We recently sat down with Harvey Shovers, the President and CEO at MSI Data, a provider of field service management software. He discusses the capabilities of Service Pro, the issues buyers are having in their software search, and his thoughts on making the field service management software buying process easier.
Q: Who does MSI Data target?
A: Service Pro field service management software and depot repair software targets organizations with a service operation ranging anywhere from a dozen to thousands of service technicians. These technicians either provide service in the field (at the customer’s location) or work in centralized repair centers. Our customers span twenty industries; most commonly manufacturing, telecommunications, cable, government, utilities, business services, residential services and transportation. Regardless of the industry or size of the business, the common denominator is the need to manage service operations with less manual effort, and to have more business intelligence available for decision making.
Q: How does your software benefit your clients?
A: First and foremost, it brings together all of their field service and depot repair-related business functions into one centralized database, including scheduling, dispatching, invoicing, work order management, RMA administration, inventory, maintenance contracts, warranties, reporting, tasking, inspections, alerts, mobile and more. Before implementing Service Pro, these functions are typically managed manually, often with disconnected spreadsheets. With the entire service team on the same page, they will realize immediate benefit by eliminating duplicate entering of data. Customers are able to deploy Service Pro very quickly. Most are up and running in 30-60 days, giving measurable returns on investment quickly.
Q: How do your clients justify expense?
A: The most common methods our customers use to justify their expenditure are:
- Increased service technician utilization rate. Studies show that service organizations utilize just 60% of their technician’s time for billable work. Field service management systems typically help improve this rate with better information available and more automation in technician scheduling and dispatching processes.
- Faster customer billings.
- Decreased inventory adjustments.
- Higher first time fix rate.
- Growth without adding overhead.
- More complete, accurate, automated reporting.
Q: Do you have any recommendations for buyers?
A: Do not stray from your original intent. Know the processes within your company you are trying to automate and make sure you see those processes when you go and buy an application. The more preparation done internally before engaging vendors, the better the service organization will be able to identify the system that best fits their business. Here are seven practical best practices for choosing a new field service management system that businesses should consider:
- Understand your Business Case
- Ensure an Apples to Apples Comparison
- Engage the Field Technicians
- Get up to Speed on Field Service Software Technology Trends
- Take a Deep Dive into Customer Support
- Check References
- Have an Implementation and Training Plan
Each of these best practices is described in greater detail in MSI Data’s article, 7 Best Practices for Choosing a Field Service Software System.