Running a business is never easy, especially when a lot of your assets are on the go.
However, field service management (FSM) companies can help you take control of your business operations and team. Best field service management software manages and optimizes your assets (from vehicles and equipment to employees and scheduling), increasing your field service operation efficiency.
And because we live in a technological age, FSM software isn’t just a useful addition to your business. The tool has a variety of features that can benefit your company and simplify daily operations.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the benefits of FSM solutions, how to pick the right one, and the basic functions to look for. We’ll also give you tips on selecting the right tool for your needs based on your business size.
Let’s take a look!
- What is field service management software?
- Benefits of FSM software
- What to look for in field service software
- Different businesses, different needs
- How to choose the right field service management software
- Best field service management software (reviews & pricing)
1. What is a field service management system?
FSM software is a digital tool that helps your service business manage all its resources and field workers.
Because there are many things included in the process, FSM software typically integrates with back-office functions 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 insights for improvement to earn more revenue.
These tools automate and optimize your planning, delivery, and operating services.
2. Benefits of FSM software
It’s no secret that the field service industry struggles with a few things:
- Slow and inefficient tools for scheduling, planning tasks, tracking your team’s performance.
- The COVID-19 pandemic raised the need for contactless services, and many field service companies are still lacking such solutions.
- Aging workforce and resistance to integrating advanced tools such as FSM software.
- A growing need for skilled field technicians and engineers.
An FSM software isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. You can choose countless tools, which often 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 might be gaps in your revenue that you’re not noticing yet. But by the time they show their face, they could cost you more than you expected.
For all these reasons, FSM software is the golden ticket to success without headaches.
Field service management solution benefits:
Simplified task management
If you analyze typical field service processes at your company, you’ll notice that these operations require multiple employees’ coordination, including 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 unnecessary procedures when they could be doing their job and providing excellent service to customers.
Field service software automates these operations, reducing the burden put on service technicians.
An FSM solution takes care of the administration. For example, suppose a field technician is installing a new router in a client’s home. In that case, the information will be automatically forwarded to the accounting and billing departments without the need for the worker to do anything else. They can simply focus on the next work order.
Effective resource utilisation
You may be using an ERP (enterprise resource planning) tool, but most of these systems lack working order management or continuous optimization.
A professional FSM software allows you to control your resources and monitor how they are used. You can maximize 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 is Source Refrigeration & HVAC, a company that reduced field technician travel times by 35% with FSM software. Their FSM tool smart route planning feature automatically calculates worker availability, travel times and creates efficient routes.
FSM solutions continuously track and analyze your business data, which allows you to understand your company’s processes better.
Software often includes GPS trackers and remote monitoring that allow you to communicate with new employees who may need your assistance.
You can also improve your planning accuracy, including inventory management, ERP, and every other process you use to optimize your services to enhance employee and customer satisfaction.
For employees, FSM software shows the work order they should perform, all the relevant information, such as service history, tools required, contracts, and much more. This way, your team has more knowledge and resources 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 process.
You can improve your business strategy and processes when you clearly understand the pain points and challenges of your company, employees, and customers.
However, without a tool that stores and analyses data, you may be left in the dark and unaware of the problems.
Because of that, and for many other reasons, it’s time to take a look at the core functionalities and some helpful features that FSM software provides.
3. What to look for in field service software
Not all FSM software is made equal.
Some software simply performs better and offers the additional functionalities you need for a rapidly changing workforce and increasing customer expectations.
Here are the basic functions you can expect from 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 system also keeps up with the technological trends that will help you conduct your field service even better.
Advanced features to look for:
Mobile-first field service management software – mobile-first, agile application helps your field technicians stay in the know, as well as report to the back office.
Real-time reporting – the most advanced FSM solutions operate on a real-time basis, meaning that you receive and share information immediately.
Failure analysis and predictive maintenance – when a problem occurs, an FSM tool analyses data to prevent similar issues in the future. Advanced FSM tools also offer artificial intelligence analysis that can spot problems before an actual failure occurs.
Customer appointment reminders – a tool of your choice should be configured with your company’s calendar and send client appointment reminders. Forget pen and paper, automated reminders help you be on top of your customer service.
Project management – effective FSM software should have time and task management features integrated to manage your costs, productivity, and work orders efficiently.
Customer support – FSM tool should integrate customer support systems, helpdesks, or the platforms customers use to submit orders to 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 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 – most software pricing has changed to a service model. This means you don’t pay for a lifetime license (which can be a high cost) but can take out a monthly subscription.
4. Different businesses, different needs
Of course, not all businesses need the same functionality. What you need depends on the size of your business.
Typically, FSM software caters to small or enterprise-size companies:
Small and medium-sized business managers or owners who are looking for a comprehensive FSM solution to replace their standard FSM systems.
Often, small businesses manage their field service operations manually or use tools that aren’t efficient for a developing company. In most cases, they don’t need complex solutions but require immediate tools to scale their business, reduce costs, and increase revenue.
Enterprise buyers use FSM software for big companies that have a lot of field workers and sophisticated needs. Enterprise buyers need a full FSM integration with other company’s systems. They use this software to break down data silos and optimize business productivity.
5. How to choose the right field staff management software
Before choosing an FSM tool, the first thing you have to decide 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 to assist you in planning smart routes to minimize costs and maximize work efficiency.
