Mobile solutions for field service
What are mobile solutions for the technical field service?
With a mobile solution, technicians receive their orders for maintenance or customer service on the go on their smartphone, tablet or laptop. They can access order data in backend systems, create their service reports or forms on site, and transfer them to the control center for further processing.
They receive their orders from the dispatchers in the headquarters, which are assigned to them according to their qualifications, availability and proximity to the job site.
Branches of trades
Forms and checklists
Avoidance of incorrect entries
Integration into ERP systems
Integration of third-party applications
A mobile application for technicians provides more than just replacing paper. The validation of texts when entering data on the spot and the avoidance of media breaks by direct transmission into back-end systems contribute to a much higher quality of service reports, feedback and forms.
Mobile access to customer history, property data and material logistics can be used to avoid queries by phone and second calls. This contributes to a significant increase in productivity. A more efficient remediation of malfunctions, higher reliance and information security also improve the quality of service and thus also increase customer satisfaction.
The seamless integration of digital order processing into the scheduling and back-end systems in the company contributes to a cross-departmental optimization of the entire service process.
All of these factors mean that cost savings of 20 percent and more can be achieved through the use of Enterprise Mobility in the field of technical services.
Mobile software is suitable for medium-sized companies and large corporations with a technical field service from 50 employees. The more technicians a company has, the higher are the potential savings through mobile applications. The use of mobile enterprise solutions in the fields of plant engineering and mechanical engineering, energy supply, medical technology, facility management, IT and telecommunications is particularly widespread.
Material logistics can also be handled via mobile software. It covers both the stocked technician's warehouse (vehicle bearing) and the central bearing. The technician can order new material, process returns and document the goods receipt. If minimum stocks are maintained, consumed material is automatically reported to the back-office (for example, SAP). The entire material logistics is thus significantly improved by Enterprise Mobility in the service or maintenance area.
Many companies distinguish between three main types of service or maintenance:
Installation and commissioning of plants or machines usually take several days or weeks and require several technicians. With a mobile application, the technician can create his / her performance records with customer signatures daily or weekly. Billing takes place at an earlier stage, and internal service is always kept informed about the current progress.
Maintenance of equipment or equipment is part of the daily business of service technicians. With a mobile software, he has the whole customer history on his mobile device and can also create a new order or create a quotation.
In the case of faults, a fast response time plays a crucial role for customer satisfaction. With a mobile solution, technicians receive urgent orders with all the necessary information directly on their laptop, tablet or smartphone. This ensures more efficient troubleshooting and more satisfied customers.
Commissioning logs, returns receipts, state assessments of plants or checklists - many companies work with forms in service and maintenance. These can also be provided by mobile applications. So-called dynamic forms offer the advantage that they can be generated centrally in any number of variations and distributed over the mobile solutions to the technical field service. The design also allows companies to customize their corporate identity. The recorded values can then be archived either as a PDF or as individual data records in the ERP system.
There are modules or extensions for mobile software that allow the supervisor or in-house service to check the incoming reports of the technicians before being posted to SAP. To this end, the incoming service reports are selected using defined criteria for manual control. In the case of a correction, the internal service saves thus complex cancellations in the ERP system.
Most mobile solutions now also work offline. In doing so, the data from the ERP system such as contact data or customer history are temporarily stored on the mobile terminal. The values and confirmations entered by the technician are also saved locally. As soon as a connection is established, the mobile terminal synchronizes again and sends the data to the back-office. This means that the technicians have always access to important data with the mobile application - even in the cellar or elevator shaft.
Which mobile device is best suited for the use of a mobile field service solution depends on the company, the industry and above all the application scenarios. Special rugged devices are the first choice for outdoor use. They are particularly resistant to heat, cold, water and dirt, and they also overcome falls from a few meters without damage. Whether a tablet, laptop or smartphone is more suitable also depends on how much and how often the technicians have to enter data locally. Most solutions now support all form factors and all operating systems through responsive design. Also, the parallel use of two devices - a smartphone for on-site use and a tablet or laptop for entering longer texts - can be useful.
In principle, the integration of a mobile solution into all ERP systems can be carried out. These are often SAP EAM or SAP CRM - but also systems such as Microsoft Dynamics ERP or proprietary applications. The mobile solutions can be seamlessly integrated into the leading system via application-specific interface modules or web services.
Many mobile solutions also enable the integration of third-party systems, such as spare parts catalogs, image capturing software, knowledge management solutions or GIS. This makes maintenance and repairs even more efficient and optimizes mobile service and maintenance processes.