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Field Service Management Software for Small Businesses for 2019

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Providing field services is no easy feat, especially for small companies who have limited staff members. Luckily, there are plenty of field service management software that caters to the needs of different business sizes. In this article, we will guide you through the process of choosing the ideal FSM solution for your company. Among the topics we will be discussing are:

Field Service Software for Small Businesses

The advent of artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), new visualization technologies, superior data analytics is bound to change industries and software applicationsincluding field management software solutionsin more ways than could be imagined now. If you are still dispatching and managing your field service personnel the old way, now is a good time to rethink your approach. As the FSM market continues to grow relentlessly, to USD 5.08 billion by 2023, you could try mapping out essential strategies to modernize your field service operations and make the most of it as many already.

The map is not as difficult as it might initially seem, as Salesforce depicts it. Essential steps include ensuring you have access to the relevant data that should serve as the foundation of your roadmap. Once you have sorted out your data capture and storage system, you should be ready to proceed to the next step, which is to automate the processes shown in your data. Applying your automation on the field should let you fine-tune your automation process, which marks the third step, optimization of your automation processes. Once your modern FSM setup is running smoothly, bear in mind that you could not let new opportunities to improve further simply pass you by while others, especially your competition, are incorporating them in their own systems. Thus, you have to make innovation your fourth step, to ensure that your system remains flexible and future-proof.

According to Oracle, companies who utilize a field service management solution can do nearly 50 percent more jobs in a day. Moreover, these platforms are able to help businesses improve customer satisfaction rates up to 98 percent. With these statistics, there’s no reason left for you to put off investing in an FSM software.

Now, you might be thinking, “can your small business afford to invest in an FSM tool?.” Well, contrary to popular belief, software solutions such as field service management platforms are not just meant for large enterprises. There are tons of options available on the market that can meet the requirements and budget of small businesses. To help you out, we have created a comprehensive guide regarding field service management software for small business that explains the factors you should look out for when browsing a product for your operations.

Functionalities Small Businesses Should Look for in Field Management Software

Many field service management applications offer extensive sets of features that tackle multiple aspects. However, these are often offered at prices that small businesses cannot afford. So, it is best to know which functions are actually essential to your field service operations. This way, you won’t have to pay for multiple tools that you might not even need.

Workflow Organization

Standardizing your operations is crucial to delivering reliable and consistent services. To make sure that all of your employees are following protocol when it comes to handling orders, workflow organization tools are necessary. In field management applications, this feature allows you to map out how employees should proceed upon taking service calls. With this, you can all keep schedules on track at all times and ensure that you are providing the best quality of service to your customers.

Electronic Dispatching

While handing out work orders via phone is a tried and tested method in the field service industry, it is not the most efficient way of managing operations. It often takes too much time and it can cause confusion between managers and field employees. To make sure that your techs get the right information, customer site details, and other instructions, you will need an electronic dispatching system. This allows you to communicate with field technicians faster than ever. Moreover, it cuts back on paper and phone calls.

Employee Tracking

Make sure you know how your field technicians are doing while managing work orders by ensuring that your FSM application has an employee tracking option. This should give you complete visibility into their location and job progress without managers having to constantly check up on them via calls. What makes this even more handy is that the status of your employees can be shared with customers so they can see where the technicians servicing them are and when they are expected to arrive.

Inventory Management

Your field employees use up supplies whenever they attend to a work order. To avoid overlooking any changes in your warehouse, you need to opt for a field service management software with inventory management capabilities. These will monitor supply levels and automate re-ordering of certain products. This way, you won’t have to worry about not having supplies when you need it.  

Centralized Information Database

In field service companies, coordination is key to success. To ensure effective collaboration, you need a centralized database that will allow managers and employees to see all operational information in one place. This should be able to store field worker profiles, schedule of work orders, administrative tasks, contact information, and other related information. With this at your disposal, you can provide a more cost-effective and streamlined customer service while greatly reducing employee workload and minimizing downtimes brought about by inefficient filing systems.

GeoOp provides an easy-to-navigate dashboard, making it great for novice field service professionals.

Some Factors to Consider When Purchasing Field Service Management Software

Apart from making sure that your prospective platform has all the essential FSM features, there are other factors that you should consider when purchasing a software solution. Below, we zeroed in on the points that you should focus on while browsing for a product:

Affordability

Small businesses and startup companies don’t always have the budget for new software solutions. So, it is only right that you take a good look at the price of the platform you are interested in investing in. For FSM, costs may range from $25 to $2000 per month depending on the pricing structure of the vendor. Some charge depending on the number of users, company size, business needs, customization, or deployment preferences. There are also those that have additional charges for setup, installation, data storage, and technical support. In any case, it is best that you determine a flexible budget that you won’t have trouble maintaining on a monthly or yearly basis.

