With Dynamics 365 Field Service, Microsoft has added yet another specialized tool set for companies whose business operations require their staff to do a lot of work at client locations. With this software, companies can improve how they organize, prioritize, and continuously evolve their field operations. This helps the organization become more efficient in the use of resources, staff, and also makes for a more positive customer experience with their services. It also makes it easier for field workers to fulfill their duties, resulting in greater job satisfaction.
In this article, we go over Dynamics 365 Field Service, we cover its benefits, the features it offers, and take a look at current pricing options.
What Businesses Need Field Service?
The perfect fits for Dynamics 365 Field Service are usually mid-sized businesses that provide diagnostic services to other businesses. The Field Service application will also be a wonderful tool to streamline your operations if, for instance, you sell equipment or machinery to manufacturing and distribution companies. And even though its extremely powerful task automation and data visibility features may make you think that Field Service is going to cost a fortune, it’s actually quite the opposite – it’s very much affordable for mid-sized businesses.
And if your company already uses Microsoft products, Field Service will seamlessly integrate with your current software ecosystem. Dynamics 365 applications sync with Microsoft 365 products like Office and Word and function together perfectly. Furthermore, there is a close relationship between Microsoft’s Power BI and Azure software and the Field Service module. The data from your Field Service reports can be visualized using Power BI’s improved analytical capabilities. Customers’ devices can be connected to your program using Azure, which can track such vital data as internal temperature and provide notifications if the equipment exceeds a predetermined threshold.
Dynamics 365 Field Service Roles
Dynamics 365 Field Service is offering rich functionality for the following core positions and roles:
- Customer service agents – incoming inquiries are prioritized by customer service agents, who also decide when to create work orders for onsite visits. The application is typically used by agents through a web browser.
- Service managers – in order to improve efficiency and standardize procedures, service managers monitor service delivery and measure performance indicators. The application is typically used by service managers via a web browser.
- Dispatchers – using resource availability searches and a fully automated resource scheduling optimization add-in, dispatchers review, schedule, and assign work orders to resources on the schedule board. The application is mostly used by dispatchers through a web browser.
- Field technicians – field technicians carry out maintenance and repairs on-site at client locations while managing their allocated work orders using a mobile app on a phone or tablet.
- Inventory managers – inventory managers make sure field technicians have the supplies they need to finish their service calls. Aside from handling product returns, inventory managers also make fresh inventory purchases. The application is typically used by inventory managers through a web browser.
Dynamics 365 Field Service Add-ons
The two most widely used Microsoft integrations for the Field Service module are Power BI and Azure. And even if your business isn’t a Microsoft devotee, you can still use third-party software to expand Dynamics 365 Field Service’s functionalities as well. Microsoft’s AppSource hub offers add-ons that help further streamline the program. Among the most popular choices are:
- Dynamics Advanced Field Service: enhances the already potent capabilities of the Field Service application through advanced modules for setting KPIs, automatically recording warranties and agreements, and planning bills.
- Dynamics 365 Guides: gives your technicians access to augmented reality (AR) features to make repairs easier than before. You may also use holograms for repairs and diagnostics by integrating Guides with Field Service.
- Field Service Visit: when your experts go to a customer’s location for maintenance and diagnostics, they will definitely have more capabilities with Visit. All the tools your technicians will require are included in a Field Service Visit, including service update request forms, time stamps, and geo-tagging for signatures.
- Annata for Field Service: every time you interact with a consumer, be a little more personal. Your system can instantly arrange appointments as soon as service requests are received thanks to Annata’s interface with Field Service, which also notifies all of your devices.
Dynamics 365 Field Service Features
At a basic level there are a number of features that various modules enable users to perform their functions on the platform:
- Displaying details that communicate a client’s need so that field technicians assigned to the case know what work needs to be done.
- Granting the ability to track assets and equipment at customer locations with optional reminders for additional service requirements, such as equipment maintenance and servicing.
- Enhancing communication between teams in the field, managers overseeing operations, and the clients.
- Making sure that scheduling, routing, and features that are used to coordinate the use of resources and equipment, visually display appointments and their locations, and ensure the appropriate personnel are assigned to tasks.
- Providing tools for billing customers after products or services are delivered.
- Providing a mobile app that can be used to access information that is critical in the field. Technicians can refer to their mobile devices while they are in the field for real-time updates to tasks and scheduling information.
