What is Field Service Management Software?

Field service management software is used to schedule, dispatch and manage remote technicians that provide services to customers. These kinds of field services most commonly include installation, service or repairs of systems or equipment. The right field service software can help you improve the quality of services you deliver to your industrial machinery and heavy equipment customers as well as improve the utilization, training and effectiveness of your services resources.

How Field Service Management Software Reduces Downtime

Field service software helps companies manage their specialized technical services resources to reduce industrial machinery and equipment breakages and downtime. There are several ways in which field service management software can accomplish this. Firstly, by setting up scheduled proactive preventative field services appointments, technicians can regularly maintain and update industrial machinery and equipment. Secondly, in case of an unexpected breakage or other issue, field service management software makes it possible to quickly dispatch the right technician with the right skillset and parts. Thirdly, if set up properly there may be ways in which operators or field services technicians can use remote diagnostics and/or better communication tools to work with specialized technical services experts to get the machinery or equipment up and running more efficiently.

Using Field Service Management Software for Preventative Maintenance

Using field service management software, you can establish proactive, predetermined, preventative maintenance service schedules for your machinery and equipment. You don’t want to have to try to get hold of a field service technician at short notice to come out only when your industrial machinery or heavy equipment is down. This would be particularly true if your facility is hard to get to and/or the cost of downtime on the machinery is high. Instead, you would schedule preventative maintenance visits by a field service technician – no different than taking your car into the dealership for regularly scheduled maintenance. These maintenance schedules could be based on the usage of the equipment or be time-based or a combination of both. Even more effective is preventative maintenance based on the actual history of the specific machine and its current condition – in other words the schedule is refined after each maintenance visit.

Dispatching the Right Technician

Even with a preventative maintenance schedule, there are times when the unexpected happens. What do you do if you have a preventative maintenance schedule set up, but your equipment goes down between the field service technician’s scheduled visits?  You need to be able to get the right field service technician right away. Field service management software can help ensure that the technician that is dispatched has the right skillset, access to the preventative maintenance logs, and all the parts needed to effect a first-time repair. In addition, with the right field service software, field technicians can communicate with their in-office experts to get the best resolution of potential issues.

Using Remote Monitoring and Diagnostics

In the current IoT (Internet of Things) environment, more and more industrial machinery and heavy equipment systems have remote monitoring capabilities. Pulling machine data into systems that can analyze it allows technicians to spot problems while they are still developing. Using remote system monitoring, technicians can use regression techniques to predict potential problems and address them proactively before they lead to failures. Pretty much all third-party IT/network support, for example, is performed using some kind of remote system monitoring tools in just this way. In addition to performance monitoring, many systems also have built-in diagnostic platforms that can be accessed remotely. Field service management software in conjunction with these kinds of monitoring and diagnostic platforms, can really cut down on unexpected outages and downtime.

A Comprehensive Approach

To minimize equipment breakages and downtime, industrial machinery and equipment users need to use all of the above approaches: (i) regular preventative maintenance, (ii) quick access to specialized technicians when the unexpected occurs, and (iii) remote monitoring and diagnostics of the equipment wherever possible.

For a technical services and maintenance organization, getting the best results for your industrial machinery and equipment customers and the best utilization rates of your technicians also requires strong field service management software. With remote monitoring of machine data and available large language model AI tools (e.g., ChatGPT 4), many problems can be caught long before they cause failures. Using the preventative maintenance logs together with AI tools can also help transfer knowledge and skills between service technicians and create best-practices documentation. This improves the overall skill level of any service organization.

If you are looking to improve how you deliver field services, contact us today to learn how Accolent ERP delivers customizable, Cloud-based, field service management software.