BlueFolder Blog

8 Field Service Management Best Practices and Optimizations

May 14, 2021

From work order scheduling and dispatching to customer engagement, incorporating field service management software into your business can significantly increase company-wide productivity. A field service management system can not only help optimize critical assets such as technicians and equipment, but also help prevent any avoidable delays or setbacks.

But while field service management software can help maintain a strong internal organization, its functionality will only be as robust as you make it. It’s imperative to customize your field service management features to align with your business’s unique needs.

Consider these eight best practices to optimize your field service management and get the most out of your software.

1. Implement Status Values to Match Your Work Order Life Cycle

A service business’s workflow can be a complex chain of work order types, assigned technicians, and due dates. An optimized field service management system can help effectively track the status of present and future work orders. On the other hand, a disorganized field service management system can significantly disrupt the work order process flow

When beginning your optimization process, be sure to create a thorough work order life cycle system complete with work order status values. Status values such as New, Assigned, Postponed, Work Complete, and Closed can all be updated in real-time to better track the productivity of technicians by the hour. 

Plus, you can further streamline your work order life cycle by implementing status values customized by name and color code that better suit your industry and specific processes.

2. Customize Built-In Fields to Streamline Your Data 

Depending on your operations, certain built-in fields may offer more value to your system than others. Optimal software provides the ability to customize preloaded fields, such as due dates, priority ratings, and work order descriptions. So, be sure to optimize your field service management software to match the data you need to track. 

For instance, consider an HVAC service company utilizing a field service management system. Customizable built-in fields such as due dates, priority levels, and detailed descriptions are all crucial data points both managers and technicians will need to update daily. Managers can choose which built-in fields best match their data, as well as disable unnecessary fields to create a simpler, company-specific work order. 

3. Create Custom Fields to Track What You Need

When reviewing work orders, staff will need to be provided with specific information to complete tasks quickly and efficiently. Although field service management software can come with pre-existing fields, there may be a specific field not readily available to aid the input and distribution of work order data. 

Optimize your field service management system by creating custom fields to help you track, display, and report crucial data for each work order. Custom field types can include text, list, dates, numbers, and yes/no variables that all work to accurately match your business’s workflow. By utilizing customized fields, you improve staff comprehension of data and minimize the margin for error out in the field.

4. Set User Permissions and Access Levels to Fit Your Organizational Structure

To avoid field service management system data being tampered or meddled with, you’ll want to make sure that only necessary individuals have the ability to edit critical information. For instance, it’s probably best practice to provide technicians with the ability to edit work order statuses and materials, rather than providing full system access to features like billing functions. 

Set user permissions and access levels in a way that accurately reflects your company’s organizational structure to avoid any data concerns. Company leaders set as system administrators can customize roles, so individuals such as service managers, technicians, and subcontractors have access only to the data necessary to fulfill a work order. 

5. Establish Robust Item Lists

When optimizing your field service management software, don’t forget to construct your Item List. Your Item List is where you’ll define all the billable items and expense items, including labor, material, and miscellaneous items. A mismanaged Item List can quickly result in financial burdens, unbalanced books, and overdue invoices—forgoing the purpose of constructing the list in the first place.

Service items that your company utilizes to complete an order, such as products sold to customers or non-labor charges like rental fees, should always be documented here. By setting up your Item List, these individual item types are readily available for input and can be exported to QuickBooks® or other accounting systems.

6. Build Custom Views for Work Orders

A field service management system can easily become overwhelming if there’s no sense of work order organization. If work orders consist of various types, priority levels, and due dates, create work order views that display only the specific information you require regularly. 

Creating a view with desired custom filters grants you the ability to quickly sort through your work orders and filter out specific types, such as recently closed or pending orders.

7. Customize Notifications to Help Keep Key Players Up to Date 

Besides organizing customer work orders and supporting data more efficiently, remember to also use your field service management software to upgrade customer and staff communications. For service companies that operate hand-in-hand with customers, enable notifications that report to customers when a service appointment is created, changed, and completed. Notification settings can be customized to be sent upon a variety of triggers, from when a new work order is made to when a comment is added on the work order within the field service management system. 

Likewise, notifications can be enabled separately for staff. Similar to customer settings, be sure to set your system notification settings to ensure technicians are notified of any recent work orders or modifications made to existing tasks. 

8. Create Customized Forms and Print-Outs

You may be wondering what to do for team members or customers who prefer paper over digital. Rather than knocking the use of field service management software for this reason, harness the system to create customized forms and printouts. Using your field management service program, daily schedules and work orders can be translated into a printable format to better suit all team member preferences. 

Optimize Your Field Service Management Software Today

By optimizing your field service management software to better suit your business, you have the ability to significantly boost productivity across the board. From creating custom fields to better target your specific workflow to translating digital data into a printable format, BlueFolder field service management software has the ability to take your business workflow organization to the next level. 

Contact BlueFolder today to learn more about what field service management software can do for your business.