Choosing a field activity management tool is by no means a straightforward decision. It’s a long-term investment that can add to or seriously detract from the extent to which your remote team manages to meet its KPIs.
The information here is meant to demystify that complexity and guide your selection. Therefore, by the time you’re finished reading, you should have no doubt about which system is best for your organization’s unique needs.
How We Have Ranked the Systems
Our process begins by using multiple software ranking services to ascertain the top 50-100 products, followed by reading through a plethora of user and expert reviews to understand top features and key metadata.
Following this, we review recorded demos where possible and take advantage of demo licensing. Experts are then allowed to review the user experience and we then search for intent, trend, and social data.
It is with these factors in mind that we assign each product a score and rank.
The Comparison Result
The whole idea of putting this list together was to ensure that it contains products that represent the best field activity management software option.
While some objective pieces of data account for the results above, much of it is based on potential subjectivity.
In other words, there are a base set of features that one could use as a point of evaluation. However, the program must also display the ability to be customized such that different businesses that may have different requirements can benefit greatly from their product purchases.
Recall that our ranking method was quite in-depth, and we spent a lot of time ensuring that these varied and useful applications are the kinds that end up in our listing.
What you saw is the result of our comparing and contrasting just around 100 competitors. So, it’s quite possible for any of the solutions presented to be the most useful to you, as it all depends on the use case you have.
The individual needs of each business should certainly be the guiding light here. To this end, you want to capitalize on proof-of-concept offerings where possible, and even take advantage of trial or demo licensing to get a feel for what the system would be like in your environment.
With all of this said, it’s now time to dive a little bit deeper to highlight all the areas of concern and consideration that are fundamental to choosing a field activity software system.
Field Activity Management Software Overview
As we go through this section, it’s essential to remember that the concept of a field activity management tool means different things to different businesses.
Yes, team tracking and management are the core pieces of any of these designs, but that idea doesn’t capture the full value such a system can have to a buyer.
What Is the Best Field Activity Management Software
A lot has been said about ensuring that the system you choose aligns with your business. You want to start by identifying mandatory features. However, you don’t want to do so in isolation. It’s essential to understand how they appeal to what the firm is looking for.
For example, you may have a challenge with scheduling currently, especially with a team that never really visits the office. Perhaps if the program had an area where a management user could set a schedule, which then translates to a view for the mobile workforce, that could be useful.
In this example, you may also find value in being able to allow the said schedule to recur automatically, so it only needs to be revisited when changes are being made. This is how specific you want to get with each feature to guide an informed decision.
What Does Field Activity Management Software Do?
A field activity management tool is meant to provide a solution to the operational and potentially strategic objective of comprehensive field service management.
Of course, it’s meant to be used by businesses that employ a team of field service operators. Having such a remote arm of the business means adequate coordination is mandatory.
This could include work order scheduling, technician dispatching, providing maps, invoicing completed jobs, etc.
Getting all these moving parts right means greater productivity and more accurate capitalizing on human and other company resources that may be out in the field.
Remember that there is a commitment to service excellence where your customers are concerned. The software system is simply a means to an end, as it removes coordination and management complexity, allowing your team to focus on the work to be carried out.
Field Activity Management Software Meaning
A field activity management tool refers to a software system that is meant to assist a business by providing all the resource management and coordination needed for a smooth workflow of field service activities.
When implemented correctly, such systems remove all administrative overhead from both team leads and their subordinates.
Main Features of Field Activity Management Software
As you are choosing a field activity management tool for your organization, there are some key features you want to bear in mind that should help you get the most out of this investment. These are as follows:
- Job scheduling and dispatch – A management user can assign work to technicians and keep a record of what each may be doing at all times.
- Work order management – This feature allows assigning of a job to a technician, after which the said technician can provide updates, upload media, and indicate completion.
- Mobile use – Considering that you are working with a remote team, you must be using a system that is accessible on the go.
- Invoicing – Being able to efficiently generate invoices for your customers to make them aware of precise payment requirements is a must.
- Reporting – The ability to generate reports based on entries in the system over a cumulative period is incredibly valuable to a business.
Benefits of Using the Best Field Activity Management Software
Typically, there are enterprise asset management systems that provide integrations with your field activity management tool. Not only does this provide a comprehensive dataset, but it also means that a company can effectively manage its remote resources and their interactions with its sites.
Having gotten a better appreciation for what the best field activity management software system may represent and some of the features you want to pay attention to, here’s a quick look at the benefits your business can and should derive from implementing one of these applications.
Streamline Your Field Service Affairs
This is the overarching use case for your decision to capitalize on one of these solutions in the first place. Field service offerings undoubtedly have quite a lot of moving parts in the mix.
The more the system you choose can bring all these affairs together and provide management and reporting capability, the more you want it to become a part of your operations.
The first element of this is asset management. Being able to establish and stick to a maintenance schedule means assets have a longer life cycle and provide more consistent availability.
This means your team performs efficiently, and time wastage due to unavailable fixed assets becomes mitigated.
With a bird’s eye view of your operation, you can play to the skillset of your field service team. Not only can you take advantage of the qualifications present, but you can also ensure that an assigned technician has all the data that’s needed for a specific job.
This means that the time taken to carry out the required work is reduced, and you are likely to see an uptick in the number of first-time job successes.
