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Field service management has long been dominated by paper-based processes. Outdated, wasteful, and environmentally unfriendly, it’s time to kick the habit. Cloud-based technology seems to offer benefits, but what about areas where there’s no Wi-Fi or where cellular signal is spotty or almost nonexistent?
The answer might just be offline mobile apps for field service management. Designed for today’s smartphones and tablets, mobile field service management apps offer online and offline functionality that helps you eliminate paper, green up your processes, save time and money, and deliver a better customer experience. They also help with the technician experience.
Within this blog post, we will explore what mobile apps for field service management offer and help you understand how critical they are for mobile service management. We’ll cover automation with mobile apps, requirements for field service mobile software, why offline capabilities matter, and the advantages they offer.
Automation and Mobile Apps for Field Service Management
One of the most important reasons to consider investing in a field service mobile app is for the ability to automate time-consuming, costly processes. Paper-based processes are cumbersome, tedious, and error-prone. By automating as many processes as possible, you achieve mission-critical goals, including:
- Dramatically improving accuracy
- Reducing time spent doing administrative processes, leaving more time for customer service
- Drives improved customer satisfaction and enhances their experience
- Saves technicians hassle, which improves their employment experience
Field Service Mobile Software Requirements
Like all other software, field service mobile apps must meet a few basic requirements. What are those, though? While many will vary with each use case and other needs, some of the basic requirements include the following:
- Direct integration with the FSO’s CRM or ERP software
- Barcode scanning capabilities
- RFID capabilities
- Geo-location capabilities
- Offline capabilities
Offline Capabilities for Your Field Service Management Mobile App
In the previous section, we listed offline capabilities as an important requirement for mobile field service apps. Why, though? Here’s the thing: you cannot predict that your technicians will always have access to network connectivity or even cellular signal. This is particularly true with remote sites, like offshore platforms or underground mines, but even locations in the heart of a city can suffer from low or no signal.
For instance, parking garages, basements, and construction sites all have notoriously spotty signal. Trusting to chance that your technicians will be able to connect is a quick route to disappointment for both you and your customers. Instead, offline capabilities can ensure that your technicians can stay productive, and your customers will be satisfied.
Offline capabilities ensure that your technicians can record tasks and notes, access stored documents, dig into knowledge bases, and update important information. The secret to accessing data and critical information? Advanced caching technologies that allow field service mobile applications to store a large amount of data on the local device for immediate access when connectivity is limited or nonexistent.
The Benefits Mobile Field Service Apps Deliver
With offline mobile apps for field service management, your technicians, customers, and the business itself enjoy several essential benefits. What are those?
- Always On – With offline capabilities, your field service management application offers always-on functionality, which guarantees that your technicians can do what they need to do when they need to do it, without having to worry about whether there’s signal/connectivity available.
- Consistency – We’ve all experienced the frustration that comes with slow load times due to poor Wi-Fi or cell signal. With the right field service app, your technicians enjoy consistent access to functions, features, and data, as well as reliable, predictable app performance.
- Speed – Loading large data sets on a poor connection can be incredibly frustrating. With no connection, it’s generally impossible. By using a field service app with offline capabilities, though, you ensure that your technicians can load large data sets very quickly.
- Performance – Connectivity too often dictates application performance. With spotty signal, app performance degrades. Functions that usually take seconds can take minutes. That affects everything from a technician’s ability to do their job to your customer’s overall experience and satisfaction levels. With an offline field management app, you get improved application performance across the board.
- Battery Life – Mobile devices are only as valuable as their battery life is long. When devices are forced to work overtime to try to pull data through slow connections, battery life declines dramatically. With offline capabilities, you ensure that your technicians enjoy better battery life on their mobile devices, reducing the need to charge them, and enhancing both their experience and their ability to serve customers.
When it’s all said and done, field service organizations must move away from outdated, error-prone paper-based processes. However, not all digital solutions are created equal. When choosing a field service management app, make sure that the application provides offline capabilities, or you could find that what was supposed to streamline workflows and save time is costing you time and causing problems for technicians and customers.
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