Running a business is never easy, especially when a lot of your assets are on the go.
However, you can use field service management (FSM) to help you. As a discipline that helps you manage and optimise your assets (from vehicles and equipment to employees and scheduling), FSM is incredibly efficient.
And because we live in a technological age, FSM doesn’t just stop at useful practices. There are a variety of FSM tools at your disposal.
In this guide, we’ll show you the best FSM software. And we’ll also give you pointers on how to select the right tool for the needs and size of your business.
Let’s take a look!
Table of Contents
- What Is Field Service Management Software?
- Benefits of FSM Software
- What to Look for in Field Service Software
- Basic functions
- Advanced features
- Different Businesses, Different Needs
- Types of FSM software buyers
- How to Choose the Right Field Service Management Software
- Best Field Service Management Software in 2019 (Reviews & Pricing)
1. What Is Field Service Management Software?
FSM software is software that helps your service business to manage all its resources and field workers.
And because there are a lot of things included in the process, FSM software typically integrates with back-office processes such as inventory management, accounting and billing.
To put it simply, it’s a tool that helps your business run smoothly and gives you enough insight to know what you can improve to earn more revenue.
These tools automate and optimise processes and procedures you use to plan, deliver and operate the services you offer your customers.
The FSM software industry was estimated to have earned as much as $1.2 billion in 2012, and it’s set to grow by 12.7% annually.
2. Benefits of FSM Software
It’s no secret that the service industry struggles with a few things:
- 45% of field technicians say that their current tools aren’t fast enough (Source)
- Best-in-class field service organisations are 72% more likely than competitors to use visual collaboration tools (Source)
- 52% of companies are using manual methods to operate their field service (Source)
- 83% of executives believe that field service plays a strategic role in the future of their business (Source)
- 73% of consumers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service (Source)
So while the statistics are clear, you may be wondering how exactly to use them.
After all, it’s not easy to choose new FSM solutions: there are plenty on the market, but not every product is the right fit.
This is what ultimately leads companies to jot everything down on paper and spend most of their working hours scheduling work orders and dispatching field technicians manually. It’s completely understandable, and yet customer service may suffer because of it.
There may be gaps in your revenue that you’re not noticing yet, but by the time they’ve shown their face, they could cost you more than you expected.
For all these reasons, FSM software is the golden ticket to success without headaches.
The main advantages of FSM solutions are:
If you consider a typical field service process at your company, you’ll notice that it requires coordination of multiple employees. That even includes accounting and billing.
All of that can be tiresome for the field technician who needs to communicate with the back office. They spend their work hours on needless procedures when they could be doing their job and providing excellent service to customers.
In this case, field service software automates everything. For example, if a field technician is installing a new router into a client’s home, the information will be automatically forwarded to accounting and billing without the need for the worker to do anything else. They can simply focus on the next work order. The FSM solution takes care of the administration.
Effective resource utilisation
You may be using an ERP (enterprise resource planning) tool, but most of these systems are lacking when it comes to working order management or continuous optimisation.
In this case, the best FSM software provides you with the ability to control your resources and monitor how they’re being used. You can maximise the utility of each vehicle, tool and worker on the go. Information is available to you instantly, not after the quarterly review.
A great example of this feature put into practice is Source Refrigeration & HVAC, a company that reduced field technician travel times by 35% with FSM software. Their FSM tool’s smart route planning feature automatically calculated worker availability, travel times and convenience to create efficient routes.
FSM software provides insight
Finally, because FSM solutions continuously track and analyse the data about your business, you can see and understand productivity and efficiency at your company.
The software often includes GPS trackers and remote monitoring to give you oversight or allow you to communicate with new employees who may need your assistance.
You can also improve the accuracy of your planning, which may include inventory management, ERP and every other process you use to optimise your services to improve both employee and customer satisfaction.
On the employees’ side, FSM software will not only show them the work order they should perform. It will also show them all the relevant information, such as service history, tools required, contracts and much more. They’ll get the context they need to perform their work accurately and efficiently.
When all of these main benefits are combined, you can see how FSM software improves your decision making.
You can only create better strategies and improve processes company-wide if you can see the pain points and challenges your company, your employees and your customers are facing.
However, without a tool that stores and analyses data, you may be left in the dark and unaware of the problems unless they’re brought directly to you.
Because of that, and for many other reasons, it’s time to take a look at the core functionalities, as well as some helpful features, that the best FSM software provides.
3. What to Look for in Field Service Software
Not all FSM software is equal.
Here are the basic functions you can expect from the best FSM software:
- Order management
- Information and worker dispatching
- Route planning
- Contract and partner management
- Customer management
- Resource management
- Repairing and ticketing
- Inventory management
- Regulation compliance management (e.g. SLA)
- Analytics, reporting and forecasting
Most of the tools provide these basic features. However, the best FSM software also keeps up with the technological trends that will help you conduct your field service even better.
