Make 2019 the year you unlock the full potential of your FSM solution

The beginning of a brand-new year marks a clean slate, a fresh start and a time to reflect on the past and set some new goals.  Although we tend to think of resolutions as something personal, like “lose weight” or “exercise more”, it makes perfect sense to apply a goal setting mindset to help drive success in your professional life too.   January is a great time for Field Service leaders to take stock of the past twelve months and evaluate what’s worked well and what’s gone awry and identify what issues might need addressing for 2019.

You don’t know what you don’t know
As field service experts, a common concern we hear from Field Service leaders is about suboptimal performance and usage of their existing Field Service Management (FSM) solution. While they believe their system might be running well, they’re not always 100% confident that they’re taking full advantage of all the features and functionality that their solution has to offer.

What causes suboptimal performance?
If your organization has been running its business the same way for a long time, chances are when the business requirements were created for a solution, the scope of the original configuration was setup to match legacy systems and processes.  If a system is set up in this way, there will likely be some procedural adjustments but ultimately the core business processes will remain unchanged.  Poor system performance can also result when an organization doesn’t have a partner or user network to share knowledge and options with.  It can also be because the IT department is not keeping up to date on the latest apps, fixes and patches provided by their FSM product vendor.

For organizations that don’t have a good understanding of what their current solution is capable of, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that it doesn’t meet current needs. There’s a risk of spending operational dollars and time on changing business process or adding more people when performance challenges could very well be addressed with a system change.

We’re sharing 7 practical tips that can help you get more value from your current solution:

  • Network: talk to users, ask your Systems Integrator (SI partner) for references or conferences that they attend and challenge them to make recommendations.
  • Assess your organization: is your business process, organizational structure or change adherence preventing your system from running well? Do you have dispatchers or managers overriding the schedule every morning?  Does your time off policy allow enough time for the system to adjust?  Do you have a business process or procedure that is indirectly forcing the system to perform poorly?
  • Optimization: have an expert take a look “under the hood”. There are many instances where small setting changes or an adjustment to the timing of how optimization is run in your FSM solution can result in significant improvements. These health checks are normally very inexpensive and provide end users with a detailed play book or DIY solution.
  • Demo: ask for a demonstration of features that are not currently enabled. While online reading is great, nothing beats a live demo. Even better, why not request a Proof of Concept with your data and configuration?
  • Educate yourself on options: don’t rely solely on your SI partner or product vendor, talk to other users and attend field service tradeshows and user conferences.
  • Embed research into your process: ask your IT team or SI partner to present to you new features as part of your patch upgrade or quarterly system review.
  • Engage: share your business challenges with your vendor or partner. In many cases they will be familiar with them and have experienced similar issues working with other customers in your industry. While it may not be their product or out-of-the-box, they will likely have a solution that can help.

Make 2019 the year you master Field Service. Download our brand-new ebook packed with more practical tips, tricks, strategies and best practices to help you get the most from your FSM solution.

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