Few businesses have more use for mobile field solutions than field service providers. Technicians are on the road most of the time, and they need to be able to find customer locations, get to appointments on time, and make sure they have the right manuals, parts, and paperwork. Plus, they have to keep customers and managers up to date, let accounting know what to invoice, and alert sales about follow-up work. Mobile field solutions help them do all that while making it easier for technicians to do what they do best – helping your customers.
Here are the five essential mobile field solutions you need to enhance your team’s productivity and should integrate with your field service management software:
- PDF readers
#1 Make the Most of Technicians’ Time with a Mobile Calendar Solution
Field service schedulers have to strike a delicate balance. They need maximum billable hours from each technicians’ day, but they have to leave enough time for work to be done properly and for employees to travel to the next appointment on time, so customers are not waiting for late techs.
Schedulers are very good at what they do, but they can’t see the future. When a job takes longer than expected, traffic snarls on the freeway, or emergency work comes in, they may need to adjust schedules on the fly. With mobile calendars, they can see the daily appointments for each technician and move them around if needed. In the field, engineers get instant updates so as they finish one job, they know exactly where to go next.
Make the most of mobile calendars with a field service management solution (FSM) like BlueFolder. Each BlueFolder user has their own personal calendar with daily, weekly, monthly and other views. Users can also integrate and sync their BlueFolder calendar with personal applications like Outlook, Google Calendar, or iCal.
#2 Support Work Orders, Invoices, and Reports with Camera Photos and Videos
Most mobile phones come with cameras that are easy to use and work well in varied lighting conditions. Having the ability to snap photos of the work environment, completed repairs, and equipment condition helps technicians quickly capture complex details. Photos convey more information than written descriptions and take much less time to create. For very technical issues, techs can take videos and narrate what they see.
Photos provide proof of work for invoices and customer communications. They also demonstrate why additional work might need to be done and record the status of equipment with time and date stamps for a repair history or maintenance records. With a field service management software like BlueFolder, you can easily upload photos and videos to the relevant work order record, so you never have to copy and paste them after the job.
#3 Mobile Maps Help Technicians Find Their Way
Your field team has to move as quickly as possible between appointments, but road construction, car wrecks, and traffic jams can ruin a day quickly. Plus, it’s easy to get lost when going to a new customer location. Phone and tablet-based map applications help keep technicians moving in the right direction and will even route them around wrecks and backups.
These services typically announce directions out loud, allowing drivers to focus on the road instead of a small mobile screen. For extra efficiency, BlueFolder’s FSM integrates Google Maps so technicians can access directions right from the work order, and schedulers can locate techs by office location to find the closest one to a customer site.
Mobile map applications also estimate time of arrival so if a technician is going to be a few minutes late, they can call the customer and let them know, which improves the customer experience. For technicians, the software points out nearby gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants where they can take breaks or fuel up.
#4 Keep Communication Going with Email and Text
Messaging applications such as email and text are easy to access on any phone and most tablets. These are great ways to get in touch with field engineers to send updates, answer questions, or check on status. And they don’t interrupt employees while they’re working or driving like a phone call would.
While text is the easiest way to send quick details, you can use emails for sharing in-depth conversations, recording customer approvals, or attaching relevant documents. BlueFolder’s FSM integrates email conversations with work order management, automatically attaching discussions to work orders. Emails won’t get lost in the noise and each communication becomes part of the record to reduce misunderstandings.
#5 Make it Easy to Access Documents Anywhere with PDF Readers
The machinery field technicians work on is complicated and varied. For any job, the engineer may need to refer to manufacturer’s documentation, electrical schematics, or parts lists. It’s not easy to carry these papers around and employees may find they need to access information they didn’t anticipate before they arrived on site.
While most important documents for equipment maintenance and repair are available in PDF format, they can be hard to read with web browsers. But with mobile PDF readers on their phones or tablets, techs can easily access the information they’re looking for. PDF readers allow them to magnify the view, scroll through pages, and make notes on the text for reference. To make life even easier for techs, BlueFolder allows users to attach manuals, photos and other files to any asset or equipment record, so all the information engineers need is at their fingertips.
BlueFolder’s User-Friendly Interface and Mobile Field Application Power Your Team
Our customers love BlueFolder for its ease-of-use, and our mobile field application is no different. Employees find it intuitive and can start using it with almost no training. It’s designed to help engineers get to the right location with the right support documents and easily update work orders when the job is done. With the mobile app, techs can share real-time status with managers, customers, sales, and accounting in just a few clicks. And customers can approve the work by signing the phone or tablet directly, so you can generate invoices faster and speed cash flow.
The mobile app works seamlessly with BlueFolder’s web-based FSM software. BlueFolder makes it easier to:
- Schedule the right people for the right jobs
- Ensure technicians have the support they need
- Open lines to responsive customer communications
- Kick off invoices faster
- Easily manage contracts
- Increase recurring revenue and follow-on work
And BlueFolder is so simple to set up and use, most of our customers are up and running in a day or two. Schedule a demo today and see how BlueFolder can help you.