By Emily Newton, Revolutionized
Field service can be one of the most difficult-to-manage aspects of construction-site operations. Managers have to coordinate many technicians in the field and the equipment they need to use across a large service area or multiple sites.
Tracking all relevant information and keeping field service schedules optimized can quickly become a significant challenge, even for well-organized managers.
Modern field service management (FSM) software offers several features that streamline operations. These are some of the key benefits of FSM software on a construction site.
1. Improved Scheduling And Dispatching
Construction work is often highly time-sensitive. Hitting deadlines and meeting scheduled milestones is often necessary to keep a project on track, maintain client relationships and ensure payment for work done.
This is likely why field service management tools often advertise scheduling and dispatching features. These tools are some of the best ways to help businesses keep projects on track and improve project efficiency. The lack of a proper scheduling workflow can lead to dispatching inefficiencies and scheduling overlaps.
With the right software platform, managers can use tools like GPS trackers and cloud document storage to assign technicians to jobs to minimize travel time and reduce the risk of scheduling errors.
2. Real-Time Service Updates
Cloud-based software also can enable managers to update field technicians in real-time, ensuring they are dispatched or made aware of project changes as soon as possible. Similarly, technicians can update their schedule once they’re finished with a job, providing instant notice that they’ve wrapped up a particular task.
This access to scheduling information can streamline and simplify a business’s scheduling processes. With real-time awareness of how a project is progressing, managers and administrative staff can provide better information to management, other technicians, and key project stakeholders.
In some cases, this technology can even fully automate some of the work of scheduling and dispatching. FSM tools can mechanize routine steps, like closing out completed tasks in the system or uploading files to a particular folder or network location. These tools can streamline scheduling even further while reducing the risk of misplaced paperwork or job documentation.
3. Streamlined Documentation
Conventional methods for recording field data — like clipboards and paper forms — are cumbersome, hard to keep track of, and prone to errors. Digital notes offered by field service platforms provide instant access to data like notes, sensor readings, and visual information from on-site.
If a technician needs to store information on a form they don’t have on hand, they can easily download a new copy from the cloud. Once they upload the completed form, it will be instantly available to anyone on the team — allowing them to move forward with documenting the job or scheduling follow-up work.
4. Greater Access To Data
Project specs, equipment service history, work orders, and other documentation — all this information can be stored in the cloud, where technicians can access it easily using some kind of FSM software.
People in the field won’t need to call managers, guess, or return to headquarters to gather information on what kind of work has already been done at a particular site. They won’t need to determine what type of servicing may have already been performed on a specific piece of equipment.
Information from vehicle and equipment telematics also provides technicians with the exact location of equipment on a construction site, as well as sensor data that can provide additional stats about machine health. This can help technicians make decisions, both in the field and before leaving for the job site.
For example, tools like boom and line pumps can fulfill similar purposes, but one may be significantly more effective than the other in certain circumstances. More information about a job ensures technicians can make informed decisions about the equipment and tools they bring to a job site.
5. Instant Invoicing
Completion of a task doesn’t guarantee payment right away. Working with third-party clients often means a great deal of communication and paperwork will be necessary first. Invoices must be transferred to the correct recipients and with the right information to ensure timely payment for a specific job. By streamlining documentation, field service software also can help simplify invoices' creation, distribution, and processing.
Field technicians also will have instant access to invoice documents. Once a project or particular job is complete, they can store all the information needed for an invoice on the cloud, allowing for faster bill generation and potentially quicker payment from customers.
Invoices from third parties can be uploaded or scanned into the cloud from in the field, allowing the business to process them more efficiently than they would be able to otherwise.
6. Interoperability With Construction Software
Many modern field service management tools come with services that help them integrate with other software — like CRM tools, accounting software, inventory databases, and even marketing campaign management platforms. Integrating the field service software with other devices can improve communication, extend information accessibility, and automate some data entry tasks across the business.
For example, a company may use field management software to schedule sending marketing emails to relevant clients based on the services they’ve needed in the past. It might automatically update inventory databases with information from a field technician’s report.
As construction companies pivot to the cloud, more services have started prioritizing interoperability by investing in APIs and similar technology to help businesses coordinate communication among multiple services. In the future, FMS software will likely become even more capable of integrating into existing technology stacks and workflows.
How Field Service Software Can Simplify Construction Site Management
Field service software is one of the best ways to improve the productivity of construction-site operations. With the right technology, information from technicians and functions can be made instantly available companywide, helping to streamline various processes.
As construction companies move to the cloud, FSM software developers are adding new features that will help make these tools a key component of a larger, digital solution for site management.
About The Author
Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized. She regularly explores the impact technology has on the industrial sector.