Imagine sitting on your desk and going through a huge stack of papers that includes work orders, schedules, and invoices. Managing a company’s field operation can be both time-consuming and tedious. A field service management software streamlines your workflow and automates the mundane tasks. But the question is, what is the right software to choose? Many differ in the types of features they provide, pricing structure, and their reputation in the marketplace. Identifying the crucial factors when selecting your FSM software is key to driving business growth and eliminating potential problems in the future.
How to Choose the Best Field Service Management Software for Small Business
Selecting the right field service management software will be an impactful decision in your business. Typically it requires your team to adapt and learn how to use the new technology. An FSM software that is easy to use and affordable can help your employees make a seamless transition.
Is it a Cloud-Based Software?
A field service management software can be delivered through the cloud or an on-premise system. Cloud-based softwares can be accessed anywhere as long as an internet connection is available. An on-premise software means that data is kept on an in-house server and managed by an IT team. Although an on-premise software offers more data protection and security, cloud computing provides more advantages for a small business, such as:
- Cheaper costs: On-premise solutions require a hefty initial upfront cost because owning the software means purchasing a copy or license. You’ll also need to pay for the expenses required to maintain and update the software. With cloud-based software, on the other hand, you can pay on a monthly basis, allowing you to scale your business up or down depending on your company’s growth.
- No IT management or maintenance required: Unfortunately, with on-premise solutions, you’re locked into the product without any new features until the next contractual physical update. In contrast, cloud-based software requires no installation and no management of the software.
- Mobile accessible: Technicians are always moving from one place to another; therefore, mobile accessibility is a must. You should be able to access the information you need wherever you are.
Do They Have an Overwhelming Amount of Positive Customer Reviews?
Always do your research on every company. Software companies can entice you with their sales copy, but what do their customers really say about them? Google search the name of the software and add the keyword “reviews” to your search to find real client testimonials. Scan through all of the available feedback, ranging from 5-star to 1-star reviews.
Most companies will have both positive and negative reviews. However, the positive reviews should outweigh the negative ones. If the vendor has only 5-star reviews, you should be skeptical and assume that employees are writing the company reviews to bolster their online reputation.
Has the Software Been In Business For At Least 5 Years
If you search for “best field service management software for small business,” you’ll find dozens of tools to choose from. But which one is the right solution for you? According to Investopedia, many tech startups fail within their first five years of business. The research shows that 21.5% of startups fail within their first year, 30% by their second year, and 50% by their fifth year. In their business’s infancy stage, vendors are still trying to figure out the best functionality and features in their business, which takes years to achieve.
Do They Have a Proven Track Record Across Multiple Industries?
You want an FSM software that has a proven track record in your specific industry, not some fly-by-night software company with no substance. For example, Azuga has experience with the following industries: construction, electrical, HVAC, landscaping, pest control, plumbing, telecom, trucking, utilities, and waste management.
Look for reputable companies that a given FSM software provider has worked with. Ideally, you don’t want to be their biggest customer. In the case of Azuga, they have worked with well-known companies in the electrical industries like APG, Nolan Power Group, and Tribus Services.
Do Their Features Match Your Needs?
About 38% of technicians reported that they cannot access all of the information they need, and 45% of technicians claim that their current tools aren’t fast enough. The most important aspects to consider when choosing an FSM software are the kinds of features available and whether it matches what you’re looking for. Ideally, software should provide a demo or free trial so that you can see how the tool fits within your business operations. Here are a few standard features that all FSM software should include:
- Job scheduling and dispatching
- Work order management
- Parts inventory management
- Customer management
Do you need advanced features? Sometimes when selecting a field service management software for small businesses, you want to find features that separate industry leaders from the rest of the pack. Advanced features may include:
- Reporting and analytics
- GPS integration for routes
What Integrations Are Available?
Using tools separately without any integrations can lead to a lot of headaches. An integration typically involves the ability to transfer data from one software to the other. For example, importing work orders from your FSM software into your billing tool will save you time and prevent mistakes.
Ensure that the field management software has integrations that are compatible with the existing tools that your small business already uses. Some of the most common app integrations are QuickBooks, MailChimp, Zapier, Stripe, PayPal, and FleetSharp. Here are a few benefits of having built-in integrations:
- Improved efficiency: Integration helps to organize workflow and productivity. Users can see how each department of a business is connected. Each segment should act as part of a workflow, where one area of the business directly improves another area’s efficiency.
- Ready to use: Integrations should be as easy as logging into the software. No backend coding or developers should be required.
- Improved visibility: All of your data should be stored in your FSM account, so you can view everything in one place, making your decision-making process much faster.
Let Azuga Manage Your Field Service Operations
Always consider what your needs are to accomplish your business goals. Sometimes, your budget might not allow you to select the best available option. But we implore you to invest in a reputable and high-quality FSM tool, since it can have long-term positive effects on your bottom line.
Azuga is the leading FSM software, and it can help your field service business operate more efficiently. They offer a free demo that allows you to try out their software and see how it fits your business before purchasing. With Azuga, customers can optimize scheduling, monitor work orders, track vehicles through GPS, and even receive advanced reporting that enables them to track various key metrics.