1,000,000 jobs completed

A milestone moment.

A few weeks ago, we were doing a little analysis on our historic data and noticed that the number of jobs completed by our field service management software customers was getting close to a million. After a little work, we came up with a quadratic equation which closely modeled our growth. It predicted that we would hit 1,000,000 jobs completed over the weekend.

Well, this morning I checked and we were at 1,000,202!

It’s very difficult to find the exact job that was the one millionth, as they are spread out over all of our databases (we keep our customer databases separate to ensure there is no chance the data can “leak”).

Another nice thing we noticed based on the analysis is that our growth is accelerating. Unlike one of our competitors who has been advertising the exact same number of “completed jobs last month” since early last year, our numbers are growing.

Slow but steady wins the race.

The market for field service business management software is huge. It’s estimated by some that the industry was worth 1.76 billion USD in 2016 and will be worth 3.61 billion in 2021, 4.45 billion in 2022. Others are a little more conservative and suggest 4.1 billion in 2025. No matter who you believe, though, they all say the market is huge.

We have been working our way into this industry for the past 5 years, and are steadily getting more and more of the pie, simply because we work based on what the majority of our clients need, we try to keep it as simple as possible, and we started out right from the beginning with the most common issues in mind.

Our apps work whether you are online or offline, for example, syncing in the background automatically when data is available. There is no need for the user to know how that works – as far as they’re concerned, it just works. Other FSM companies have apps that only work when you are online (and how useful is that when your work is in an area that has no network coverage?). Yet more have a “synchronise” button that you need to press to upload your work and download new work (which the users forget to press).

On the CRM (customer relationship management software) side, we have a core set of features that we try to keep from growing. Yes, we do add some things when they are obviously useful, but we mostly try to not add everything we can think of, because that just ends up complicating the product. Paperless office software solutions, after all, are about getting away from complications – not making more of them.

We anticipate the next million to complete within a year, and the next after that in only a few months. The future is interesting. Talk to us about yours.

file attachments in the app

Files in the app can be attached in various ways, depending on the needs of the job or even the needs of the industry.

A file can be attached to a customer, a specific job, an asset, or even the user of the app. This adds a sense of granularity, and lets you access the files in your field service management software in ways that make sense.

For example, if you attach a file to a customer, then create three jobs for that customer, when you go into the jobs on the app, you will find that you can access the customer’s files directly from each of the job. You can have job-specific files as well if they’re needed.

This is useful in field service industries where documentation is needed for customer assets, and that documentation is needed for all jobs done for that customer. For example, for boiler servicing software, a customer might have a specific model of boiler. Documentation for that boiler model, then, should be attached to the customer in the boiler service software so that every time a job is allocated to do for that customer, you have the files you need.

The app itself doesn’t read PDFs, etc, so you need to have a PDF reader (or whatever reader, depending on the file type) installed on your phone or tablet in order to use the files.

For assets, you might want to attach specification documents or manuals. For customers, you might attach invoices or other info. For jobs, you might have photographs or annotated images detailing the work to be done.

outsourced labour in workflow

FieldMotion’s field service management software can send jobs to outsourced workers, including customer information and form fields. This means that your outsourcers fill in your form, and that is sent back to you as the outsourcing company.

As a bonus, we also tie the outsourcing into workflow. When an outsourcer marks a job completed, the job data is sent back to you, and your onComplete workflow can then do whatever you want – send emails to yourself or the client, create new jobs, etc. Field service job management software lets you decide for yourself what happens when a job is finished.

When a job is created through workflow, it is usually assigned to either no-one, or one of your own users.

We added that you can now have it that if an outsourcer marks a job completed, you can automatically assign a new job to them.

For example, let’s say you’ve got a job to go fix a boiler which should be followed up a few weeks later with a checkup, but you want to outsource it to someone not in your company.

With the new field service engineer management software feature, you can now assign a job to an outsourcer, and set it that when the outsourcer completes the job, the data will be sent back to your own company, and then a new one will be created and automatically assigned to the same outsourcer.