Implementation Time

Time is gold, especially for growing businesses. This is why you need to choose field service management tools with low learning curves and quick implementation times. By doing so, you don’t need to worry about experiencing downtimes that might come with the installation process or the setup procedure.

Customer Support

As a small company, you probably don’t have in-house IT experts who can install, maintain, and troubleshoot your software for you. In cases like this, it is important that your vendor offers reliable technical support. Try to opt for vendors who can give you phone support, email support, or other forms of assistance in case you experience software glitches on weekends or holidays. If they don’t have live support on certain days of a week, they should have an easily accessible knowledge base with tutorials and other documents that you can refer to.

Deployment Options

Field service management platforms, like other software solutions, may be deployed in different ways. If you prefer a more traditional, secure system that cannot be accessed outside of your workplace, an on-premise software is more ideal for you. However, if mobility is important to you, a cloud-hosted system should be a better option. In case you are still unsure of what kind of deployment is best for your growing business, you should opt for a hybrid system.

Mobility

Customers want fast service from companies they rely on. To make sure you are giving the best possible assistance in the quickest manner, you need mobile-ready field service management tools. These will be able to complete paperwork instantaneously, improve communication, provide real-time work status, and increase productivity. It is important to note, however that while most FSM vendors offer some degree of mobile access, there are only a few that provide advanced tools like GPS tracking, geolocation, and the like.

Scalability

Small businesses need room to grow. It would be a waste of money and time to implement a system that you’ll have to change every time you expand your company. This is why you need platforms that can scale up and down according to your operations’ changing needs. It is also a good idea to opt for platforms that can integrate with other business systems, so you can keep on building your arsenal of software solutions without having to worry about compatibility issues.

As part of the Salesforce productivity suite, Salesforce Service Lightning Cloud offers comprehensive features for different business sizes.

Questions Small Businesses Should Ask Before Purchasing a Field Management Software

Assessing a software should not end with reading the product information that the vendor gives you. It is also important for you to ask questions about certain factors that might not always be provided on an FSM software’s website. To help you out, we have compiled some questions that you might want to consider asking your prospective vendor before signing your contract:

What type of services are included in the plan?

While many software providers offer on-site services as part of their subscription packages, there are vendors who opt to charge these separately in order to keep their rates low. However, because of this, users often spend more money than they expected because of hefty technical support fees, installation service fees, and other miscellaneous charges that come from on-site services.

Before you sign your contract, be sure to ask if they offer training classes, customization assistance, installation services, and technical support as part of their plans. If they don’t, you should ask what their rates are–some may charge per minute, some are sold by the hour, and there are those that have flat fees for these services. In any case, you should just make sure that you are prepared for any additional fees in case you ask for their help.  

Will you need to renew your license after the purchase?

Software vendors have varying pricing schemes.There are those that offer straightforward monthly rates, yearly rates, or flat bundle fees that cover pretty much all the costs related to the software. However, there are also those that only charge via licensing fees. If, by any chance, you are investing in a platform with this billing plan, you should find out if it’s a one-time payment or if you will need to renew your license after the purchase. This way, you can get a more accurate calculation of how much you are investing in a particular platform.

What is the frequency of program updates?

The business landscape constantly changes, making it important for you to choose software providers that can give you platforms that adapt to the needs of your industry. As a buyer, you can make sure of this by understanding the program update scheme of your prospective vendor. Ask their representatives how often they update their product and whether or not these updates are automatic. Moreover, are these updates free with the package you are purchasing or do they charge separately for them? The key here is to pick a vendor that provides frequent updates and would keep you in the loop every time there are potential changes to the system.  

Do you have a refund policy?

Even after reading about a product, testing out its features, and speaking with the vendor’s representatives, there is still a possibility for you to rethink your purchase. Whether you feel like you won’t be able to afford it in the long run or you’ve realized that it simply isn’t a good fit for your operations, it would be a relief to know that they will give you back your money should you change your mind.

mHelpDesk is a name trusted by field service professionals for its intuitive interface.

Examples of Field Service Management Software for Small Businesses

Now that we have discussed how to pick field service management software for small business, you can start browsing for platforms. Below, we have listed some of the leading providers of FSM software to help you narrow down your options. If you are looking for more options, check out our article on the top 10 field management platforms.