You should look for new features such as:
- Mobile field service – Mobile apps can help your field technicians stay in the know, as well as report back to the office.
- Real-time reporting – The best FSM solutions operate on a real-time basis, meaning that you receive information immediately and can optimise as soon as you receive it.
- Failure analysis and predictive maintenance – If a problem occurs, you can analyse the data to understand how to prevent it in the future. The most advanced FSM tools also offer AI analysis that can spot problems before an actual failure occurs.
- RMA (Return Merchandise Authorisation) management – While we all wish that merchandise didn’t have to be returned, it happens often. And when you use an FSM tool with the RMA management feature, things will keep running smoothly.
- Customer appointment reminders – While these tools help a lot with managing your field service, they can also help you to manage your customers. Typically, the most advanced software offers voice-generated customer appointment reminders.
- Project management – By relying on the basic principles of project and task management, FSM software that has these features integrated into its core offer can help you efficiently manage your costs, productivity and work orders.
- Customer support – FSM doesn’t exist in a bubble, so the tools that also integrate customer support systems, helpdesks or the platforms customers use to submit orders can give you a competitive advantage.
For example, if FSM software is integrated with a CRM system, support representatives can open a ticket describing the customer’s problem, triggering the action to dispatch a field technician. When the problem is solved, the ticket is automatically marked as resolved.
- Internet of Things – Due to the rise of IoT devices, more and more customers and field technicians expect seamless integration with all of their devices, from professional equipment to mobile devices. The best FSM software uses interconnectivity to make all of your technology work together.
- SaaS pricing – Previously, you had to pay for a lifetime licence for the software. However, software pricing has changed to a service model. This means you won’t have to pay for a lifetime licence (which can be a significant cost) but can take out a monthly subscription.
4. Different Businesses, Different Needs
Of course, not all businesses need the same things. What you need will typically depend on the size of your business.
However, you no longer have to make do without an FSM solution just because you own or run a small business. There are some great tools to meet your needs!
Typically, FSM software caters to four different types of buyers:
- Direct buyers work for companies that have their own field service. Their needs are set in stone, so to speak, and they can easily shop around for the best solution.
- Contract buyers handle field service for companies as independent contractors. Depending on the business they work with, they may have different needs from project to project.
- Small business buyers are SMB (small and medium-sized business) managers or owners who are looking for a comprehensive FSM solution to replace their standard FSM systems. Typically, small businesses manage their field service manually or with a small number of tools that weren’t made for that exact purpose. In most cases, they don’t need complex solutions but require immediate tools they can use to scale their business, reduce costs and increase revenue.
- Enterprise buyers buy FSM software for big companies that have a lot of field workers and complex needs. They typically want complete FSM integration with all the other systems they use, and use this software to break down data silos and optimise productivity company-wide.
5. How to Choose the Right Field Service Management Software
Before choosing an FSM tool, the first thing you have to decide on is what exactly you want to improve in your business.
1. Make a list of processes that require improvement or automation
For example, you might notice that your fuel costs are rising because of improper scheduling that takes field technicians right across the country in a single day.
In this case, you’d need FSM software that can help you plan smart routes to minimise costs and maximise efficiency.
A field technician could serve 10 clients in the same city instead of only serving 3 clients because they have to travel long distances.
2. Know which features you need
After identifying processes that cause pain points in your company, you should identify the features you need.
If you’re a small business owner, you may need customer appointment reminders if you notice that a lot of customers completely forget about their appointments.
If you run an enterprise, you may want to reduce costs wherever possible, which could lead you to use predictive maintenance. In this way, the FSM software you choose should be able to analyse parts and historical data to alert you to any potential problems before they occur.
3. Pay attention to available integrations
If you use ERP or CRM systems, you should be able to integrate your FSM software with them so that the majority of processes are automated.
Your new software should work seamlessly with all the other systems you use, either directly or through additional API configuration that will make your software truly your own.
Keep an eye on mobile functionality as well. Understand which devices are supported by the software and make sure that all the right employees can use it.
4. Vendor support and expertise
When it comes to software vendors, not all of these are equally reliable. Pay attention to customer reviews, especially reviews from businesses of a similar size.
If a problem occurs, you want the vendor to provide support and to help you with any additional requests.
Make sure you choose the level of support you need, as it’s one of the key things that will help you make the most of your FSM solution.
Finally, implementing a new FSM takes time. You should know how long it’ll take to train all employees on it and set it up before you decide on a solution.
In this case, it’s best to find the most user-friendly solution that will significantly reduce the time it takes to train field technicians and other workers.
