Uses of Field Service Management in Utilities

FREMONT, CA | Monday, September 13, 2021

A well-planned field services transformation with a clear vision definition will assist an organization transform this function.

FREMONT, CA: Field service management (FSM) is the system for streamlining field service operations. It comprises scheduling work orders, dispatching service technicians, tracking labor hours and invoicing the completed job. However, field service management is deeper and encompasses every aspect of service delivery. Effective people management and operations are necessary to make the field service efficient. This function is at the core of any organization that services customers.

Field services are vital to ensure the business continuity of the utility sector. In the utility sector, field workers are responsible for infrastructure construction, restoration, maintenance, and customer services. The constant movement of service agents on and off the field, high-risk maintenance task, extreme weather, and remote location work assignments are not rare. Efficient communication and safety precautions are needed. Often, service agents directly communicate with customers, and hence they are the representatives of utility service providers.

FSM starts with planning, execution, and confirmation of services. These operations are also linked with service sales, finance and billing, customer relationship management, engineering and manufacturing for information, including parts design, inventory, and maintenance. FSM is also connected with human resources systems due to the involvement of labor in the field. Presently in the utility sector, field service management is mostly paper-backed. The back office manages the work plan for its service representatives. Last-minute order placement, order cancellation, or changes are frequent since they are handled manually. These factors negatively affect employee productivity.

Today many enterprises offer their field engineers mobile devices for accessing data. However, this data requires to be accurate. Having a good FSM system in place and integration to the ERP systems can break the hurdles of siloed information and make FSM more efficient and effective. This, along with the utilization of emerging technologies, can take automation to the next level and make the data available online and offline. Assessment of as-is field service operations and technology landscape followed by correct tool selection would assist create a roadmap for deployment.

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