- Facilitating efficient inventory management – it is easy to track whether or not purchase orders have been completed and fulfilled. The software also provides data for product returns.
- Enabling managers to see how workers are managing their time out in the field, with reports on what activities they are allocating time to. Analysis of such data can provide deeper insight into ways of optimizing operations.
- Giving access to analytics for important metrics that help you gauge how well orders are being handled to assist you with improving scheduling, and to help communication with clients.
Dynamics 365 Field Service has a range of role-based features that enable different members of your organization to carry out their tasks in the field:
- Customer service agents can look at incoming requests and determine in what order they should be addressed. They can then create work orders based on priority.
- For service managers, there are various metrics and statistics that provide them with insight into the quality of service delivery. With these metrics, they can make the necessary adjustments and improvements. Service managers also access the application mainly using a browser.
- Dispatchers can access work orders and match them to available resources using a web browser. There is also the option, through an add-in, of applying automation and optimization to various processes.
- Once work orders have been assigned, field technicians can access them using mobile devices and carry out the required services at the customer’s location.
- To support and ensure smooth field operations, inventory needs must be managed so that field technicians always have the necessary resources to carry out their tasks. Inventory managers are able to do this in a streamlined process.
Benefits of Dynamics 365 Field Service
The Microsoft Field Service management module carries on the Dynamics 365 theme of enhancing business operations by lightening the load of daily management tasks so that staff can focus on better service delivery. Automation of processes, synchronization of data, and the enhancement of communication, these are well within the Dynamics 365 toolset. For this particular module, they have all been tweaked to support teams out in the field.
On balance, the software is a package that offers compelling benefits, but as many reviews will show you, it is not without its criticisms.
Dynamics 365 Field Service Strengths
Your technician can evaluate the customer’s preferences and order history once they arrive at the customer’s location. With this, they will be able to provide superior customer care and advice on your client’s future purchase with your business.
Also thanks to the Field Service implementation, the technician can amend the work order after completing their repairs or maintenance by adding all pertinent information. This information may be valuable for the following technician that deals with the same client.
Additionally, Dynamics 365 provides technicians and field service representatives with comprehensive information on problems, clients, and routes. They can receive a 360-degree perspective of client priorities thanks to this real-time intelligence, optimize routes based on traffic or weather, and keep consumers informed about the progress of their service call.
You can simply increase capabilities by integrating the platform with a variety of additional Microsoft products and services. Because Dynamics 365 Field Service is natively linked with other current Microsoft solutions, you can enable complete information interchange between them to improve efficiency and deliver a more unified user experience.
Field Service allows you to build a centralized scheduling system – organize customer visits, allocate the proper tasks to the appropriate service personnel, and give clients precise arrival times. The simple mobile application helps technicians organize the tools and resources required for each field visit while guiding them through schedule adjustments and servicing tasks.
Synchronized Field Operations
With all team members working off one synced platform, operational efficiency is enhanced, and service delivery improves.
Electronic operations mean that data is stored and organized behind the scenes so that employees can focus on work and easily reference it as and when required.
Better Customer Service
Helpful tools like automated notifications and reminders make life easier for the customer and result in greater customer satisfaction, helping you build a competitive advantage for your brand.
The IoT technology used by Field service can be of great assistance when monitoring and managing down your inventory. Doesn’t matter if it’s about location or quantities, Field Service will help you keep track of your stock.
Field Service can be changed to suit your needs and tailored better to your particular operations.
Dynamics 365 Field Service Drawbacks
Steep Learning Curve
Ease of use comes after a while. The user interface can get a little disorienting for first timers, so there have been complaints about the complexity of the UI.
Limited Mobile Functionality
The MS Field Service’s mobile app does not offer the full range of functions available to desktop users. Though some might argue that it still provides the essentials necessary for field workers.
Dynamics 365 Field Service Pricing Plans
The current Microsoft Dynamics 365 field service package has only one pricing plan with the price of $95 per user/month.
The benefits of CRMs are well-documented. They are being used by businesses the world over to improve business processes within their workflows, enhance efficiency and build a competitive advantage over rivals. With this addition to the Dynamics 365 arsenal, companies whose operations involve a lot of field work can take their service delivery to the next level and improve not just the customer experience, but that of the staff responsible for service delivery as well.