Field service software: how a tool can help you improve your workers efficiency?

optimize intervention report

Are you in the service businesses? Do you provide installation, preventative maintenance, support, assistance or after-sales? It is obvious that using an intervention report helps increasing productivity and managing the activities of your service technicians. It is more than just a way to improve your service and increase productivity: it saves time in production and keeps track of activities; it is a key tool to reach a peaceful and high-quality customer relationship.

This is the age of the dematerialization, both in business and in daily activities: we pursue a paperless dream. Digitizing the management of your field operation is a big step for your company’s optimization and you won’t regret it! And who knows, maybe at the end of this article, you will have found the right field service software for your needs.

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Intervention reports: the key to managing field services peacefully

Who uses an intervention report?

Intervention reports concern many companies - actually, all the service industry’s activities requiring the intervention of mobile technicians.

Indeed, it is used by service companies performing maintenance, repair or installation operations in areas such as:

  • air conditioning
  • refrigeration
  • telecoms
  • landscaping
  • plumbing
  • electricity
  • the delivery of equipment for the construction industry
  • facility management (mail management, building maintenance, security control or cleaning)
  • computer maintenance, etc.

Users are mainly in the field: they can be technicians, field service managers, auditors, inspectors or drivers/equipment delivery persons. Other possible users could be from the administrative, accounting or HR departments of the intervening company, internally or subcontracted, and customers.

What are the main steps in an intervention report process?

There are 3 main stages in the life cycle of a intervention report:

→ upstream: the manager in charge of planning and scheduling the interventions share the client's information and the mission for the intervention team.

The report must contain:

  • the place: the exact site of the intervention
  • the customer's information details
  • the access mode: Digi code, basement access, etc
  • the date and place of the appointment
  • the description of the intervention: mission, specific constraints
  • the type of equipment needed on site by the field service technician
  • attachments: site map, diagrams
  • customer history: previous interventions and results

→ during the intervention: the report is then used by the technician or the team leader to share information about the work actually carried out, time management, anomalies, materials used, comments for the future. The document is signed by the client, who thus validates the intervention and possibly adds his remarks.

It is therefore necessary to:

  • indicate accurately the start and end times
  • share information about the status of the intervention compared to the initial schedule: in progress, to be continued, abandoned
  • take pictures illustrating the work done
  • indicate the amount of materials and resources effectively used
  • collect the customer's signature

→ after : once the report has been sent to the service provider company, the accounting department draws up the invoice and the pay slips to the workers involved. This phase involves not only back office activities, but also the customer itself,

Indeed, customer’s feedback can be entered into company’s software for customer management purposes. Finally, the report is stored in the computer system or printed and archived.

 

Why use an intervention report?

For the intervention team to:

  • centralize the details of the service (client, contact details, time, location, date)
  • access information on the latest operations in the event of multiple interventions
  • keep a detailed account of the hours worked
  • be supervised and receive support
  • get a validation of their work through client's signature

For the intervening company/business manager to:

  • keep a history of services provided
  • communicate the schedule of the appointment with the customer
  • protect themselves in case of a dispute with the customer
  • issue an invoice
  • calculate the working time of the teams
  • adjust the estimates for the intervention’s cost
  • manage customer relationship management with more trust
  • encourage the teams to be detail-oriented, to work transparently and fairly, independently but with supervision
  • improve the enterprise mobility

For the customer to:

  • keep a history of the services received,
  • find easier the field service company's contact details, for maintenance and after-sales services,
  • be confident in the professionalism of the service organization,
  • be able to add observations and an opinion on the quality of work,
  • better understand invoicing

How to manage field services and intervention reports? 3 ways to explore

Paper forms

They can be purchased in the form of a booklet with double or triple carbonless sheets in order to leave a copy for the customer and keep one or more for the service provider company.

Specialists in stationery can provide companies with personalized intervention notebooks with their logo.

They fill each form writing by hand.

Advantages: it is easy and intuitive for those field service organizations who are not comfortable at all with computer tools and for very small structures.

Disadvantages :

  • possible difficulties in reading the technician’s handwriting
  • all the information need to be copied one-by-one in the final invoice
  • the notebook must be passed from one hand to the other to be filled in as the interventions progress (risk of loss and omission)
  • the limited space to put notes
  • physical archives for the old reports
  • the cost: about 20 euros for 50 non-personalized reports

The intervention report in PDF to download

Intervention forms are available online free to download.

If you do not want to buy intervention booklets, this is an option.

Advantages: it is free, excluding printing costs (paper and ink).

