As the industry leading ERP for field service, Acumatica offers a competitive advantage that allows you to improve profits, increase customer loyalty, and streamline day-to-day workflows. Here are 9 key ways Acumatica can transform your field service operations:
- Focus on delivering quality service. Providing service for installed equipment and machinery in customer locations (field service) is a significant source of revenue and profit for many equipment manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, as well as a notable contributor to company reputation and customer relationships. The customer that is happy with fast, efficient service is more likely to become and remain a loyal customer over the long term. Managing service efficiently is the key to making field service profitable and building that customer reputation. This includes preventive and corrective maintenance that reduce breakdowns and lowers customers’ overall cost, and repairs that are quick, with the right people, tools, and parts available where and when needed. By focusing on efficiency and effectiveness, and with the help of a well coordinated team effort focused on delivering good support to customer installed equipment, companies can make field service a competitive strength that increases sales and customer loyalty.
- Implement an end-to-end solution for field service management. To build that competitive edge, field services teams are turning to the same kind of organizational strategies and information tools that have delivered so much to the advancement of manufacturing and distribution—automated scheduling and dispatching, integrated management and accounting systems, and the power of databases and analytics to continually improve service while reducing costs. Success in the field service industry comes when you effectively unify key components of your business, including:
- Finance and administration
- Customer service
- Scheduling and dispatching
- Project management
- Asset tracking
- Inventory and parts management
- Repairs and warranty tracking
- Order management
- Get your technicians to the right place at the right time. In a field service business, effective deployment of the service technicians (a general term we’ll use to include engineers, consultants, technicians, aides, etc.—anyone who is sent to the customer site to deliver services) is crucial. Here are a few ways Acumatica can help:
- Easily share routes, schedule/dispatch resources, and assign technicians.
- Ensure vehicles, tools, and inventory are available where and when needed.
- Easily redirect and reschedule when an emergency request takes priority over previously scheduled work. Leveraging visual dispatch board helps the scheduling team see the impact of potential responses to emergencies repair requests to help them determine the best way to respond to the change in priorities.
- Develop schedules in advance, particularly for routine and preventive maintenance tasks.
- Automate workflows and calculate the optimum routes to reduce transportation time between service locations. Acumatica uses embedded Google Maps services display routes to help dispatchers make better decisions quickly.
- Real-time inventory assessments to view parts and tools currently on the service vehicle or have them delivered promptly so the repairs can be completed without unnecessary delay.
- Leverage mobile technology. With Acumatica Field Service Management, technicians are connected anytime, anywhere on any device with a browser. Mobile technology helps field technicians stay in touch with changing schedules, of course, but it also adds a new dimension of efficiency and control. All data entered into Acumatica—time spent, parts used, repairs completed, customer signatures, payment, equipment history, and more—are instantly updated in the billing, inventory, and equipment history records.
Technicians in the field have access to prior customer service information and what parts are under warranty and what are not. After the job is completed, the time and part used is instantly uploaded in real time to the system for faster and more accurate billing. This information is also then accessible to any future technicians who work on that customer’s needs.
As an added bonus, handwriting and grammar issues are taken out of the equation completely, providing a seamless experience that saves time (and money) on all fronts. Many mobile devices support voice recognition that allows the technician to dictate job site information instead of keying.
- Better tracking of your equipment. The anchor for equipment tracking is the basic identity of the equipment itself, established when the equipment is sold and installed. This data should come directly from the sales order processing function and tie to engineering and manufacturing records to include model and revision level, configuration, performance and durability data (engineering specs, mean time between failures for critical parts and subsystems, recommended maintenance intervals), serial numbers, and other identifying data. Acumatica makes it easy to enter information, access data, and effectively manage your Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). Acumatica keeps track of the service history for a specific piece of equipment, including every part that was added to it or serialized part that was maintained or replaced. An unlimited number of serialized components and subsystems can be tracked to an individual piece of equipment.
- Manage maintenance and certifications. Easily manage and track scheduled maintenance, recalls, certifications, and compliance issues for your customers. In some situations—medical equipment, commercial kitchens, elevators, to name a few—the distributor or manufacturer may need to regularly certify systems and equipment for health, safety, etc. This is an important part of preventive maintenance. Acumatica helps document these certifications and helps field service businesses keep things up-to-date. Expired certifications and compliance creates major legal issues for customers. A supplier that helps its customers stay on top of these requirements will be considered a valuable partner.
- Managing inventory for tools and parts. Field service inventory of tools and repair parts is typically spread across multiple vehicles and warehouse locations. Being able to handle maintenance issues requires having the right parts—some of which are very expensive. It’s not practical to carry significant quantities of all those parts, so repair organizations must balance supply and demand very carefully. With Acumatica, inventory transfers can be easily initiated and tracked easily between locations and vehicles. When a service order is created and the required repair parts are not in stock the system can quickly generate a purchase order. When the item is received, the dispatcher is alerted so the service call can be scheduled. Inventory usage data is captured for later analysis and planning.
- Utilize business intelligence. Applying business intelligence offers the ability to analyze the data and look for patterns and improvement. Cross referencing repair history with usage information, location, or design details could lead to adjusted preventive maintenance recommendations or changes in part inventory policy.
- Ensure financial accuracy. Integrated accounting and mobile technology help ensure that billing, invoicing (and warranty cost analysis) are timely and accurate. Technician time is fully accounted for, customers are assured that warranty and contract costs are accurately credited, and part and material pricing is up-to-date and correct.
As a top Acumatica partner, our team is here to help you determine if Acumatica could be the right fit for your business. To see a demo of Acumatica Field Service or to speak with our team, call 949.583.9500 today!