I’ve often said that Salesforce needs more name recognition. Last fiscal year, the company only managed to bring in $6.7 billion in revenue. Come on, you’re better than that. They must have heard my anguished cries up on Salesforce Mountain, because the company recently announced its entrance into the field service management game.
In March, Salesforce gave us the first look at Field Service Lightning. It’s part of Salesforce’s service cloud, bringing some new tools to the platform and giving field service organizations a new way to work in the Salesforce environment.
Overall, this is a great option for field service organizations who are already using Salesforce. However if you’re not big enough to warrant buying into the Salesforce ecosystem, you probably shouldn’t buy in just for this, at least not yet.
Here are my initial thoughts on Salesforce’s newest offering, and first foray into field service.
Dashboards as far as the eye can see
Lightning’s main feature – and the one most touted in the marketing literature – is its new set of dashboards. On the dispatch side, you can now view all the details of a work order, the customer it’s attached to, and the tech who’s going to fix it.
You’ll have a countdown clock – for customers with service level agreements – and details about the asset or location that requires service. When the order comes in, Lightning’s dashboard lets you quickly jump over to see who’s available, using routing and existing schedule information to help you make the best tech selection.
In the field, your techs can use the Salesforce One app to get new job information. In the same app, they can mark work as completed and take customer signatures to verify work.
The dashboards are the command center of Lightning, and they also power the reporting tools in the suite. You’ll be able to track KPIs all in one place, pretty cool since being able to see how your business is doing at a glance is the whole point of a KPI.
The Salesforce ecosystem
All the features are great, but that doesn’t mean this is for everyone. People who are already invested in – or who want to be invested in – the Salesforce system will benefit the most. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just the way of the world.
Choosing to work with Salesforce means that you won’t be working in a competing environment. That’s Google, Microsoft, Oracle, etc. If you decide that you really like the new Salesforce offering, you have to make a decision knowing that you’re not buying a piece of software that’s just going to slot into your existing portfolio.
Lightning runs as an add-on – essentially – to the Salesforce customer relationship management system. When you buy Lightning, you won’t be out much additional money. For $135, businesses with one Enterprise Edition or Unlimited Edition Service Cloud license can have Field Service Lightning.
Those licenses start at $125 per user, per month. There are going to be instances where, even if you’ve bought into Salesforce – at the lowest level, for instance – this isn’t going to be operating at your level.
From the little that I’ve seen so far, I like the new Field Service Lightning option. Salesforce makes a solid set of products and this doesn’t seem to be an exception. I really like the visual aspect of Lightning, and I think more and more companies are going to make those sorts of features standard.
If you’re running a larger field service business, I think this might be the piece that convinces you to setup shop with Salesforce. If your business is you and three guys in a van, this is way too much machine.
Looking for Field Service Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Field Service Management software solutions.