Author Topic: software for field service engineer / workflow & cost management.  (Read 497 times)

Evening talented people!
I'm looking for advice and opinions on what may be suitable solutions for the following scenario for running a new business undertaking a mix of planned and reactive field service engineering tasks.  Some will be emergency call-outs whereas planned tasks may require some materials/parts ordering up front.

* Ideally looking for something to enable customers to request appointments on our website via desktop/mobile. 
* Some sort of manual intervention is probably then required to book scheduled tasks (e.g. annual services) and reactive call-outs.  The task would would then be reviewed and some parts/materials may need to be ordered or booked against the job.
* The engineers are issued with a tablet and receive a calendar view and task descriptions in advance of their visits to enable them to pick up any kit/tools required before going to site. 
* The system supports cost management and prepares an itemised invoice which the engineer can agree with the customer on site / gain signature via touchscreen tablet.
* Payment management can be separate, e.g. via iZettle. but potentially a solution which can handle payments and VAT for making tax digital would be a total bonus.

Not a major enterprise - maybe initially just a handful of engineers but needs to be scalable, perhaps to 100+ users.

Basically, I'm trying to avoid unnecessary re-creation of paperwork - and black holes down which customer service disappears. I'd like to design this new business to perform efficiently from the word go.

This looks pretty much like what I'm after, but does anyone have any experience of this or other solutions that you can recommend?
https://www.exel.co.uk/eagle-field-service-management-software/ 
Alternatives like IBM Maximo and some of the other big ERP or CMMS systems all look a bit "major enterprise" for a small start-up business.

Re: software for field service engineer / workflow & cost management.
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2019, 08:15:11 am »

Re: software for field service engineer / workflow & cost management.
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2019, 08:41:12 am »
...actually on reflection I may be able to be a little more use, although you may still find that sign handy.

First, I would be looking for SaaS rather than installing and running my own system.

Second, if it is any use, pm me your name IRL, we can join on Linkedin and I can introduce you to an ex-ITSM architect, now finding a far more satisfying existence as a sports journalist.

Re: software for field service engineer / workflow & cost management.
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2019, 09:02:32 am »
Everyone I work with seems to be using or moving to Service Now.

https://www.servicenow.com

No idea if they have an offering for smaller companies but it seems to be becoming some kind of de-facto standard. personally though I havent had any involvement with it.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: software for field service engineer / workflow & cost management.
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2019, 09:12:15 am »
Thanks both for the feedback.
I'll take a look at Service Now, and get in touch with Ham in due course as the project develops.
At the moment two of us are slowly gearing up to partly merge our separate one man enterprises in order to create something larger so it's still at the kitchen table stage a bit.
C

Re: software for field service engineer / workflow & cost management.
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2019, 09:23:10 am »
FWIW, I know Servicenow provides SaaS and (I believe) scales across all enterprises.

Re: software for field service engineer / workflow & cost management.
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2019, 08:43:52 pm »
A bit of research suggests some of the features I'm after already exist within my Office 365 Business Premium bundle e.g. Microsoft Bookings and Invoicing apps which provide team integration and mobile capability.  May be worth pursuing at this stage until we build a viable sized business.  Anyone use these tools and have any useful feedback?