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Field management software has been making technological advancements through analytics, ML, and VR
Field service management (FSM) software is used by industries that provide on-site service, such as plumbing, electrical work, construction, installation services, maintenance services, and healthcare, in order to manage resources and gain insights into their team's performance while they're out on the job.
This is a space that isn't all that old, having been invented around the same time as the internet came into prominence. But it has evolved quite a bit since its formation back in the 90s, when it was still being used for basic tasks such as scheduling and tracking technicians.
Now, FSM encompasses an assortment of different tasks from dispatching to invoicing to inventory management to customer relationship management. Managers and supervisors can use the software to help with route planning, resource allocation, and work instructions to on-site field workers, while employees use FSM software to provide their superiors with updates on productivity, task completion, arrival/departure times, and technical support.
As FSM has become increasingly crucial to the industries that use it, the global market has grown along with it: worth $3.24 billion in 2021, it is projected to grow to $8.06 billion in 2028, a CAGR of 13.9%.
Among the technologies that have allowed FSM to become an invaluable tool, the most obvious being mobile technology, which is what allows technicians to access information while in the field, and what makes it possible for companies to track their technician in real-time. Without mobile technology, it's doubtful FSM would be anywhere near as big as it is currently.
The other major breakthrough was the introduction of cloud-based FSM systems in the late 2000s, which made it possible for field service companies of all sizes to adopt them, due to the fact that it required less hardware and equipment. Cloud-based systems also reduce errors because they don't require manual and paper-based processes, and allow for greater insights and data, which has led to more recent advancements, including predictive analytics and machine learning, that allow companies to see patterns and trends to improve efficiency.
For example, organization can use the technology to predict the likelihood of service and inventory needs for specific regions by analyzing historical data from previous service requests, as well as to improve field service worker scheduling, routing, and rerouting so that service technicians are deployed to areas where they are needed most.
Some emering technologies in FSM include augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), through which a supervisor could virtually walk a technician through next steps on how to complete a project as though they are there with them. Companies are also adopting Internet of Things (IoT) technology. IoT, which essentially means electronic devices that connect to the internet, allows field service companies to perform remote diagnosis in real-time and d predictive maintenance on those devices before they get to the point where they top functioning.
The FSM space is filled with big legacy players including Appian, IBM, and Pegasus, an FSM company geared toward HVAC organizations. There's also ServiceTitan, ServiceNow, Zendesk, and Clicksoftware, which was bought by Salesforce for $1.35 billion in 2019.
There are, however, some scaleups also making headway in this space, such as Diffusion Solutions Intégrées, whose product, Progression Live, is a cloud-based dispatch platform for task management, as well as the management of service calls, maintenance, deliveries, pick-ups, and purchase orders.
Others include Jobber, cloud software that helps mobile service businesses organize their scheduling, invoicing, CRM, and team management; Housecall Pro, developer of a mobile software platform used to connect back-end business operations and homeowners; Zinier, a low-code field service automation platform empowering field service organizations; and Workiz, a SaaS CRM platform for small to medium-sized on-demand field service businesses.
(Image source: buildops.com)
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