If you need a complex solution, make sure you arrange for the provider or an expert to provide training and speed up the process.
When it comes to data integration, calculate how much time and resources you’ll need to allocate to the transition so that you can maximise the utility of the software.
This isn’t as pressing if you’re only looking for the core features, but if you want predictive maintenance, you’ll need to upload the data you already have in other systems.
And finally, it’s time to select the best software for your business!
Best Field Service Management Software in 2019 (Reviews and Pricing)
The criteria we’ll use to evaluate the best FSM software are:
- Business size
We’ll cover different software for different needs, starting with FSM tools that we’d always choose for our businesses.
Tasker is an incredibly flexible FSM tool that will allow your field technicians to work seamlessly with office employees. It helps businesses make the most of their assets and increase their revenue – it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Although Tasker offers a lot of features, the implementation process is surprisingly simple.
One of Tasker’s main advantages is transparency. You can measure what really matters and create reports in a few seconds. In turn, the reports will help you make better, data-driven decisions.
You can analyse performance and ROI, as well as reward the top talent at your company.
Tasker offers plenty of features you can use to improve your service and grow your business:
- Real-time field service task assessment (assign jobs and monitor them in real-time)
- Route planning and navigation
- Real-time job and task updates
- Digital signature and automated customer feedback (as soon as the customer signs off a completed job, they’ll also be prompted to leave the feedback)
- Digitised documents
- Offline mode (employees can save their progress even if they’re not connected to Wi-Fi)
- Time and location tracking (with NFC lock and QR scanning)
- Real-time inventory monitoring
- Historical data (job history and statistics)
- Documents attached to the job, so field technicians have all the information they need to perform their tasks successfully
All in all, it’s everything you need!
Tasker integrates with a lot of other apps and offers additional integrations on request.
Tasker is a great fit for businesses of all sizes.
Tasker can be used as a web platform and as a mobile app.
Tasker is cloud-based, allowing you to get the information you need at the click of a button, no matter where in the world you are.
Tasker comes with a free plan for up to 3 users and 1GB data storage. The paid plan is €20/month.
Tasker has a 5-star rating on Capterra, with the majority of customers emphasising ease of use and digitisation.
A sample review reads: “Tasker business management system helps us work more smoothly, effectively and transparently.”
FieldEZ is a great hybrid FSM solution that offers support to both office and field workers. It comes with complex functionalities but it’s very user-friendly, which reduces the implementation time.
The main advantage of FieldEZ is the ability to create custom workflows for business processes that include other software.
In addition to core features that make seamless work order management and automation possible, FieldEZ also offers:
- AI for smart scheduling and route optimisation
- Secure chats and knowledge sharing
- Attendance and leave management
- Expense and asset management
- Operational performance analytics
- Customer portals
FieldEZ integrates with CRM, sales and accounting systems such as Zoho CRM, Salesforce and QuickBooks.
FieldEZ can be used by businesses of all sizes, although its most notable customers include enterprises such as PayPal and Samsung.
It covers a variety of industries, from technology to oil and gas.
FieldEZ can be used on computers and mobile devices (Android and iOS).
FieldEZ offers on-premise or cloud deployment.
FieldEZ has been named the most affordable FSM software for a reason.
Plans start from $15/month, and they include phone and email customer support. FieldEZ doesn’t charge a setup fee and it comes with a 30-day free trial.
On Capterra, FieldEZ has a 5-star rating, with most customers prizing ease of use and a good value-for-money ratio.
While other apps target a variety of users, ServiceTrade focuses on enterprises and contract buyers who need flexible solutions. As far as FSM tools go, ServiceTrade has plenty of useful features and great support.
In addition to the core features that most FSM software providers offer, ServiceTrade ups the ante with additional features:
- Reporting for commercial contractors
- Quick quotes (online and in the field)
- Customer portal
- Visual reporting
Since ServiceTrade pays attention to commercial contractors, its visual reporting feature allows you to keep track of the revenue your customers are bringing. It becomes much easier to retain the business you appreciate.
ServiceTrade integrates with accounting software such as Sage, Microsoft Dynamics and QuickBooks.
And for everything else, ServiceTrade has a library full of pre-made Zapier integrations so you can connect your FSM software to MailChimp, Instagram and every other tool you’re using.
ServiceTrade is best suited to enterprises and contract buyers.
It can be used on both desktop and mobile (Android, iOS).
ServiceTrade uses Amazon Web Services RDS cloud database.
This software is priced on a SaaS subscription basis with a free plan. The first priced plan is Select and it’ll set you back $59 per tech per month for an unlimited number of jobs. You don’t have to pay a fee for office users.