Forms on Mobile Devices

Mostly when describing what we do, we’ve talked about the industry itself, “field service management”, but when you get right down into the details, what we’re mostly working on is putting forms on mobile devices so that engineers can fill in their report data easily in a digital manner so it doesn’t need to be done twice – once by the engineer in a notebook, and again by a clerk in the office through data entry. FieldMotion is mobile forms software.

Some mobile field solutions companies offer specific forms for mobile devices (such as the Fire Safety industry’s “Pas 79 2016”), and reports for those specific forms. However, this is a very constrained way of working – if you need to track further information related to the job, you are then forced to write it in a notebook, which is exactly what we’re trying to get a way from.

Instead, we offer the ability to create mobile forms custom to your needs. Whatever questions you need answered, you simply create a form that includes that question. And you then can either tailor your report to include the answer, or you can even have the information forwarded into a follow-up form and report.

A big part of form design for the mobile office is that the engineer must not wade through pages after pages of questions, when they are looking for a specific question. Instead, we offer two solutions – forms can be broken down into expandable sections (you just see the header, until you expand it), and we can also hide questions or sections depending on what’s already been answered.

image source

Exporting completed jobs through FTP

A third-party water management company that sends out jobs to a few of our clients wanted to receive the completed job information back in XML format sent through FTP. It made sense to us to automate the process in order to save our clients a little more time and effort.

Instead of writing something specifically for that third-party company, though, we wrote a general exporter that can be configured to send in a few formats, using a few connection methods.

This means that we can supply the job information in CSV format, for example, or XLS, XML, JSON. Whatever the recipient needs. Our client just needs to configure the connection methods in their field service management software (usernames, passwords, etc) and the format the end file should be given in.

This extends our workflow management software capabilities so that we can be part of other companies’ automated workflows as well – they send information from their workflow software which we import automatically, our clients do the work, and the completed data is sent back to the sending company automatically. In this way, we cut down on time and potential mistakes, because the jobs that the client’s field workers do is precisely, down to the letter, what the recipient company has asked for. No more 15 minute phone calls describing a job, no more misheard details or typos.

Four continents and growing

Today, we signed a client in Asia, adding to our collection of continents (Europe, Africa and North America are already mounted and stuffed on our walls).

We’re now working towards total world domination with our field service scheduling software. The image is a friend’s contribution to the cause, a poster to sell FieldMotion to penguins in Antarctica. It might work. Who knows? I’m sure penguins keep the ultimate paperless office already, but being so far from us, they’re also the ultimate mobile workers, and so we should at least try 🙂

We’ve come a long way from our humble beginnings, working in the back-office of a larger company, then growing to take over the entire building. And we’re still growing. By now, we must be about the, oh, fourth-largest workflow management system company in town! Although I couldn’t name the other three even if I tried.

Luckily, the team is up to the task. Our development team is careful to not race ahead and add everything that occurs to them (as head of development, I keep that rein firmly in check!), so we spend quite a large proportion of our time making sure that there are no known issues, and that the system has no growing pains either due to our scaling up. When an issue comes in, we tackle it immediately. The fact that we get any development done at all is a sign that no-one is reporting problems!

Having said that, we still do develop new tricks here and there. On Monday, I wrote about how we are adding to our Zapier capabilities. Today, we finished some work related to “F-Gas registers” (a record that all fire and risk assessment software should be able to show a history of). As usual, we wrote it in such a way that it is perfect for fire and security software solution, but it can also be used for adhoc purposes, allowing us to cater to anyone needing similar tricks.

FieldMotion as Pest Control Software

I’ve been looking at how people arrive on our website, and a lot of people are here because they’re looking for mobile pest control software, which I haven’t talked much about before on the blog.

FieldMotion does everything that a pest control engineer needs. We have quite a few clients in the pest control business, and some of the features of the system were actually built to satisfy their needs. In particular, the recurring jobs features are important for pest control management software and were developed with our clients.

You can set up recurring visits to customers, to run checks every 6, 12 months (or whatever you want), the job notes you keep for one appointment in a series will be available in the next, and notes about particular clients are available within the job details as well so you’ll never need to look in many places at once.

If your customers need to be kept informed, you can give them access to a customer portal, where they can log in and see everything you’ve completed, and download their reports.