Disadvantages :

  • possible difficulties in reading the technician’s handwriting
  • it requires to send a copy to the client
  • all the information need to be copied one-by-one in the final invoice
  • the limited space to put notes
  • archiving and searching for old vouchers (unless they are digitized)

Excel intervention sheets

It is possible to use Excel to create timesheets and fill a work order

Advantages :

  • free of charge, if you don't count the printing and the cost of the license
  • the presence of the software on almost all computers
  • the readability of the information entered
  • the possibility to create formulas to complete cells automatically and to generate the invoice

Disadvantages :

  • post-intervention entry of the table (high margin of errors and delays)
  • not very collaborative dimension (the table must be shared between the facilitator and the planner, who should ideally allow him/her to access certain cells but forbid him/her to access others)
  • the need for training in the case of extensive use of Excel functionalities
  • the collection of the signature on a separate or retrospective medium
  • export to PDF format and then archive

Field service automation of intervention reports

The report is accessible via a field service software on mobile devices or computer. The business manager, interveners, client, te administrative and accounting departments all have access to it, before, during and after the intervention.

Recently, some solutions have developed the possibility to include a client portal to improve the service level and the final relationship with customer in a more practical way.

Advantages :

  • the tool is ultra collaborative and improve efficiency and communication
  • it avoids losses and omissions caused by paper or Excel timesheets
  • it simplifies the route planning
  • the information is legible and complete
  • some fields are pre-filled to facilitate the technician's reporting work
  • authentication can limit the access rights allow each participant to fill in only the data that concerns him/her
  • it is accessible anywhere and anytime
  • Often before paying the service it is offered to possibility to request a free demo to get a trial
  • It can be more customizable to perfectly the needs of the field operations, for instance it can offer extra service such as a customer portal, appointment reminder, service catalog, invoicing, electronic signature etc.
  • It increases customer satisfaction and workforce productivity

Disadvantages: all this is possible for a fee. But the gains in time, productivity and traceability are worth the cost of a subscription.

Some solutions offer free packages but limited in terms of users and/or features.

Focus on dematerialization & optimization of activities

The goal here is to optimize the workforce’s rounds, but also to support them in the best way possible for them to deliver quality work and improve customer satisfaction.

Nowadays, the dematerialized intervention form is more than legitimate because:

  • new employees entering the market are digital native: they are much more comfortable and motivated to fill out an service form via an application. They also have the feeling of belonging to a company in the spirit of the times
  • the previous generation has also turned digital and this trend is increasing over the years

annual digital growth

Why should you turn to a cloud- based field service management technology?

In addition to the advantages of the classic service form, the dematerialized report via a SaaS software solution allows:

  • a follow-up of the workflows and communication in real time updates of the route
  • technician and workforce management to better collaborate
  • mobile access on devices with an ex-post synchronization of the mobile apps - sometimes construction sites are in areas without signal reception
  • to improve productivity: the technician wastes less time filling out intervention reports so they can better focus on their work, better resource planning and asset management
  • the traceability of interventions
  • saving time in production monitoring, invoicing and payroll preparation thanks to the connection between the application and the company's IT system
  • to relieve teams of a complex and daunting administrative task and of the travel time back to the office to deal with the report
  • time management of the participants more accurate
  • the automation of the edition and transmission of service reports
  • easier storage and history of interventions
  • possibility to attach photos and files to the report
  • increase of customer engagement through good communication and quality of service
  • customization and pre-configuration according to sectors
  • data security thanks to configurable and constrained forms
  • to increase reactivity to any occurrence through dashboards
  • the image of modernity reflected by the use of new technologies

Cloud-based field service management solutions: our selection

Kizeo forms

Kizeo forms is much more than a mobile application: it is an essential work tool that will make you save considerable time by improving the productivity of your technicians in the field. With a simple "drag and drop", choose the options to add to your form and enter your data with or without an internet connection. Your reports will be generated and sent automatically by e-mail. This software is also fully configurable to specifically meet your needs.

Praxedo

Praxedo is one of the leading provider in SaaS intervention management solutions. It offers a 100% customizable solution that can be integrated with other software already in the company (ERP, inventory management, invoicing, CRM, etc.). Through its mobile app, it offers the opportunity to work remotely also in offline mode.

Urbest

Urbest is a communication software specialized in the construction sector. The main scope of this service platform is to improve the management of field services. It has multiple functions such as sharing information for maintenance operations, a dashboard to follow the interventions’ status , a tool to measure customer experience compared to expectation, etc. Furthermore, it can be used everywhere thanks to the mobile application.

Twimm

Twimm is a CMMS platform which offers a support in managing intervention, preventative and assistance activities. Thanks to the modular structure, the software is flexible and easy to adapt according to specific service organizations’ needs. Even in this case, the user can enjoy it on their mobile device thanks to an app that allows to update the information offline.

A revolution in the world of field service companies

Maintenance management via a cloud application, intervention reports management in particular, helps you both in the follow-up of production and the optimization of resources, workforce and IT assets.

This investment will impact so much your efficiency that you will notice a clear reduction of labor and material costs and an increase of profits.

The dematerialization of intervention forms also relieves your technicians who see a laborious and simplified task, improving the quality of their work and their well-being.

User satisfaction will be the proof of your professionalism and the expertise of your teams. What more could you ask for to take this decision?

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