30 Jul Mobile Reach Apps for ServiceNow Field Service Management
Mobile Reach, a ServiceNow technology partner that provides advanced mobile solutions, is proud to support ServiceNow’s Field Service Management module! Stephen Mann, Senior Manager for Product Marketing at ServiceNow, outlined some of the primary features of the Field Service Automation application in the following blog post:
In this response to Mr. Mann’s article, we will outline some of the additional capabilities that Mobile Reach provides to further enhance Field Service Management for ServiceNow customers.
“In the ServiceNow Eureka release, the application formerly known as ServiceNow Work Management is now known as ServiceNow Field Service Automation. Along with the new name, ServiceNow has added many new features to this module, making it a powerful way to support remote employees and business operations.”
The following points outline the new features in Eureka’s Field Service Management module (taken from ServiceNow marketing collateral). The ways in which Mobile Reach adds additional value to field service operations are highlighted in bold.
“The ability to create work orders from incidents. Field Service Management is designed to integrate seamlessly with ServiceNow Incident Management to ensure rapid resolution of incidents, no matter where they occur. Work orders can be as simple or as complex as the job requires – from a single work task through to multiple work tasks that can be efficiently completed in a particular sequence by a team of field service technicians. And task dependency relationships can be defined such that one task cannot begin until another task is completed.”
When the resolution of an incident depends on the completion of a Work Order, getting started on those work tasks as quickly as possible, with complete insight, assures faster and more effective resolution. Mobile Reach provides the ability to create a customized, task-specific user interface so that the field technician can easily and effectively accept a work task and review all relevant information regarding the task and its associated incident. Even when the field tech roams to an area with unreliable network connectivity, the end-user maintains this constant ability to have all relevant information at his/her fingertips.
“Drag-and-drop visual dispatch and automation. The visual dispatch feature gives dispatchers drag-and-drop work assignment capabilities so they can assign tasks to technicians, based on their proximity, availability and the specific skills required to complete the work tasks. Dispatchers can see at a glance what times are available for technicians and then drag and drop unassigned work onto available times. A new single-click solution lets dispatchers automatically select the ideal field service agent and use auto-routing to determine the optimal route for them to service multiple locations.”
All Mobile Reach mobile apps run native to the mobile device and, as such, can incorporate a wide variety of helpful features. Mobile Reach enables dispatchers to keep track of field agent locations by transmitting the agent’s current location back to ServiceNow at certain points. Mobile Reach also supports “in app” turn by turn directions and time and distance estimates to the agent’s next location. Field agents can also take and attach photos to work task records as well as capture electronic signatures from their customers, keeping the information within each work task record as current, thorough, and relevant as possible. All of this information, combined with knowledge of the agent’s skills, current workload and schedule allows the dispatcher to make the most sensible assignments for new work order tasks.
“Location-based management. Dispatchers can use geo-location tracking to know where field service technicians are and assign work based on proximity. They can also use a color-coded SLA map to prioritize or re-prioritize work tasks for field service technicians based on time to breach. In addition, a dispatch map enables dispatchers to view all open work tasks to understand work distribution and to quickly identify impacted areas. Work tasks can easily be assigned and assignments can be changed just by clicking on work tasks shown on the map and drilling down into edit mode.”
“Consolidated inventory and parts management. Work tasks leverage the inventory management capability from ServiceNow Asset Management so there’s a single repository for assets in stock and a standard inventory control process for both asset and field service management processes. Asset Management features such as threshold-based stock replenishment and procurement ensure that parts are always available. Work dispatchers can source parts, reserve them for work tasks, and better schedule when work can be done.”
Mobile Reach includes robust support for barcode scanning, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), and NFC (Near Field Communication) to enhance a full suite of asset management and inventory applications that complement Field Services operations. These features are available in a variety of form-factors on all the enterprise-grade mobile devices (iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Mobile), so there is sure to be an option that meets the preferences of your business and your end-users.
Many asset management and inventory tasks are naturally performed using the Mobile Reach solution:
- Reviewing a list of assets reserved for a particular work task
- Scanning asset tags or serial numbers of assets as they are picked up by the field agent, allowing for immediate, real-time updating of inventory in ServiceNow
- Scanning the asset tag of an asset to pull up its status and other information from ServiceNow, allowing the agent to review specs and other information relevant to performing his/her task at hand
- Allowing the field agent to update an asset record when the asset is installed at a job location… perhaps to record new ownership, status, and/or location
- Allowing the field agent to update an asset record when the asset is removed from a job location… perhaps to change status to broken or out-of-service
“A mobile-optimized interface for field service technicians. Like all ServiceNow applications, Field Service Management includes a mobile interface designed for busy field service technicians to quickly view and record information. From their smartphones and tablets, field service technicians can accept tasks, reject tasks, track travel time, track work time, and drill down into the information they need
about their scheduled tasks.”
- Integrated barcode scanning, RFID, or NFC capability
- Offline support to allow field agents to access the app even when network connectivity is unreliable. In addition, the offline/native nature of the Splitware applications provides a more consistent, responsive, and fluid user experience regardless of network connectivity.
- Customizable, task-specific user interface controls that can be used to optimize the user experience, implement precise mobile workflow processes, and monitor data entry to minimize data capture errors
“Customized reporting and dashboards. Reports and dashboards can be easily customized to gain real-time insight into utilization, capacity, the end-users, and locations requesting work, and key field service management metrics. A simple and flexible reporting engine allows users to quickly generate and save reports directly from a list of records. Users can right-click on a list to generate bar charts and pie charts for instant analysis. They can also define their own personal dashboards by simply dragging and dropping the gauges and reports they need to highlight the most important information. It can also be integrated with ServiceNow IT Cost Management to track and better manage the costs of field services, including inventory and travel expenses.”
Mobile Reach is built not only to enhance the user experience for field agents, but also to ensure accurate, timely, and thorough data capture in the field. Much of the user interface design is intended to align mobile workflow with your business requirements to enforce data integrity and maintain a high level of accuracy within your ServiceNow system. Reports and dashboards are only as valuable as the integrity of the data feeding them, and one purpose of the Mobile Reach mobile apps is to ensure the highest level of data capture accuracy as possible!
Contact us to learn more about the capabilities of the Mobile Reach platform alongside ServiceNow Field Service Management.