In this second part of this series looking at the findings of our exclusive research report into field service software we focus on management reporting. You can read the first part of this series which looked at scheduling and integration and interaction here.
About the research:
Across April and May of this year (2014) Field Service News in partnership with mplsystems undertook a research project to assess the current usage of field service software.
The survey was split into four categories. Scheduling systems, integration and interaction, management reporting and future options. In total we spoke to over 120 field service companies of differing sizes and differing industries. These were predominantly UK based although there were respondents from all over the world including Europe, America, Africa and Asia.
It may be a cliché but the maxim “You can’t manage what you don’t measure” rings true in all industries and with technology now offering more measurement and analytics tools, with greater levels of sophistication than ever before management reporting is an important element of service management software.
In fact 78% of respondents stated that as a manger the ability to get clear and comprehensive management reports from their service management software was an important tool. Further to that, 63% of these went on to define management reporting as “Critical – I couldn’t do my job without it”
When we also factor in that a further 19% of respondents stated that management-reporting tools were “Helpful” it is clear that such tools are utilised by all but a very small minority (less than 5%) of field service managers.
It may have been what we expected to find but the findings of the research absolutely confirm the fact beyond all doubt. Management reporting is an absolutely integral facet of Field Service Software.
However, whilst management reporting is clearly such vital piece of the field service management software whole, it appears that when it comes to functionality and performance, there remains plenty of room for improvement in the eyes of many field service managers responding to our survey.
In response to the question “Is the reporting functionality you get from your current system up to the task” almost two thirds of respondents stated that they found their current system merely “Acceptable”
So whilst the functionality of these tools is workable, they are still far from perfect. In fact whilst there are a reasonable amount of companies (21%) who identified their reporting functionality as “Excellent”” there is a similar amount of companies (20%) who state that the management reporting of their current system “Doesn’t meet their needs at all”
A surprisingly large number of companies (30%) still have no visibility at all into the activities of their mobile workforce.
Of course within field service perhaps one of the most important aspects of reporting is real time visibility into the actions of your mobile workforce.
In this area there is an interesting division between companies.
It seems that a large percentage of the companies in the industry (42%) are able to provide real time location and status of their field technicians to not only their dispatchers but also their help desk and customer service teams.
This is an improvement of 24% compared to 2012 figures. Such a dramatic rise is likely due to the fact that such a level of visibility is a powerful tool both in terms of managing efficiency as well as delivering excellent customer service and therefore a key area for investment.
Despite this fact, a surprisingly large number of companies (30%) still have no visibility at all into the activities of their mobile workforce. Whilst this figure has decreased by 9% since 2012 it remains a significant proportion of the industry.
Such a large number is somewhat worrying in that without any visibility there is little hope of these companies being able to improve the efficiency of their field service operations at all. It also means that the levels of customer service are potentially impacted as well.
This gap in implementation of technology could lead to a genuine division appearing in the industry. Those companies who are able to continue to deliver excellent service in today’s modern environment of demand twenty first century consumers, and those whose service standards remain stagnant and out-dated.
When it comes to competing on service, which has become a key battleground for businesses in recent years, there can only be one winner…
If you want to read the full 10 page benchmarking report then you are able to download it by clicking this link.
By registering for this white paper you agree to the fascinating terms and conditions which you can read right here.
You can also now find the third part of this series looking at the future of field service software here