Modern businesses are rapidly moving toward cloud applications. But moving away from manual and paper-based process in the field service business is still a significant challenge. Field Engineers (FSE) are almost always on the move and their needs vary from one job to another. They often visit work places with poor network coverage and hence depend on paper-based forms. Data is then manually entered into the system when they return to their desks. This leads to high inefficiency and also impacts customer service experience.
In such a scenario, offline mobile field service applications come as a blessing. These apps have the features to download the FSE related information and tasks from the Field Service Organization (FSO) ERP and CRM systems. It provides the ‘at a glance’ tasks list, routing information, parts information for the FSEs, which makes their work seamless and efficient. Other features such as capturing customer signature on work completed along with parts, labor and expense information, really bring out the best capabilities of these apps. These apps are also integrated with Google Maps to help technicians reach their destination faster.
Leading the change in this aspect is Oracle with their ‘Multi-Platform Mobile Field Service’ (MFS). It can run on Android, Windows and iOS application. Hence the multiplatform. It can be installed on modern smartphones and tablets. Once installed, all the relevant information for the logged in FSE is downloaded into the local device from the FSO’s ERP system. This information includes, but is not limited to – assigned tasks, parts availability, customer notes, knowledge base etc. Additionally, it has strong transactional capabilities which can all be done even in places with poor network connectivity. FSEs can leverage this data to change the status of tasks, access Google Maps’ direction capability to reach the task destination, capture the material, expenses, labor and customer notes in the platform. FSEs can also order and reserve spare parts required to complete the tasks. This platform not only gives the FSE the visibility of parts in their stocks, but also other FSE’s stocks. And finally, the FSE can close the transactions with Customer Signature on their mobile platform device. One of the key business benefits of this platform is its ability to work in offline mode, and once the FSE is within network coverage area or at his/her desk, it can sync all this data back to the FSO’s ERP system.
In today’s modern Field Service business process, Offline Mobile Field Service apps reduce the turnaround time for technicians for completion of work. They also provide flexibility to work seamlessly in remote locations with poor network connectivity, without compromising on data accuracy and visibility of the customer and product information.