Field Service Management (FSM)
Field service management (FSM) refers to the management of a company's resources employed at or en route to the property of clients, rather than on company property. Examples include locating vehicles, managing worker activity, scheduling and dispatching work, ensuring driver safety, and integrating the management of such activities with inventory, billing, accounting and other back-office systems. FSM most commonly refers to companies who need to manage installation, service or repairs of systems or equipment. It can also refer to software and cloud-based platforms that aid in field service management.
One of the most significant changes ushered in by the adoption of FSM technology has been in the relationship between the organization and the customer. FSM solutions allow employees at all levels of the company to engage with their customers in innovative ways, and it is reshaping how leaders think about the customer experience. When systems are automated and integrated, it means that any employee who has access can deliver the same information to customers on demand. When delays and setbacks occur, status updates can be instantly transmitted to the customer with revised expectations and alerts. If a technician is behind schedule, due to another job running over or unexpected traffic, new ETAs can be communicated quickly thanks to vehicle GPS and other innovations. As this technology becomes more commonplace, customers are beginning to expect it as a regular feature of their service. Studies have shown that 89% of customers want to see modern technology — like the kind used in on-demand ride-sharing services — applied to their technician scheduling, and nearly as many would be willing to pay a premium for it. Innovation in the FSM software marketplace allows companies to continually deliver these new tools for engagement that many customers view as important.
According to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management, FSM continues to change in several meaningful ways:
- Using contractors in the workforce mix: By 2020, more than 40% of field service work will be performed by technicians who are not employed by the organization that has direct contact with the customer.
- Deploying FSM mobile apps: By 2020, more than three-quarters of field service organizations will use mobile apps to organize workflows, manage schedules, optimize travel, or perform other activities beyond data collection.
- Harnessing AI for customer satisfaction: By 2020, 10% of emergency field service work will be triaged and scheduled by intelligent scheduling tools. Non-emergency providers will continue to adopt intelligent tools and systems to improve efficiency and better manage employees’ schedules.