Field Service Management takes a leap with the Service Now Paris Release

Kripa Shenai - 15th February 2021

Ahead of the upcoming Quebec release, I am finishing my Paris blog series by taking a closer look at Field Service Management improvements.

When it comes to Field Service Management (FSM), ServiceNow is a proven tool to help automate the entire work process. This includes integrating between business processes and workflows, managing the moving parts of a work order from the field, and receiving fast response times and reactivity. This can be quite daunting when you realize the multitude of variables involved with a customer’s field service operation. 

Recently, we helped deploy ServiceNow’s Field Service Management for a very large customer, integrating it seamlessly with modules such as Project Management, ITSM, Customer Service Management, and the Field Service Mobile application.

The Paris release brings about more exciting features within FSM including additional routing and booking capabilities for agents, enhancements to the Now Mobile interface, and the introduction to Contractor Management just to name a few.  Let’s take a closer look at how these new features enhance productivity and increase customer satisfaction.

Work Order Automation

Dynamic Scheduling is a powerful work routing tool that identifies the location of the task, finds the most eligible agent in the field, and auto assigns the work. Tasks can be assigned and prioritized based on ordering rules for priority, location, and skills among others. Unassigned constraints can be used to unassign tasks from technicians dynamically. Paris bolsters this capability, bringing us the following enhancements to Dynamic Scheduling:

  • Double-booking with dynamic scheduling: Now agents can be double-booked if the agent is already on location and capable of handling multiple tasks. This was not possible prior to Paris. This capability also allows a technician to self-assign multiple tasks during a given schedule with overlapping time.  
  • Prevent dynamic scheduling of rejected work order tasks: As a field service agent, you can manually assign the work order task back to yourself.
  • Prevent assignment of work order tasks to excluded field service agents.
  • Rank agents based on the availability of mandatory parts.

Preferred assignment group: Select a preferred assignment group to route the work order tasks, such as the internal group or external group, and assign tasks to groups based on required skills and product models.

  • Diagram below:

Field Service on Mobile

ServiceNow Mobile Agent application has been enhanced to allow more capabilities on the go. When a technician is on location, carrying out the required task, it becomes important to efficiently manage the task lifecycle. Field Service on Mobile focuses on Micro-Moments where one can use ‘intent rich’ moments to effectively do the following:

  • Pause or Resume work and log expenses;
  • Schedule automatic downloads for offline access;
  • Access critical customer data;
  • Track the current location of field service agents;
  • Search for a work order and work order task;
  • Search for inventory and parts;
  • Log incidentals;
  • View agent location history map.

Field Service Contractor Management

With changing workforce dynamics, we see a lot of emphasis on work handled by third-party technicians or employees outside of the organization. This makes it imperative to manage work assignments for external contractors.  ServiceNow gives us two new features for Contractor Management. 

1. Onboard contractor companies and their workforces using the guided setup configuration under FSM.

2. External Web Portal called the Field Service Contractor Portal allows you to manage the contractor work cycle.

  • An actual employee (Dispatcher) assigns tasks to the external service provider;
  • Contractor manager views and reassigns tasks in the contractor Portal;
  • The contractor technician updates the work order process.

Integration with Customer Service                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Field Service Management integrates natively with Customer Service Management to improve customer experience. by providing automation and enabling more ways to connect with the technician in form of appointment. Paris brings us the following features in terms of Customer Service:

  • Automatically close the case when related work orders are closed;
  • Automatically update the case when each work order state is updated;
  • Manage appointments in Agent Workspace.

Manage Inventory and Parts

Inventory management can be a building block to any Field Service Operation. When the parts are adequately sourced and organized, field service success can be ensured. The Paris release brings the following enhancements regarding inventory and parts management:

  • Specify required parts: Use the Mandatory option to specify the parts required to perform the work order task;
  • Auto-reserve parts and assign tasks to techs who already have parts;
  • Adjust the start time of tasks based on estimated delivery dates of required parts;
  • Automatically close transfer order tasks;
  • Automatically set window end to SLA breach to enforce task is scheduled.

Last Mile Customer Experience

The final step in the delivery system is the most crucial. In today’s age of information and feedback, customer satisfaction goes a long way in Field service success. Paris brings us closer to improving customer experience, improve first-time fix rate and reduce customer calls by:

  • Notify Customers of status updates Via SMS;
  • See real-time technician location on a map;
  • Provide feedback on the agent by rating the service and posting feedback in the review comments.

Final Thoughts

Field Service Management is a critical and complex process for many businesses. The ServiceNow Paris release brings about even more capabilities to help manage and simplify this process. If your goals are to minimize risk and efficiently manage the Field Service Business Lifecycle, then we invite you to take a closer look at how ServiceNow can workflow your solutions. 

If you would like to find out more information on any of these features, please contact us here.