1. Wrike

Wrike is a cloud-hosted project management software that is highly trusted for field service management, too. Known for its intuitive platform and mobile-ready interface, this platform is built to aid project managers, field service managers, and other professionals improve the speed and efficiency of their endeavors. It is equipped with tools such as time tracking, interactive Gantt charts, workflow automations, and reporting tools. With these, you can schedule deadlines, prioritize tasks, map out workflows, ensure stable inventory levels, track your employees’ productivity, and keep track of progress in real-time. In turn, it is easier for them to meet SLAs and monitor whether or not each project is going according to plan. 

Wrike also provides built-in collaboration tools such as in-platform discussions and file sharing. Using this, field service managers and their teams can have more convenient and productive conversations about their projects without having to leave the system. In addition to that, Wrike has robust analytics options that will allow you to get in-depth insights into your work. Using this, you will be able to get a good sense of which aspects of your strategies are working and which are not, which tasks are eating up the most of your time, and the like. You may then use these data to optimize your workflow, adjust certain tactics, or improve the way you handle future projects.

If you want to know more about the features you can easily sign up for a Wrike free trial here.

This award is given to the best product in our Project Management Software category. It highlights its superior quality and underlines the fact that it's a leader on the market.
USER SATISFACTION 99%
OUR SCORE 9.7
Wrike won our Best Project Management Software Award for 2018

For pricing, the vendor currently provides a free plan for companies with up to 5 users, making it great for small businesses and startups. As your company grows, you may upgrade to any of their paid monthly packages. You may choose from their Wrike Professional plan, Wrike Business plan, and Wrike for Marketers package which are available at $9.80/user, $24.80/user, and $34.60/user respectively. If you prefer a customized plan for your operations, the vendor also offers a Wrike Enterprise Pricing option which is available by quote.  

2. WorkHeld

WorkHeld is an on-premise FSM designed for companies in the construction and maintenance industry. Serving as a holistic software solution, it aims to improve productivity by enhancing communication between managers and employees. This platform is equipped with tools for time tracking, defect management, expense monitoring, project planning. It even has an intelligent VoiceBot that serves as your assistant for easier navigation of the platform.

Moreover, WorkHeld has a user-friendly interface, making it ideal for small businesses who are implementing FSM for the first time. With these tools at your disposal, you can distribute real-time information, schedule work orders, and delegate resources effortlessly.

WorkHeld offers payment plans that are priced depending on the features you’ll be needing. The Basic package costs  €39/user/month while their Enterprise plan and Partner plan are available only by quote.

3. ProntoForms

Trusted by more than 3500 businesses, ProntoForms is an intuitive platform offering a secure and scalable interface that allows you to mobilize business processes with ease. It has the capability to automate workflows, collect data in real-time, make company data accessible in the field, as well as synchronize information in back-office systems.

With this by your side, you can easily track, analyze, and improve your processes. This platform even has API functionalities, making it easy for you to configure it to meet the needs of your operations when it comes to inspections, auditing, maintenance, and asset management.

ProntoForms has plans depending on your business size as well as the type of analytics solutions you will be needing. They offer a Small Business plan inclusive of all FSM features and basic reporting available at $25/user/month. If you need complete business intelligence dashboards, you may opt for their Professional plan which costs $35/user/month. As you grow your business, you may choose to their quote-based Enterprise package.

4. HouseCall Pro

HouseCall Pro is a cloud-based web portal that helps professionals manage the different facets of their business. Equipped with a native mobile application, it provides over 30 vertical offerings for home service professionals and can be applied for all corporate environments. You can streamline your company’s operations and workflow through easier dispatching, estimating, invoicing, and much more.

Also, since many businesses are migrating to the digital world, you can get started by opting for HouseCall Pro, which eliminates the need for pen-and-paper scheduling, service history tracking, and payment processing.

Should you be interested in HouseCall Pro, the vendor offers SMB plans depending on the number of users you need the system to support. For small businesses, you may choose from Simple Plan at $39/month or the Modern Plan at $109/month. They also have an Advanced plan that accommodates unlimited users which is available at $199/month. These all have an additional $99 activation fee.

5. Jobber

Jobber is an online solution that allows companies to manage different aspects of their business. With its combined capabilities for field services and personnel, users can make communication between management and field workers more effective. Generally, Jobber is ideal for businesses in the general contracting, lawn care, HVAC, and cleaning industries. Some features this tool has include CRM, work scheduling, team management, and invoicing.

