Field service companies use a variety of tools to manage work. They need to track crew assignments, make estimates and invoices, track open work orders, and manage their crews. But these are old tools, and the improvements that companies need to make involve much more than software.
One of the problems is time. Field service companies make estimates based more on who is available than on how much time it will take to do the work. An employee’s availability is most of the time determined by what is convenient for them. The time they spend working is unpredictable. When something goes wrong, they have to fix it.
Field service companies need new tools. They need a system they can implement quickly, that gives everyone instant access to the information they need, that automates and facilitates frequent status updates, and that gives them the flexibility to adjust to changing circumstances.
Finclock is such a project management system for field service companies. It lets companies manage their crews, schedule their work, turn estimates into invoices, and keep track of open work orders in a flexible, reliable way. And as part of the system, Finclock provides timely, accurate information for everyone, wherever they are, so they can manage their own work.
Field service companies use Online project management system
The time has come to move beyond our obsession with spreadsheets and Gantt charts (and many do, and it’s working). We need to focus on how to organize our field service teams. Finclock automates many of the things field service managers do manually. And it does this without requiring them to learn a new software system. Finclock is a project management system for people and that is what businesses need this year.
The traditional way to manage field service jobs was to keep an excel spreadsheet for each job. The spreadsheet listed everything that needed to be ordered, the costs, and the deadlines.
This was fine for simple jobs, like replacing a light bulb. But if a job had 20 steps or involved several suppliers, it quickly became an unmanageable mess.
For large jobs, it was worse. If a job took 3 months, the excel spreadsheet would be 100 pages long. If there were 100 steps, someone would have to document every step in excruciating detail, which meant they would always be looking over their shoulders to make sure they weren’t missing anything.
And there was no way to verify that the data in the spreadsheet was accurate, or that all the costs were laid out.
Field service management needed a better way.
In the 1970’s, when field service jobs were growing at 20% a year, the lumber company I worked for decided that we needed something better.
We decided to create our own software: a desktop computer installed on each job site, connected to a server at the head office. The jobs would be entered electronically, and the computer would automatically download the costs, due dates, and product codes. The software also allowed technicians to enter their own notes. They could log what they needed to do, and when, so that nobody was running around chasing down parts. The system was far from perfect. But it worked.
How it works
Finclock lets companies manage their crews, schedule their work, turn estimates into invoices, and keep track of open work orders in a flexible, reliable way. And as part of the system, Finclock provides timely, accurate information for everyone, wherever they are, so they can manage their own work.
Finclock can be used by companies of any size. It is also free for small teams. Finclock project management system pricing is based on number of users, and in April, 2011, Finclock will be free for teams of one to four users.
Finclock is available