Understand the Return on Investment in Field Service Management Software


It’s impossible to ignore the impact mobile technology has had in the workplace. Especially in the face of growing customer service demands, organizations like manufacturers, dealers, contractors, and repair businesses can no longer afford to overlook an all-in-one service management solution to improve customer experience, increase efficiency in the field, and provide a huge return on investment.

Once a service business decides to invest in software to manage field service operations, the question becomes, “How can it be configured to provide the biggest return possible?”

To prepare for a successful implementation, business leaders are faced with the challenge of converting decades-old business processes such as call-taking, scheduling, field data collection, inspections, etc. into an efficient, cost effective, and customer-centric system using the technological tools available. This we call “bridging the field force execution gap” (see illustration).

Return on Investment in Field Service Management Software

When done correctly, this transformation can deliver a significant return on investment. The following information from our Guide to Understanding ROI Calculations for Field Service Software will help you build a business case.

Mobile Field Service Apps Accelerate ROI

According to the Technology Services Industry Association’s (TSIA) Field Services Technology Stack, 77% of field service organizations have already implemented mobile tools into their workforce, and nearly 70% have improved their workforce productivity because of it. To put it frankly, if you’re not at least considering a field service solution with a mobile component, you’re already behind.

Today’s mobile devices equipped with a strong service management app and GPS advancements close the loop to save time, eliminate unnecessary steps of re-entering data, and limit excessive communication between back office and field workers.

Constructing a Solid Service Foundation by Investing in the Right Building Blocks

The technology you need to build a competitive service organization typically includes some configuration of the following building blocks:

    • Enterprise Service Management Solution – Includes robust service capabilities including: call center, quoting, work order management, depot repair, asset management, contracts, warranties, spare parts & inventory, service billing, inspection management, and robust reporting.
    • Visual Scheduler – Create, assign, dispatch, update, and reassign service work orders based on multiple filters such as technician skill sets, availability, and customer location.
    • Mobile Application – Automate field tasks like repairs, installations, preventive maintenance, inspections, and assessments.

Stakeholder Web Portals – Access critical service data through customizable portals, and then make real-time business decisions based on specific conditions or performance data.

    • Alerts and Escalation Workflows – Schedule automated alerts to go out when certain conditions occur, like a change to a technician schedule, or an inefficient equipment part at a customer site.
    • GPS Technology – Get real-time mapping to show where your techs, vehicles, and customers are located.

Benefits Businesses Realize from Investing in the Right Tools

In order to drive the biggest ROI, you need to determine which benefits will be most valuable for your business. Generally, benefits from enterprise technology can be put into one of five categories:

    • Field Service Effectiveness – Increase first-time fix rates by 25% or more by providing in-depth service history on detailed asset records and identifying the right technician, equipment, and parts for the job before dispatching a vehicle and technician.
    • Better Service Tech Utilization – Reduce technician downtime and increase billable working time. Many companies realize utilization increases of 15% or more with a field service management solution that gets techs where they need to be faster and gives them the tools and information they need to finish the job successful in less time.
    • Higher Worker Productivity – Complete more jobs per day with integrated scheduling, back office, and mobile field service software tools. You can realistically expect increases in productivity of 10% or more in the field and 50% or more in the back office when you equip your field force with mobile technology.
    • Increased Revenue – Improve revenue per call with better service contract and warranty management, and minimize unbilled labor, equipment, and materials.
    • Enhanced Customer Satisfaction – Contract attrition rates decrease as your customers see more and more value in your services. Your technicians’ access to critical knowledge about your customer’s sites, equipment and service history will clearly differentiate your company from less informed competitors.

Examples of Cost Savings, Revenue Increases

Let us consider a company that sells and services new and used aerial lift (bucket) trucks and similar devices. It employs 70 field and service-center technicians at an average burdened rate of $55,000, who deliver, install, inspect and repair equipment; a service manager and three dispatchers ($75,000); and 10 administrators including accounting and customer service ($38,000).

Some sample ROI from employing field service management software:

    • The company reduces the time to take calls, pass information to dispatch, and record call information by 5 minutes per call (over 10,000 service calls per year). Cost savings: $15,225.
    • The company has access to complete service history and the ability to select technicians based on skill and availability provides the right technician, equipment, and parts on the job. In addition, technicians’ access to manuals, diagrams, and videos add up to increase first-time fix rates by 5%. The average cost of a second trip is $250. Cost savings: $125,000.
    • Having parts inventories on trucks in real-time helps ensure that parts removed from truck inventories get applied to jobs and billed to customers, reducing leakage from 5% to 2%. Revenue increase: $138,600.

Those are just a few of the opportunities for cost savings and revenue increase. Assuming you improve warranty recoveries by 5%, you’ll increase revenues by another $50,000. And reducing unbilled/unaccounted technician time from 5 to 2% garners another $78,750.

The list goes on. But, we believe that a diligent company can expect an annual ROI nearing 1000% on field service management software. In order to accurately measure the return on investment, you need to conduct a thorough review of your current steps (as outlined in the Guide). From there, identify opportunities to reduce costs, increase revenues, or increase customer satisfaction. Then, compare the existing process to the proposed process and quantify the estimated benefit of the enhanced process.

Download the full Guide to Understanding ROI Calculations for Field Service Management Software here!

Is your organization considering an investment in a field service automation system? Learn how to calculate your potential ROI in this free, educational whitepaper!

field service management software roi

This article originally appeared at Sage ERP Wire.