With the increasing evolution of mobile technology and unprecedented sales of mobile devices, companies worldwide are getting connected, both with their customers as well as with their offices. From eCommerce giants to the best of the banking sector and even the hospitality sector, connectivity is the key. Especially for organizations that depend on a dedicated field service/sales force for their operations, the need for a robust field force management solution is widely felt.
In recent times, everybody working in the field services sector realizes the importance of having a bankable field force management solution for enhanced productivity. In earlier times, it was hard to imagine being connected with one’s field colleagues or back office staff in a real-time scenario, from anywhere. Today, it is possible not only to track your field reps, assign tasks on the go, schedule client meetings, create route maps but also upload content, all from the comfort of a simple mobile dashboard interface. However, there are a number of solutions in the market and many of them promise the world at expensive subscription rates, so how do you make a choice about which service is best for you (Remember, price comparison & support facilities are crucial during such consideration)?
To help you through the process of selection and successful integration, I have listed below a few basic requirements that you need to be satisfied with, when choosing a field service solution:
If mobile software were to be like quantum mechanics, it would be totally counterproductive for your employees, since simply training them to use it on their devices would take days on end. It is ultimately the features offered within the simplicity of the user interface that will do the trick. Accessibility of information, data storing and transfer and other basic features are the things to look for.
While it is true that all geo-cordinates of the planet may one day be fully connected, it is incorrect to assume that such is the case right now. Your field staff may at times be required to visit clients at locations with little or no internet connectivity. It is thus fundamental that your software have adequate offline functionality as well. This would mean eventual alignment and server synchronization once the device returns to the network. Ideally, it should also be device independent and both your field team as well as your office team can have access to the information on their devices and not only on mobile ones.
Distribution of access levels for field-recorded information on a ‘need-to-have’ basis are a ‘must have’ for your software. Across the worlds, there are many laws against data theft and nothing can destroy a company’s image if it is found that personal customer data has been compromised with. A high end encryption technology and segregation of information according to access levels are some of the absolute basics that your software should offer.
No matter what anyone makes you believe, you should always try out the software before making a purchase decision, if only to get the look & feel of it. But ensure that there is no requirement of a credit card for you to be trying it free. It should be absolutely free from all risks.
While the current generation of hand-held devices are revolutionary; going forward, things will only get more sophisticated. In such an environment of mobility, the field service industry cannot be far behind while making the most of these technological advancements. So choose your field management software carefully.
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