If you ever wondered how long it would take to see a return on your field service software investment, Gartner has answered that question for you in a report. They surveyed 35 companies in different verticals that have fully or partially implemented field service software and found that the average time for ROI was nine months.
However, this statistic was just one of many that Gartner discovered during their survey and in the report released based on their findings. The purpose of the survey was to determine why companies choose certain field service software providers and to help give those companies that are looking to build a business case for buying field service software more information.
Read on to find out the most common reasons companies purchase field service software, the changes they see after implementation, and how most organizations choose a provider:
New Efficiencies Before, During, and After Service Calls
Source: Gartner (April 2014)
Gartner’s study “Field Service Management Shows ROI in Nine Months and Field Service Mobility Has Improved Greatly” showed that companies that implement field service automation see efficiencies increase across the board. After implementation, dispatchers have time to do other, more valuable work. Technicians’ schedules are optimized to fit in more service calls per day, and these schedules are automatically modified throughout the workday as changes and cancellations happen, keeping scheduling and dispatching running smoothly and efficiently.
Once technicians are on the job, field service software equips them with all the information they need about the customer and the machinery so techs can finish jobs quickly, the first-time. On top of that, since inventory can be managed directly on a mobile field service application by checking parts in-stock or ordering parts, companies can cut costs for shipping parts, especially parts that need to be expedited.
Another added benefit is that customers can sign off on work orders on a mobile device directly after the job is done, and therefore the billing process starts sooner and companies can get paid faster. Gartner says that once mobile field service software has been implemented, many companies see billing cycle reduction of 30 days or more. Lastly, because of these scheduling and workflow efficiencies, customers are much more satisfied by the service they receive.
The Growing Importance of SaaS
Both the market share and the demand for SaaS within field service has gotten larger in the past few years. In fact, 23% of new field service deployments are SaaS. The survey revealed that SaaS-only vendors are growing faster than the market overall. This growth can be linked to the benefits of SaaS, which include faster implementation times and lighter workloads for companies’ IT departments.
Reasons for Choosing a Field Service Software
When choosing a field service software solution vendor, the majority of companies placed the ability to integrate field service automation with their existing ERP system at the top of the list of requirements. Other top factors included the software vendor’s viability and the functionality of the software. Despite these being the top concerns for companies, Gartner notes that most field service software already has the ability to work with ERP systems and that general functionality should not be the “end-all, be-all” factor for deciding on a field service solution. Breaking down the specific functionality required for your company is more helpful when choosing the right solution provider.
Mobile Continues to Improve
In the past three years, field service software providers have gotten better at offering their customers mobile apps that satisfy their requirements.
Mobile field service applications represent the number one most used field service software capability. Although 31% of survey respondents say they’re still using paper-based systems, most companies that aren’t already using mobile say they are planning to use it in the next 24 months. And those that do use mobile software do so mostly on laptops and smartphones, more so than tablets for now. However, although mobile use is growing, many companies say they still don’t yet see the value in using social within their business, even though Gartner mentions it could give the companies and their technicians a competitive edge when used in a smart way.