We can record the GPS coordinates of the engineers when they mark their jobs done, and when they get signatures or take photographs.

Setting up your appointments is easy – you can create them from the app or from the online CRM, where you can create them in a list view, a timeline view, or a calendar view. Timeline and calendar views are drag-drop, so you can lay your jobs out visually. Or you can use the dynamic scheduler to organise the appointments for you, sending the right engineers to the right jobs, and saving you time and money.

Everything in FieldMotion’s pest control software programs is realtime. When a job is created in the office, it is immediately sent to the engineer. As an engineer updates the job form, the information is sent back to the database and immediately visible in the office.

FieldMotion even works offline. It’s completely seamless. When you’re online, information is synched with the pest software database live. When you’re offline, the information is “queued” to be uploaded as soon as you’re back online. No need to think about it. It just happens in the background.

Ask us for a demo

FieldMotion as a workflow management system

Earlier today, I wrote about Zapier integration with FieldMotion, to make sure that when a customer is created in FieldMotion, it is also created in …whatever you’re connecting it to (Zapier has literally thousands of end-points)

Integrating your FieldMotion account with outside applications is just one more example of why ours is one of the most powerful workflow software systems on the market.

When filling in forms on the app, we have “skip logic”, which allows the engineer to only see the form parts that are relevant to the task at hand. Just because they’re paperless mobile forms doesn’t mean you should feel free to waste “paper”…

We also have calculations, “source” fields (such as fields that fill in with pre-recorded data from assets, etc), and other powerful ways to automate the content of the form so you have less work to do.

Once your digital forms are completed, we have a robust and powerful “on complete” engine, which can send emails or set up new appointments based on the values in the forms.

When the end report is being created, we have some more tricks up our sleeve. We can set up reports so that they only show the parts that are needed. For example, if a fire and security inspection form involved checking three extinguishers, then you will have three extinguisher report sections in your service management software form. No need to show empty report parts!

If you want to see what all the fuss is about, and how we can automate your workflow management, please book a demo with us.

managing assets with FieldMotion’s field service management software

Most of the clients that come to us are in service management of some sort or another. In the beginning, our largest clients were in housing management, where workers would be assigned to go check on customer complaints such as broken doors, faulty boilers, etc. Lately, though, we get a lot of companies that work on assets and need to manage those assets.

In a pure forms-based service management software, there is no real “memory” between jobs. You are assigned to something, you go do it, you fill in the form, you are done. But if you are assigned to go check an asset that you’ve already checked at some point before, it would be great if the details of that asset were already filled in, and you just needed to check them over.

We manage this in a number of ways. The first time you go out to a client, you might need to select the asset in your field service software, by either selecting it from a list, or by using the phone or tablet’s barcode scanner to select the asset. As soon as the asset is selected, its details are downloaded (if not already on the device), and filled into the required fields in the form.

If the visit is a follow up (for example, after completion, the workflow management logic creates another job for that customer/asset 6 months down the line), then the job’s form can already have the list of present assets filled in, including their details, so you just need to look them over. Managing workflow means less work!

This is useful for things such as F Gas registering, or keeping track of wear and tear on assets that may change over time.

Using the power of workflow software means that there is less overall management as well. Based on the values you record, FieldMotion can automatically create new jobs to be done. For example, if an automated mathematical calculation in the form says that a certain asset’s safety is too low, you can book maintenance or replacement.

recent Field Service Management news

A global marking and printing specialist, Markem-Imaje, has increased their lead generation by 60% and decreased on-site customer service appointment times by 20% by adopting field service management software.

Predictive maintenance involves using artificial intelligence to crunch the numbers on already-examined assets in order to predict future work needed. The medical equipment manufacturer Medivators uses predictive maintenance in its service management software to order checkups on equipment before it is predicted to fail, reducing service events by 78%.

Augmented Reality is making its way into field service management. mCloud Corp, an asset management company, integrates augmented reality glasses with its field service engineer software to help the engineers work on assets they may be unfamiliar with. The glasses include cameras which allow remote experts on the assets to provide advice if needed.