Guest Column | September 28, 2017

Which Enterprise System Is Best For Field Service Management: ERP, CRM Or Service Platform?

Field Service IoT

By Brett Cornwright​, Mobile Reach

For field-focused organizations, efficiently delivering services to your customers and equipment requires flawless execution of dynamic business processes. Efficient services delivery also demands laser focus on improving the KPIs that matter most — CSAT, first-time fix rates, SLA compliance rates, routing efficiency, field tech utilization— and, with the right tools, eliminating weak spots and potential points of failure.

As a field service leader, you have an array of cloud-based and on-prem software tools from which to choose to help improve your field service delivery operations. These range from niche-focused software tools designed for providers in specific industries to enterprise packages that serve as the cornerstone of both business and field operations.

Depending on the nature of your field service organization, whether strictly services or a product services mix, a CRM, ERP, or a service management platform may be used to meet field service management requirements. The ideal scenario is for field service organizations to rely on one comprehensive enterprise-wide software system that enables key business and service delivery functions. This is not yet a reality, however, for today’s larger field services organizations with people, assets and equipment dispersed around the world.

Through our independent research, we have found that more than 60 percent of field-focused organizations use between two and four enterprise software systems to manage their field service operations.

ERPs are broad in scope but lack the specialization that is required for world-class services delivery. CRMs, which are sometimes offered as part of ERP packages, are traditionally customer facing and designed to serve those who are on the frontlines of the business. Think call-centers and contextual awareness, not managing back-office essentials like inventory, financials, procurement, and workforce utilization. Service management platforms that enable traditional field service management functions sometimes fall short in key business areas, especially in customer relationship management, financials and procurement. As a result, it can difficult to determine the ultimate value each type of system brings to your field service organization in terms of customer satisfaction, productivity and potential ROI.