Cloud computing and digitisation is transforming the business world. Moving from paper based to digital business systems has become a necessity for organisations providing field services.
Field service management is both demanding and challenging, often involving the delivery and maintenance of essential systems such as refrigeration, manufacturing, medical devices, heating and ventilation equipment. It requires meticulous organisation of resources, scheduling of site visits, inventory monitoring, parts ordering, work order creation, service report filing, customer invoicing and much more.
There are often many different paper based systems involved which can make the idea of moving to a fully digital field service management system daunting. But there are now sophisticated software tools, carefully designed to meet the specific needs of field service management, developed by people who know exactly what’s needed.
Transitioning to paperless business systems for field service management provides many benefits, some of which we highlight in this post.
5 Benefits of moving from a paper to a digital business system
Businesses are always aiming to improve efficiency and raise productivity. Making effective and optimal use of available resources is a key aspect of this process. Moving to a fully digital system makes a huge contribution by standardising processes and streamlining operations.
Digitising all customer and field service documentation, for example, avoids all of the headaches and potential for errors and losses associated with paper based filing systems. Here are just 5 of what we consider to be the key benefits of moving away from paper to a fully digital field service management system.
1. Improved processes
There are many processes involved in providing top quality field services. Digitisation and the use of automated field service management software tools will optimise these processes and deliver significant time savings which translate into lower costs and better customer service.
Field service management software supports the optimal allocation of resources, close monitoring of customer accounts, timely and accurate invoicing along with excellent internal communications. Service reports can be submitted, directly from the field, in real time and front line personnel are better equipped to meet customer demands.
2. Save time and money
Paper based systems are time consuming. A fully digital system avoids time being wasted on what are essentially unnecessary tasks. Staff are no longer bogged down with mundane filing and archiving work and can therefore focus on what’s important to the business and to them, raising levels of employee satisfaction.
Digitisation also almost totally removes the need for document storage space, which can become costly. Field service management software also enables mobile workers to interact directly with the system, to get the information they need and submit their reports in real-time.
3. Avoid mistakes
Humans are prone to making mistakes and handwritten field service reports can sometimes be difficult to read. When data is collected using paper forms there is always the possibility for errors and omissions. Digital forms and data collection techniques avoid the potential for such issues by using validation checks and prompts.
Field service personnel can complete their reports accurately and consistently, directly from the field, reducing the risks associated with old-school paper based reporting systems. Digitised customer records, maintained in real-time, ensure everyone has access to up-to-date, accurate information, essential for informed decision making.
4. Document management
Document management in paper based field service environments is enormously challenging. We’ve already noted how paper based filing systems are time consuming and inefficient. Dealing with quantities of invoices, expense reports, purchase orders, service reports and employee records is far more efficient and effective when these documents are all digitised in a central system.
Digital document management systems improve communications, support efficiency and foster collaboration. Automation can be used to carry out various standard tasks, alleviating staff of mundane responsibilities and freeing them up to carry out more productive work.
5. Privacy and security
We are all highly aware of the need for data security and privacy. Keeping sensitive information safe and secure when it’s stored in paper documents and files is extremely challenging. Electronic document management improves data security and helps organisations comply with regulatory requirements.
In field service operations sensitive information such as site safety assessments and equipment failure reports may be involved and ensuring this information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands is essential. Digital data security systems keep customer data safe and secure while maintaining an audit trail record of those who have accessed the information.
If you are waiting for the right time to move from your current paper-based business systems to full digitisation – that time is right now. Digitisation and moving to paperless business systems brings many benefits as summarised here. So if you would like to learn more about how our field service management software can help your organisation please contact one of our dedicated sales team today. Email [email protected] or call 01296 350350.