With more data at your fingertips than ever before, it means work can be carried out in the most efficient way possible, reducing the costs that the company faces in its service provisions.
Remember that much of implementing a field activity management tool has to do with creating satisfied customers. The more you can get your field service team to meet expectations, the greater the frequency of your achieving this objective.
Additionally, with more information present, it becomes much easier to respond effectively to queries and concerns.
Which Companies Should Buy Field Activity Management Software
The manufacturing, transportation, repair, and energy/oil industries are all characterized by a set of field-based workers. How each benefits from these software systems is covered below.
The manufacturing industry can use these systems in two different ways. First, there is the delivery aspect of the operation, which requires management of drivers, supporting workers, as well as the stock being carried out and other company resources that may be used.
Additionally, technicians may be dispatched to complete repairs on items that may be under warranty.
For a transportation system to work well, its vehicles must remain in top working condition. Therefore, it is supported by a team of service technicians who must be able to access information on spare parts, bus schedules, fuel management, inventory, driver logs, etc.
There are a host of businesses with an entire model that revolves around providing repair services. For example, there is the garage door repair business. Such models rely on a complement of technicians to visit customers and execute repair tasks.
This means the business must be able to schedule and assign jobs, with technicians being able to access relevant customer data, parts available, etc.
Energy, Utilities, Oil, and Gas
There is a lot of remote work that goes into these industries, especially since safety, compliance, performance, and reliability are so important. There are likely a lot of time-sensitive work orders present, and a need to access company information almost consistently.
What Does Field Activity Management Software Cost?
There are perpetual licenses, which attract a one-time fee, and subscription-based licenses, which attract a monthly fee.
Note that some providers also have an installation fee which is a one-time payment to get the system configured for your organization.
Monthly subscriptions are typically going to run from $20 to $150 per user per month while one-time payments may range from $500 to $3,000. You may find installation costs, when present, running between $400 and $2,000.
Enterprise pricing could be up to $300 per user monthly or up to $5,000 for a one-time fee, with another $5,000 installation cost. However, you typically must reach out for an enterprise-level quote.
Types of Field Activity Management Software
A field activity management tool tends to fall under one of three umbrellas covered below. However, there are cases in which large software systems exist that feature elements of more than one of these areas.
The focus of the mobile option is providing remote access to field service technicians, enabling real-time communication, and allowing the team to maintain consistent access to valuable company data and support.
Mobile capability is very important here, meaning the devices used tend to be easy to hold units that fit in the palm. Image and other media capture are fundamental design choices, and you may find AI integrations present as well.
Enterprise Asset Management
The focus here is on maintaining and controlling equipment and operational assets whenever they are on or off company property. This is achieved by using a central information store with automatic updating and AI-powered capability.
Instead of a focus on operational inventory, the central function here tends to be on maintenance and repair-based inventory. The idea is to consistently provide the most modular view of these items possible to ensure the team always knows what it’s working with. Additionally, you find that you get optimization requirements and reorder notifications.
Trends in Field Activity Management Software
As you are contemplating what may be the best field activity management software solution, you always want to be future-proofing your decision. One of the best ways to do that is to keep abreast of trends that are going to undoubtedly affect the feasibility of your purchase decision. Some of these are as follows:
- Artificial intelligence and automation – This is already present in numerous field service solutions, but the capabilities continue to improve. Try to understand how the system you are interested in may help you to automate mundane tasks and the extent to which it can adapt based on your usage history.
- IoT-based maintenance – With the communication capabilities present, expect to see more smart capabilities as time passes. With these integrations, a single system can provide valuable insights into the status of many others. These may include temperature warnings, overload, impending breakdown, required consumables, etc. With all this in mind, more proactive maintenance can take place.
- Data-driven delivery – This is based on the availability and processing capabilities where big data is concerned. With historical insights alongside other analytical tools, estimated completion metrics can be provided as well as other proactive and supportive nuggets of information.
- Cloud adoption – With a shift to the cloud paradigm, there is no longer a need to remain connected to a company network or data center to access shared information. Therefore, VPN implementations can be replaced by over-the-air connections, allowing for greater accessibility and data redundancy.
Which is the Best Field Activity Management Software?
Making the call on what represents the best field activity management software solution is no easy feat. The best course of action is for you to try many options to see which suits you, but the list we provided above is a tremendous place to start.
Consider the merits of each and allow your demo experiences to guide you to your eventual final choice.
How to Choose the Right Field Activity Management Software
First, you must understand that we are here to assist you to the best of our capability. Our entire goal is to lay out all the necessary insights that could potentially come together to result in the most optimal decision possible.
As you are going through your testing phase, you want to pay attention to the frequency and quality of communication you get from your support contact. Additionally, try to collect information on what ongoing support is going to look like and expected SLAs.
Finally, apart from the core features you need to function, pay attention to other quality of life inclusions that can make the field service management process that much more comfortable.
With all you’ve seen, you should now be that much more confident in choosing an appropriate field activity management tool. Remember to start with the list provided and explore as much as possible.
At the end of the day, it’s all about meeting the strategic and operational needs of the business, while providing the smoothest possible employee experience.
If the application you settle on is a high-quality one, it’s likely also going to be intuitive, so you should have no worries about your team adjusting to its use.