Jobber also offers a reasonably priced SMB and enterprise plans depending on the number of users you plan on enrolling into the platform as well as the feature sets you require. Perfect for small businesses, the Core and Connect plans are available at $69/month and $129/month respectively. Once team reaches more than 10 users, you may upgrade to their Unlimited plan that is available at $259/month.

6. mHelpDesk

If you need an all-in-one solution for your service management requirements, mHelpDesk is a top choice. Compatible with desktops as well as smartphones and tablets, it has a compact interface that is easy to navigate. You can track tasks and manage leads without any hassle because customer information will be accessible while on the job even when you’re offline. Plumbers, electrical contractors, and other professionals from similar industries are some of the people who will benefit greatly from using this platform. This tool can also assist you with work orders, equipment tracking, scheduling, quote and contact management, and field service CRM.

As for pricing, mHelpDesk is only available by quote. Should you be interested in investing in this product, be sure to get in touch with the vendor to get a customized plan for your needs.

7. Salesforce Field Service Lightning

A centralized knowledge hub, Salesforce Field Service Lightning helps you stay on track with your deliveries while letting you personalize the service you provide. While you get real-time visibility in your operations, this tool also applies AI to increase your first-time fix rates. Another use for Salesforce Field Service Lightning is connecting your workforce and enabling them to deliver intelligent on-site service. You are able to boost productivity, resolve field service calls faster, and save time with automated appointment scheduling, inventory management, and asset tracking.

The vendor offers different plans depending on the role of each user. For mobile employees and dispatchers, prices range from $150 to $300 per user per month. For contractors, rates fall between $50 per user per month and $75 per user per month. They also have a Field Service Lightning Plus plan that starts from $200 per user per month.  

8. GeoOp

GeoOp is a workforce management system that focuses on streamlining operations for businesses. Simple and easy-to-use, it offers a full range of features for real-time scheduling, job status monitoring, GPS tracking, automation, timekeeping, and profitability reporting. It also supports audio and video files as well as SMS for more effective communication between managers and field employees. In addition, it integrates well with a number of third-party software solutions. This way, you can use it alongside some of your favorite business tools.

GeoOp offers different pricing plans depending on the licenses you will be needing for your company. They have five packages in total that can support a minimum of 2 licenses and a maximum of 100 licenses costing $58.8/month to $1319.8/month. Discounts are available if you choose an annual billing plan.

9. Service Autopilot

An intuitive service management suite, Service Autopilot caters to the FSM needs of different business sizes. It is designed to drive business growth through advanced scheduling, call tracking, job costing, and invoicing. It also tracks service requests, performs sales and CRM functions, and summarizes all the company information you need into one convenient dashboard. This way, managing your field employees and monitoring resources is much simpler. It is even equipped with calendars and to-do lists that all your team members can access, so everyone can keep track of orders that need to be done at a given time.

For pricing, they only have two pricing plans: the Starter Package and the Pro Package which costs $47/month and $79.97/month respectively. Both have a one-time setup fee of $97.These are bundled depending on how extensive the FSM features you require are. The vendor also offers a number of additional services that you can purchase by request.

10. Teletrac Navman Director

Teletrac Navman Director is primarily a fleet management software but it offers robust field service management capabilities. With tools that can tackle vehicle tracking, driver management, vehicle analytics, and fleet productivity tracking, this platform can easily help you optimize your workflow and improve overall operations. It even has specialized features such as route mapping, traffic alerts, geofencing, and fuel consumption tools to help you prevent delays in deliveries.  

In case there are additional field service management functions that you are looking for but are not part of the core platform, Teletrac Navman Director has open API options. This way, you can extend the capabilities of the system using any third-party integrations. For pricing, be sure speak with their representatives to request a quote.

11. Verizon Connect

Verizon Connect is a fleet management and optimization software for all business sizes. It is built to help companies increase their bottom line by improving asset utilization. On top of that, it provides entrepreneurs and managers with tools that can help them monitor their workforce and vehicles and moderate fleet expenses. It is also equipped with field service and scheduling solutions to make sure that all field employees are being maximized at all times and all work orders are attended to as soon as possible.

Verizon Connect is a multi-faceted fleet management software. If you are interested in implementing the solution for your company, you can request a demo and a custom enterprise pricing from the sales team by phone.

Conclusion

While field service management systems are often used by large enterprises, these platforms have a lot to offer for small businesses as well. These can provide you with ways to optimize your operations, improve customer service, as well as streamline backend systems. With FSM tools, small companies can do more without having to hire more people or spend more hours on service calls. Hopefully, with this guide on field service management software for small business, you were able to get a better idea of how you can pick the most ideal one for your operations.

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