Field services management software: What you don't know might hurt your bottom line

Survey reveals a disconnect between perceived need for better field services management and willingness to invest.

Many organizations are seeking a more flexible and scalable asset management solution they can use to better monitor assets and work in the field. Selecting the right solution can be a difficult task, however. Getting the right information to help make a decision is a crucial first step, so here are a few questions to consider:

  1. What features and benefits are most important to me and my plant?
  2. Should I invest in an EAM/ERP system extension or should I consider dedicated field services management (FSM) software?
  3. What types of solution are similar plants using?

Plant Services recently partnered with IFS to conduct a survey exploring the degree to which organizations have embraced FSM solutions to manage workflow and drive revenue. Here are three key takeaways from the survey results.

Bridging the gap between growth and FSM investment

A majority of respondents consider field services an important area for growth. What is surprising, though, is organizations' reluctance to adopt and implement FSM software. Plant Services Editor-in-Chief Thomas Wilk summarizes the results in a recent special report, "Are You Hesitating on Field Services Management Software?": "Despite the approximately 80% of respondents who indicated that field service was considered a key growth area and/or revenue driver, half of those apparently do not perceive the need for an FSM solution to be priority enough to invest quickly."

Grabbing the low-hanging fruit

The widespread reluctance to adopt FSM software might result from an inability for potential implementers to see bottom-line benefits. Wilk writes: "If some of those who were in the consideration phase actually knew where the low-hanging fruit was located in calculating the impact of FSM software, they might be more inclined to implement a solution." More than 70% of users who purchased FSM software reported seeing a positive financial impact from the investment.

Useful features

The key to any successful software implementation is using the right features to improve operations. According to Wilk, "For software users, when asked which features they most commonly used, their top answers centered on planning, scheduling, route management, parts management, and inventory management, suggesting that FSM software is helping these organizations optimize inventory levels as well as increase workflow optimization."

 

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