  

Minimize Billing Errors

Providing more services means having to send out and deal with more bills. Workforce management software automates invoicing as engineers enter all the data - mileage, allowances, hours worked, as well as discounts, into the mobile field service application. Thus, there is no need to go back to the office in order to hand in a piece of paper with the information for the invoice. Everything is transmitted to the back-office via the cloud and can be used to generate the invoice.  

Avoid Customer Billing Disputes

In addition, field service solutions allow you to create detailed reports that can be sent to customers as attachment of the invoice. This allows businesses to be transparent with their customers and minimize customer billing disputes. How often have your customers come back in order to ask questions about their invoice and techs couldn’t remember what they had to pay for? With a mobile workforce management application, a customer has to sign-off on the service using signature capture on a mobile device. They can review the service report, and dispute any charges right then and there on the spot, before a formal invoice is sent out. This means less back and forth with the customer, along with direct proof of the services provided, materials used, and their agreement to the above.

Reduce Paperwork and Cut Costs

By automating your invoicing process, billing is not only faster for your business and more transparent for your customers, it allows your field service technicians to reduce their paperwork load. Techs no longer need to carry documents and complete paper forms for customers to sign, since customers can now e-sign on a mobile device. And since invoices can be emailed, businesses can save on the costs of printing, paper, and mailing them to the customers. Automating invoicing and reducing paperwork will help make the shift to servitization easier for everyone involved.


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