Most businesses recognize the importance of a pre-implementation plan when it comes to business software, but many also fail to realize the importance of a post-implementation plan. Post-implementation is when the real work begins: Getting staff on board, knowing your post-sales rights, and integrating your software are just some of the challenges you can expect to face.
Field service management organizations in particular face some of the most difficult challenges, with multiple siloed departments and a dispersed and field-based workforce. Field service organizations that fail to realize the importance of the post-implementation period will suffer from software deployments that are devoid of value and will lose out on opportunities to capitalize on the product’s extensive functionality.
According to Gartner, customer experience is now the key competitive differentiator for businesses. This is also true for field service organizations. Multiple touch points throughout the field service customer journey—which are often handled through a myriad of systems and silos—can lead to a fractured customer experience.
Field service management (FSM) software can help organizations pull together the areas of the organization that are often segmented to provide a more comprehensive customer experience.
Each day, your field service technicians collect and manage hoards of paper-based form data that they then pass on to your back office staff. This leaves room for human error, lost paperwork, and processing delays.
By not using field service mobile forms to automate data collection, your business risks making significant mistakes that can hurt your business. Paper forms simply aren’t cut out to manage the unpredictable and remote nature of field service operations.
This technical analysis of field service technology is intended for IT professionals or organizations supporting field service software buying decisions in small businesses.
If a field service management software implementation project fails, it’s likely because of poor planning and execution, rather than the software itself. The field service management software market is mature; the technology is robust and constantly developing to accommodate advances such as the internet of things and artificial intelligence.
Despite the large range of field service management software for specific industries such as HVAC, pest control, and manufacturing, many prospective field service management software buyers fall into the trap of overcustomizing a solution to suit their unique needs.
Asset management is not just knowing where your assets are at any given time—it’s also about knowing how your assets are performing. If your assets are spread over a large location, however, it can become expensive to employ enough staff to cover all areas and assets.
In fact, around 55 percent of asset management costs are linked to personnel costs, mainly because of tasks that could either be automated or improved using data science.
Note: This article is intended to inform our readers about the current data privacy and security challenges experienced by companies in the global marketplace. It is in no way intended to provide legal advice or to endorse a specific course of action. For advice on your specific situation, consult your legal counsel.
Despite the complex nature of logistics organizations and their geographical data flows, details of how the GDPR will affect the logistics industry have been thin on the ground. But here’s the key fact:
From suppliers to third-party logistics providers to employees, your entire supply chain must adhere to GDPR regulations or face a fine of up to 20 million euros or 4 percent of your annual turnover.
Though often used interchangeably, you need to know the differences between the supply chain and logistics. If you don’t know the difference between the two, you won’t know which software will do the better job of streamlining your business.
In fact, knowing the difference between the two is now more important than ever—it has been estimated that by the end of 2018, 83 percent of companies will be automating their supply chains with software.
Supply chain automation is no longer a “nice to have” feature, but a necessity for avoiding customer complaints, reduced visibility, and productivity losses. Companies that don’t embrace software to enhance their supply chain will be at a significant competitive disadvantage.
But do you know for sure which kind of software you really need? Before wasting 37 percent of your software spend on software that doesn’t fit your business needs, you need to know what sets supply chain management software apart from logistics software.
In a few years, your top salesperson could also happen to be your top-performing technician. Soft skills—including the ability to deliver high-quality on-site customer service and to upsell customers—should now be as important to you as an employee’s technical expertise.
Soft skills training for technicians is either a high priority—or the highest priority—for 50 percent of field service companies. The field service industry is more customer-centric than ever, and being able to deliver high levels of customer service is vital.
Having both an online and offline presence is becoming more and more important for brands: Rather than shop via one channel only, 73 percent of customers prefer a multichannel approach to shopping. Because of this, retailers are focusing less on choosing between an eCommerce store and a physical retail store and are instead focusing on how to adjust the customer experience to suit both channels.
We surveyed 250 consumers about their online and in-store buying habits and about what decisions they make during their purchase journeys. We found that customers are increasingly engaging in “research online, purchase offline” (ROPO) behavior, i.e., looking up information about products online but completing their purchases in-store.
Inventory management and inventory control are not the same thing. Though they might sound similar, they serve distinct business objectives—and you’ll need to know the differences between them to serve your business well.
Retailers that aren’t efficiently tracking their inventory run the risk of suffering losses of up to 12 percent of their annual revenue through inefficiencies such as preventable returns, out-of-stocks, and overstocks. This is why knowing the differences in inventory software—as well as what business purposes each type serves—is crucial for small retailers.
At present, 43 percent of small businesses don’t track their inventory at all, or are using manual processes. No matter how small your store is, you won’t capture the intricacies and complexities surrounding your inventory as it moves through the supply chain without using dedicated inventory software.
If you’re here, you’re probably asking yourself, “Which one does my small business need?”
The answer is, it isn’t about which one you’ll need—you’ll almost definitely need both—but about when you’ll need which tool.