ServiceTrade has a 4.5/5 star rating on Capterra. Its users appreciate the clarity and insight that come from the reporting features.
4. Service Fusion
Service Fusion is a great tool for small business FSM. It’s an FSM tool that has all the features you need to effectively schedule and dispatch field technicians while also making sure that the back office is on the same page.
One of the best things about SF is that there are no per-user fees, which will come as a relief to many business owners with a lot of field workers.
Service Fusion offers all the core features, such as scheduling, work order management and reporting, plus a few additional ones:
- Credit card processing
- Voice and text customer reminders
- Visual scheduling
- Inventory management
- Reports on time tracking, sales and payroll
- Highly customisable
It really is a fusion of all the services an SMB needs!
Service Fusion integrates with all the major accounting software, VoIP systems, GPS tracking devices and payment processors.
It’s suitable for small businesses and mid-market companies with very specific needs.
SF supports all operating systems, as well as Android and iPhone mobile devices.
Service Fusion is a cloud-hosted FSM software solution.
Plans start from $99/month, with the most expensive being $349/month. There are no setup fees, no contracts and no per-user charges.
Service Fusion has a 4.5-star rating on Software Advice. Its customers feel they’re getting plenty of value for money, and claim that the software is very easy to use.
GorillaDesk isn’t just a funny name. This pest control FSM solution has plenty of features to suit even the most demanding businesses and customers. With a short learning curve, it makes FSM easy even for companies with employees who aren’t keen on new tech.
In addition to basic scheduling and reporting features, GorillaDesk offers:
- Equipment tracking with barcodes
- Pesticide-usage tracking
- CRM features
- Drag-and-drop scheduling
- Email automation
These features might make you wish you were in the pest control business!
GorillaDesk supports a lot of integrations, including Amazon Web Services, Stripe and QuickBooks.
GorillaDesk is best suited to small to mid-market pest control businesses. However, it is technically capable of supporting businesses in other industries such as wildlife control, home inspection and fire inspection.
GorillaDesk is both web-based and mobile.
GorillaDesk is cloud-based.
Pricing for one schedule (the equivalent of one route) is $49/month. However, if you also want GPS tracking, you’ll need the Pro plan, which is $99/month.
GorillaDesk has a 5-star rating on Capterra. It’s one of the best FSM tools for the pest control industry, with reviewers frequently saying that it’s the absolute best for companies with 1 to 10 employees.
Jobber describes itself as “your business’s command centre” – and that’s a fair description! As software beloved by numerous home service providers across the world, it can help a small or medium-sized business be as organised as a large enterprise.
And since Jobber is highly flexible, field service providers in numerous industries can use it to power their organisational success.
Jobber offers the core features you’ll need from FSM software, such as scheduling and dispatching.
However, it has a few extra features:
- Quoting and invoicing
- Individual and recurring contracts
- Electronic payments
- CRM and client hub
- Chemical tracking
- GPS tracking
Jobber integrates with Xero, QuickBooks, PayPal and Stripe.
It’s best suited to small and medium-sized businesses.
Jobber works on desktop and mobile.
Jobber is cloud-based.
The Core plan for up to 2 users is $69/month. If you want to onboard more than 10 users, the unlimited plan is $259/month.
Jobber has a 4.6 rating on Software Advice. Reviewers often thank the software for helping them increase their revenue through features enabling growth without compromising quality.
7. Housecall Pro
Not a lot of FSM vendors offer tools that are a complete package. Housecall Pro does. Customers can book work through the software, and the work order is immediately dispatched to relevant field technicians, with all the supporting info being forwarded to back-office workers.
This software has a native mobile app with a web-based portal, and its flexibility allows it to cover numerous industries.
- Core features
- Payment processing
- Company chat
- Customer notifications
- Postcard and email marketing automation
- Online booking
- On-my-way texts
- Follow-up marketing
- Payment processing
Housecall Pro integrates with QuickBooks, Stripe, Google Calendar and Zapier, and even adds marketing integrations with MailChimp, SendGrid and Facebook.
Housecall Pro is suitable for small businesses, mid-market companies and enterprises, though not well suited to contract buyers.
Housecall Pro comes with a web portal and a native mobile app for field technicians.
Housecall Pro is cloud-based.
Housecall Pro plans start at $19/month for up to 2 users. The Scale plan is best suited to more than 10 users, and it’s priced at $199 per month. However, there are additional payment processing charges for credit cards and per-job fees ($0.25–$2 per job).
Housecall Pro has a 4.7/5 rating on Software Advice. Customers particularly emphasise the reduced amount of paperwork as they can automatically create invoices through HCP. However, it’s not well suited to enterprises who’d rather white-label the service and customise the dashboards to fit their needs.