With the recent economic downturn, it is even more important that service organizations take care of their existing client base. Better service means keeping your customers happy and that means future business for you. However, companies also have to be better at managing their costs. FSA can help you do that. In case you didn’t know, here are a couple of things that Microsoft points out in regards to the efficiencies you can achieve with FSA in your organization.
From the Microsoft website
Your field services organization is a significant business investment—trained people, mobile communications devices, tools, materials, and vehicles. You want to help ensure that you gain an optimal return on that investment. To accomplish this goal, it’s important that your field service representatives provide excellent service to your customers, at all times, in the most efficient manner. That means helping to make their time with customers the best experience possible and providing them with access to company information and resources from the customer or service site. In addition, you want to reduce the time service representatives spend traveling between locations.
Increase customer loyalty with more efficient service
With Field Service Anywhere for Microsoft Dynamics GP, you can give your service representatives an easy, satisfying way to make the best use of valuable customer time and reduce needless travel between your business and customers’ business locations. Using mobile devices, representatives can access real-time customer contact and account information and create, receive, and follow new service calls. They also can track parts, labor hours, and costs associated with a service call. With these capabilities in the reps’ hands, they can focus more on satisfying customer needs and address more customer concerns in one short visit. The result: Increased customer service levels, higher customer satisfaction and retention, increased service profitability, and a competitive advantage for your business.
Field Service Anywhere for Microsoft Dynamics GP presents a familiar, comfortable user interface to the people in the field. In many cases, it requires minimal training for your service representatives and offers mobile service management capabilities immediately upon implementation. Service technicians can easily access their assigned service calls and focus on customer needs.
|•||Deliver services faster A service representative’s ability to access customer and service call information without spending nonbillable research time allows dispatch to schedule appointments more efficiently and provides customers with the services they want, sooner.|
|•||Minimize the time and cost of phone calls between technicians and dispatchers. Customers expect service representatives to spend time attending to their needs, not distracted by time on the phone with the office. Now, representatives can minimize phone time with dispatch.|
|•||Equip service representatives with current business information Synchronization can be manual or scheduled to the minute, so field service providers can be aware of the most current events that impact customers.|
|•||Capture signatures and expenses Customers can sign-off on service orders electronically. And service technicians can use online expense forms to track their expenses. This can help reduce paperwork and redundant data entry, and accelerate accounting processes.|
|•||Offer all pertinent information in real time Customers don’t have to constantly reiterate their stories because the service technicians can be up to date on any situation before meeting with the customer. Using Field Service Anywhere, technicians can review contact and address information, service call histories, installed equipment and serial numbers, service contract details, available inventory items and their prices, and trunk stock inventory.|
|•||Maintain stringent quality control Service representatives can note the time of arrival at a customer site along with the time of completion. They can update service calls in Field Service Anywhere with one-time entry of labor hours, expenses, parts, and ancillary charges. Service managers can review the information in Microsoft Dynamics GP, evaluate the effectiveness of the company’s service delivery, and make adjustments quickly.|
Recent research shows that Windows Mobile, which is the required operating system for the FSA mobile device, will likely take the lead in field operation devices.
Windows Mobile will emerge as the leading mobile workforce platform in 2009, relegating BlackBerry to second place, according to new findings from mobile workforce management firm Cognito.
The firm polled its customers, which include large utilities firms and public sector organizations, to find out the key trends in the industry. It found that the familiarity of Windows among blue collar workers, and its superior back office integration capabilities give it an advantage.
The research also found that most mobile projects are set to buck the current trend for a decline in IT budgets.
Spend on mobile workforce technology will either increase or at worst stay the same, with 41 per cent of respondents saying the current economic conditions would have no impact on mobile purchases.
“We predict that 77 per cent of the workforce [in field service companies] will be equipped with devices in a year from now,” said Cognito’s head of marketing, David Perry.
“However, the biggest concern people have is integration with back-end systems – how to put the data they’ve collected [in the field] into their SAP apps, for example.”
The main drivers for this increased use of mobile technology among field service companies, such as utility firms, is the need to lower costs and improve efficiencies in the face of fluctuating fuel costs, leaner workforces and tighter budgets, the research also found.
Written by Phil Muncaster