A field technician could serve 10 clients in the same city instead of serving only 3 clients across multiple cities.
2. Know which features you need
After analyzing processes that cause pain points in your company, you can identify the features you need.
Small business owners may need customer appointment reminders. If you notice a tendency to miss an appointment or overschedule your employees, automated reminders can improve service efficiency and customer satisfaction.
If you run an enterprise, you probably want to reduce costs wherever possible. Predictive or preventive maintenance could be a solution in this case. The FSM software you choose should analyze parts and historical data to alert you about any potential problems before they occur.
3. Pay attention to available integrations
If you already use ERP or CRM systems, you should be able to integrate your FSM software with them to automate more processes. Most integrations work directly or through additional API configuration.
Keep an eye on mobile functionality as well. Understand which devices your software supports and make sure that your team can use them.
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 a vendor to provide support and help you with any additional requests.
Make sure you choose the level of support you need based on your business size, as it’s one of the key things that will help you make the most of your FSM solution.
Implementation of a new FSM solution takes time. It’s essential to know how long it’ll take to implement a new tool to your company’s processes to train your employees and set it up.
Therefore, it’s better to find the most user-friendly solution that will significantly reduce the time it takes to train field technicians and other workers.
If you are looking for a more complex solution, make sure to arrange additional training to 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 maximize the utility of the software.
And finally, it’s time to select the best software for small businesses and enterprises!
6. Best field service management software in 2021 for small business vs. enterprise
The criteria we used to evaluate the best FSM software:
- Business size
Below, we covered different software based on small business vs. enterprise needs, starting with FSM tools that serve both.
FSM for small to enterprise-size businesses
Tasker is a flexible FSM tool that allows your field technicians to work seamlessly with multiple customers. It helps businesses make the most of their assets and increase their revenue.
Although Tasker offers a lot of features, the implementation process is surprisingly simple.
One of Tasker’s main advantages is transparency. You can analyze your business insights and create reports in a few seconds. In turn, the reports will help you make focused and data-driven decisions.
You can analyze performance and ROI, as well as reward the top talents 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)
- Digitized 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 a project, so field technicians have all the information they need to perform their tasks successfully
- Feature with NFC lock and QR scanning
You can integrate Tasker with many other apps using a simple API protocol.
Tasker is a great fit for SMEs and enterprises.
Tasker can be used as a web platform and 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 offers three plans based on your business size:
- Growing – for companies that are looking to set off their business for success. It’s paid annually per user.
- Pro – for companies that seek to improve their field service operations. It’s paid annually per user.
- Enterprise – for large businesses that need to be on top of all field service operations. It’s paid annually per user.
Tasker has a 5-star rating on Capterra, with most customers emphasizing ease of use and digitization.
Our customers say: “Tasker business management system helps us work more smoothly, effectively and transparently.”
FieldEZ is a great hybrid FSM solution that offers support for both office and field workers. Although it comes with complex functionalities, it’s 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 work order management and automation possible, FieldEZ also offers:
- AI for smart scheduling and route optimization
- 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 and 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 the ease of use and a good value-for-money ratio.
FSM for enterprises
While other apps target various 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.
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 for enterprises and contract buyers.
It can be used on both desktop and mobile (Android, iOS).
ServiceTrade uses Amazon Web Services RDS cloud database.
It offers three plans:
- Select for $72 per month;
- Premium $119 per month;
- Enterprise $159 per month.
ServiceTrade has a 4.5/5 star rating on Capterra. Its users appreciate the clarity and insights that come from the reporting features.
Oracle is a global field service management solution provider that serves enterprise-level companies. They offer a wide range of features for field service business automation and efficiency.
Oracle’s features are focused on large companies that seek to automate most of their business processes.
- Scheduling and routing
- Predictive maintenance
- Employee allocation
- Resource planning
- Routing vizualization
- Job segmentation
- And many more
Oracle is fully compatible with other business management systems. They offer different integration based on standard and enterprise plans.
The service is focused on large enterprises.
It supports all operating systems.
Oracle offers a field service management solution as an addition to their Oracle E-Business Suite. The price of the service depends on your business needs.
Oracle has a 5-star rating on Capterra for their FSM solution. With most users praising the tool for efficient and comprehensive service.
FSM for small business
This pest control FSM solution has plenty of features to suit even the most demanding businesses and customers. A short learning curve 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
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 companies in other industries such as wildlife control, home 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.
6. Service Fusion
Service Fusion is a great tool for small business FSM. It’s an FSM tool with 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 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 customizable
It 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 particular 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 $149/month, with the most expensive plan being $399/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 straightforward to use.
7. Housecall Pro
Not a lot of FSM vendors offer tools that come as a full 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 information 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.
- 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 $49/month for 1 user. With plans for bigger companies ranging from $109 to tailored pricing.
Housecall Pro has a 4.7/5 rating on Software Advice. Customers particularly emphasize the reduced amount of paperwork as they can automatically create invoices through HCP. However, it’s not well suited to enterprises that would rather white-label the service and customize the dashboards to fit their needs.
It can be challenging to find the right field service management solution provider. Hundreds of companies offer professional tools meant to improve your business. But only by knowing your business needs and specifics can you find the most suitable software.
If you’re interested in bringing your field service business to the next level, try Tasker for free. Book a demo to see how Tasker FSM software can benefit your business.