It’s common knowledge that modern, digital field service platforms can give a 360-degree view into an enterprise, shining insights on product lifecycle, manpower and assets, while unifying data. But getting started can be intimidating, whether your company is starting a new service department, consolidating disparate solutions, endeavoring into more service offerings, or expanding your capabilities. These can be complex undertakings and knowing where to begin can be overwhelming.
I’ve assembled some best practices to consider when starting out on the pathway to modernized field service management.
Assess your technology as an organization
Perhaps you’re still using printed form or spreadsheets – which is more common than you may think. Wherever you are, there’s room to find opportunity in modern field service management, but knowing the technology that manages your data, product lifecycle, and customer journey are all important considerations in getting started. It’s valuable to know where you are as an organization, but equally valuable to know where you’re headed. It’s important to understand your company’s business objectives and upcoming initiatives in this area. Your company likely has some pieces of field service technology, or a platform capable of supporting it. Many companies have several systems – CRM, field service, ERP, data management, channel communications – from multiple providers bolted together that are not unifying your data easily. Once you know what technology and systems you have or moving to, it’s much easier to make a strong assessment of field service solutions that can unify your data, integrate with existing software, and ensure you go down the right path when ultimately make the best selection for your enterprise.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew
I always recommend taking a phased approach. Easing into technology renders the best results in organizational change management and adoption. Extended features can be introduced in phases as resources become comfortable with the solution. It’s critical that you continue day-to-day operations, for your business and customers. Plan a roadmap based on your goals and implement accordingly.
Look for a minimum viable solution to start
Start with a simple, quick to deploy solution with all the core elements you need to support your field service operations. Look for a short-term plan that can satisfy some of your business goals now. Getting a high priority need accomplished first will also give you feedback you can utilize for future development. In the case of selecting a platform, like Microsoft Dynamics 365, pieces of the platform can be rolled out by priority, so consider which elements will help you now and build out to longer term goals.
It’s completely possible to take the confusion and intimidation out of the first steps of field service modernization. Taking an honest assessment of your technology and business needs with an incremental, realistic approach can uncover quick wins and accelerate time to value.
With the latest technology, the time to value is so much faster. Our field service solution, equipment360TM, can be launched in as little as four months. It’s built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field
Service and enhanced with features that address the most pressing and common challenges of equipment service providers, including equipment digital twin, service reporting, a total mobile experience with offline sync, and a centralized view of customer and equipment activity. You can learn more about equipment360TM by clicking here.