How can you convince your organization that it’s time to invest in field service software?
You’ve heard how it can:
- Optimize your resources
- Make field technicians more effective
- Enhance customer engagement
- Lower IT administration costs
Maybe you’re the only one convinced that you need field service software – or you’re competing with other departments for technology dollars. This guide is designed to help you gather the facts and information you need to make the right decision for your organization.
1. Assess the Current Situation
Because field service touches so many parts of an organization, it can be challenging to get a full picture of what’s at stake.
There can be lots of small hidden costs and frustrations that can add up to make a big impact.
Many employees and customers won’t complain, even if they feel service could be improved. As a project sponsor, you want to ferret out those irritations and inefficiencies, so you can present a business case for this project.
You can gather some of this information through online surveys, but it’s useful to get context through more personalized interactions.
ASSESS THE CURRENT SITUATION
Customers & Customer Service Managers
- What experience would you like to create for customers that we’re not creating today?
- Are we consistently keeping customers updated about the job status, and notifying them of changes?
- What do customers complain about most? Are these issues something that field service software could potentially fix?
- What’s our first-time fix percentage? Why isn’t it higher? What’s the root cause of the issue?
- How easy is it to train new dispatchers?
- Is it easy to understand which projects should be prioritized?
- Can you optimize jobs and routes to maximize revenue?
- Can you see where technicians are at all times?
Field Technicians & Contractors
- Do you consistently have the right inventory on the truck?
- Do you have a clear understanding of the customer history and what’s included/excluded in their contracts/service level agreement?
- Do you have enough knowledge about the equipment and service procedures while onsite?
- Is it easy to create, manage and close work orders?
- Can you work offline if needed?
- How much of your time is “wasted” due to company inefficiencies? What tools or resources do you need to be more efficient?
Sales & Leadership Teams
- Is our service better or worse than our competitors? In what way?
- Where are we leaving money on the table?
- How can we build more profit into our field service offerings?
- How much is it costing to maintain our existing systems?
- What are the risks of staying on our current software?
- Are there areas where there is duplication of effort or manual processes?
- Could we automate more processes if we had the capabilities?
- How much time is spent tracking down paperwork?
- What is the current Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), the time interval between when the work is performed and the invoice is paid?
- How much effort is spent on collections that could potentially be avoided if payment was collected at time of service?
2. Quantify Cost of Status Quo
What’s the cost of doing nothing? Estimating an annual cost can make the benefit more tangible.
Issue | Cost | Interval | Est. Annual Cost
- Customer attrition due to poor customer service
- Unbillable time due to re-work
- Training time
- Time spent scheduling jobs
- Time spent manually contacting customers
- Time spent looking up contract / SLA details
- Time spent tracking down paperwork
- Cost of current software maintenance
- Time spent on IT inefficiencies
- Time spent on accounting
In addition to hard costs, document any risk areas, such as lack of software support or aging hardware.
3. Create an Executive Vision
Without a strong executive vision, software projects struggle to succeed.
Your goal is to help the executive team move away from the current challenges, but just as importantly, move towards a better vision for the future.
Lead an open discussion about how field service software could help the company:
- Improve operational efficiency
- Gain market share / wallet share
- Improve customer satisfaction
- Reduce risk
What do they see as the company’s priorities? How does this project support the company culture? Where are your best opportunities for growth?
4. Estimate Solution Cost
What’s the cost of investing in a new field service software solution?
Companies considering Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service can find software pricing listed on the Microsoft website. For a more accurate picture, you’ll want to be sure to include:
- IT environment upgrades
- Hardware purchases
- Maintenance costs
To compare field service solutions, we recommend you download our Field Service Evaluation Matrix that can help you compare software features, not just price.
5. Detail Solution Benefits
Begin with the end in mind. Write down the results you anticipate receiving from your field service software project. Quantify results when possible. For example, we want to increase first-time fixes by X%, which will save us approximately $X/year.
However, don’t forget to include the intangible benefits, such as improved collaboration and increased employee morale.
You may not be able to determine absolute ROI (return on investment), but you will get a good idea whether the project benefits outweigh the costs.
The team at MCA Connect can help you build this business case, and re-engineer your business processes. Once you decide you’re ready to move forward with your field service project, our consulting team can provide the implementation expertise and ongoing support you need to ensure a successful project.