Speed, accuracy, and efficiency are considered crucial assets in the field. In recent years, technologies have been introduced to the field service industry that enable field staff to better deliver on these critical performance benchmarks.
“The industry has a history of relying on paper-based processes, but now tech professionals are recognizing the benefits of using mobile apps and back-office platforms to digitize those processes and get the job done faster and more effectively than they've been used to," says Jonathan Taub, President of Rimrock Corporation, provider of the FIELDBOSS mobile software and its Resco Mobile CRM platform.
Undoubtedly, mobile apps and advanced CRM platforms have been particularly beneficial for field staff.
Some advantages include:
Robust data collection: There are no limitations on what can be put on digital mobile checklists and inspection forms. Virtually any question can be asked, and any type of answer can be entered. Data types on Resco's Mobile CRM platform, for example, range from text boxes to checkboxes, single and multiple-choice questions, lookups, option sets, decimal numbers, whole numbers, numeric ranges, email addresses, URLs, date and time, and HTML strings.
Evidence collection: Mobile apps can enable field technicians to upload images, sounds, or videos to support their inspection concerns. Additionally, these photos can be tagged, and artificial intelligence (AI) image recognition can be incorporated to identify parts.
Dynamic Checklists: Paper-based checklists may not cover the full scope of an inspection. They also are likely to cause human errors, omissions, and miscommunications that can send ripples throughout the workflow. Alternatively, mobile apps can be pre-loaded with “smart” checklists that include the resources, information, and data to make data entry easier, more accurate, and more efficient for technicians.
“On the Resco Mobile CRM Platform, for example, users can update forms with a few clicks and forms can be designed to show only questions that are necessary based on previous responses. Additionally, they can add validations, apply conditional styling, and tailor the checklists in other ways that make them more valuable in the field," says Taub.
Prioritized Questions & Automated Answers: It can get busy in the field. To save time, mobile contractor inspection app forms contain pre-filled answers that can be reused as default answers in future forms to speed up tasks. If a technician needs to go back to a previous version of the form or checklist, they can create versions of the same form and track all their changes.
Questions can also be weighted by allocating a score. This helps technicians uncover indiscretions faster and, as a result, obtain a quicker overview of issues that matter to them on their particular job.
Adaptability: The best tools are ones that can be modified on the fly for various teams. Here again, digital solutions enable checklists and forms to be created in different languages for geographically diverse workforces. As well, users can create and configure their digital forms and reports to suit their specific circumstances with a drag-and-drop designer.
“That's another benefit to going paperless,” adds Taub. “Being able to adapt your mobile platform helps staff become more self-sufficient and take ownership of the mobile solutions.”
Benchmarking: There's wisdom in data. Another benefit of using mobile app technologies is that they can collect and analyze on-the-job performance to give users and their employers an idea of the time it takes to complete various forms. This information helps identify how long it takes to perform a job and schedule the daily tasks more proficiently.
There are advantages to going digital. More importantly, there are benefits to using CRM platforms and mobile apps that have proven themselves effective in the field.
"We've seen a lot of success with the Resco platform – whether its digitizing forms, optimizing data collection, generating customer reports, or eliminating back offices overwhelmed with paperwork," notes Taub. “Customers like the Resco platform because it allows their mobile solution to be fully customizable, easy to integrate, and quick to deploy – factors which make going 'digital' that much more appealing to any field service professional.”
Contact FIELDBOSS for more information about how you can leverage mobile software to mitigate risk in your Contracting business and provide the best service possible to your customers while increasing your business profitability.