A versatile service management solution for the field

William and Patti Feldman review FieldOne Systems service management solution for the field

FieldOne Systems Pro Edition, www.fieldone.com, is a secure, scalable service management system with many functions specific to the service industry, including dispatching and scheduling, service management, invoicing, inventory management, equipment tracking and customer care. The software offers a lot of flexibility in how a business handles day-to-day operations.

An array of service call and work order management features enable tracking of all client service requests, technician hours per service requests, inventory control for service requests and documentation of service request delays. Work orders can be entered wirelessly. The program can track an unlimited number of clients, an unlimited number of jobsites and buildings per client, and an unlimited number of "suites" per building.

It is possible to see any activity related to an account on a single customer snapshot screen and to open an unlimited number of "snapshots" at once, enabling easy multitasking among accounts. Users can create new transactions or modify existing ones from the customer snapshot screen and can place "credit hold" and "credit amount" on specific accounts.

Dispatch and scheduling capabilities include abilities to prioritize calls; schedule jobs by single tech, multiple tech or crew; and send a preferred technician to a jobsite. Technician routing and mapping features include the ability to specify a starting or ending point.

FieldOne Mobile (priced separately), which is 100% integrated into the FieldOne software and works on any device running Windows Mobile touchscreen 5.0 or higher, expands capabilities. Work orders can be entered wirelessly from the jobsite by a technician equipped with a web-browser enabled Smartphone. The application lets the user capture signatures right at the jobsite too.

The solution has full reporting capabilities for Labor and for Materials Usage by type of work, problem code, account, jobsite, priority, profitability, hours, pay type and other criteria. The company can charge for labor by a fixed hourly rate, fixed rate or markup on technician's cost.

The program supports the ability to charge different pricing schemes for different types of work, or to specify a specific pricing structure on the customer level. There is also capacity for an unlimited number of Parts Markups with the ability to specify various markups for different price ranges.

Proposal and job costing capabilities include the ability to use template or create custom estimate templates, and easily convert an estimate to an active work order, purchase order and request for quotation. Jobs can be tracked by stages, such as stages of completion, create and track change orders, and track retainage.

Users can create purchase orders either manually or by pulling parts specified on the estimate. The program can handle multiple PO bills and PO receipts for each PO. The system lists all pricing/quotes with lowest displayed on top.

GPS Vehicle Tracking capabilities support easy viewing of all technicians’ service locations on an interactive map and the viewing, printing or e-mailing of driving directions directly from within the program. In-depth trip detail reports for specified date ranges and vehicle include start time, stop time, start and stop locations, maximum speed, trip duration, stop duration, miles and time. Speed violation reports document excessive speeds achieved by any vehicle (color coded according to speed range), along with the time they were reached and location. The reports keep tally on the number of violations, categorizing them as minor, major or extreme. Sensor On/Off reports keep track of number of minutes any tracked vehicle is off and has traveled zero miles along with the location and time of zero travel. Vehicle maintenance reminders can be triggered by mileage and/or specific dates.

Service agreement capabilities include Automatic and "Time of Service" billing. Users can define coverage details for parts and labor, set up individual or recurring schedule scenarios, and have parts used for scheduled maintenance automatically attached. Management can view detailed costing and profitability analysis on any service agreement.

Inventory management features allow users to create "part kits" with pricing options from multiple vendors, track parts at actual inventory location or technicians' trucks, specify different thresholds for each part for each location, and issue alerts when running low on any part at any inventory location.

FieldOne Mobile software, which can be purchased as a stand-alone program, but is included in FieldOne Pro Edition, facilitates seamless two-way data flow between the field and the office. Usable on any Smartphone device that runs Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 and has a touch screen, it displays up-to-the-minute multi-day service technician's schedule and job details with work schedule status updates reflected in real time. The technician can add parts used on a job directly from the field, record and access contact information for schedule slots, record labor for completed schedule slots, and capture customer signature on site. The user can call customers, jobsites, vendors and others, and e-mail contacts from within FieldOne. The program synchronizes directly with your enterprise information in real time. The mobile solution works offline when there is no Internet connectivity.

An optional Customer Portal allows customers to login from any web browser, request service, see service history, payment history, etc., and send notes back and forth with the company that services them with all data flowing into the proper fields.

Bill and Patti Feldman are freelance writers for magazines, trade associations, building product manufacturers and other companies on a broad range of topics. They can be reached at [email protected].