Core capabilities, intended audience, implementation approach, and pricing
Field service companies need innovative technology to monitor schedule adherence, increase first fix-time rates, and improve communication with customers. Perhaps more importantly in today’s health regulation-conscious world, companies must have a transparent and trackable method to ensure their workers adhere to safety and liability laws. They must also be flexible enough in their communication and scheduling processes to allow for an array of customer requests, particularly when considering the health and safety guidelines around the pandemic. With so many aspects to creating a proactive culture with customers, they need a system that predicts maintenance and refresh needs, so they can be as proactive as possible.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service is an end-to-end solution that encompasses all process loops including schedule optimization, asset management, and invoice processing. The system matches the best qualified and most available resource with scheduling needs in order to get the value out of the resources at hand. It also provides the technicians with 360-degree visibility into the customer relationship and provides real-time guidance while onsite. Customer service is empowered with proactive updates that can be customized for unique processes, as well as providing the customer with the ability to self-serve using web portals. It also fully connects with Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) which enables users to track and see all of the externally executed communications and activities within the Dynamics 365 for Field Service system. And it’s done automatically, all while using the tools they already understand.
Dynamics 365 for Field Service is one application within the Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM solutions (otherwise known as CE) suite of products that is highly effective as a standalone solution. However, its lead in the marketplace is due to the previously mentioned interoperability of these products and their foundational systems. Meaning the power of the Field Service system is amplified not only when combined with sister applications like Dynamics 365 for Sales, but also when leveraging the communication platforms and business tools in Microsoft 365. And since all of these solutions sit on top of a common data schema, called Microsoft Dataverse (formerly known as the Common Data Service), they provide a “mix-and-match” approach to functionality that allows companies to use only what they need.
Dynamics 365 for Field Service certainly handles all of the standard elements expected in a core solution, such as work orders, scheduling and dispatch tools, and billing. But its real power is in its advanced capabilities in predictive service, integrated communication tools, smart resource scheduling and tracking, and leveraging the functionality of related applications like those in Microsoft 365.
Aside from providing an easy-to-use mobile interface and intelligent service tools, Dynamics 365 for Field Service excels at:
- Improving first-time fix rate
- Completing more service calls per technician per week
- Managing follow-up work and taking advantage of upsell and cross-sell opportunities
- Reducing travel time, mileage, and vehicle wear and tear
- Organizing and track resolution of customer issues
- Communicating an accurate arrival time to customers
- Providing accurate account and equipment history to the field technician
- Keeping customers updated with the status of their service call and when it’s resolved
- Scheduling onsite visits when it’s convenient for the customer
- Ensuring onsite technicians adhere to safety and health regulations
- Avoiding equipment downtime through preventative maintenance
Is it Right for You?
Companies best suited to Dynamics 365 for Field Service are service-based and focus on delivery onsite installations, maintenance, and/or break-fix repair. Particularly organizations that are concerned about improving the productivity and process adherence of field-based teams while improving the customer experience.
Here are some simple examples of the types of functional and organizational models that use the application to manage their field service:
- Manufacturing – A medical device manufacturer sells machines to hospitals and clinics, and uses the application to manage maintenance services over the lifetime of the machines.
- Utilities – A fiber optic cable utility company uses the application to respond to outages by dispatching technicians to problem areas.
- Health Care – An in-home health care service provider uses the application to schedule and dispatch healthcare workers to administer medicine and other care to multiple patients.
- Equipment Maintenance – A facilities manager uses the application to deliver maintenance and repair services for heating and cooling equipment.
Since the system provides a vast array of configurable automation and process enforcement opportunities, companies that have a solid understanding of their customer engagement, equipment service, asset management, and communication processes will be able to see the fastest return on investment. This is why engaging with a certified partner early in the implementation discovery is highly recommended. Particularly when an organization wishes to leverage the connections between Dynamics 365 for Field Service and Microsoft 365 (as well as other solutions in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 suite). These connections require specialists who streamline and establish a dependable foundation which companies can then administrate themselves. Though most Microsoft Dynamics partners will assist with administration long after implementation, return on investment (ROI) appears faster and more dramatically when basic administration is handled in-house, relying on a partner for more advanced solutions when needed.
Since implementations require a tiered approach to make sure the system is installed in coordination with other related technologies, working with a partner who has a proven track record in implementation methodology is critical to ensure your system launches successfully the first time. For instance, Encore adopted Microsoft’s Sure Step methodology:
As you can see from the options below, Dynamics 365 for Field Service offers many additional tools and features. This high-level overview doesn’t convey the flexibility that the licensing model provides, so it’s best to engage with a certified license expert to help you understand how to optimize your plan, so you don’t pay for more than you need.
Get the Perfect Set of Field Service Tools
As a Microsoft gold competency Partner, we can help you not only identify the right licensing and system formation, but we can also help you construct a technological plan that allows you to manage and enhance your system yourself after it’s installed. We are committed to creating lasting field service solutions while ensuring that our clients understand how to help themselves and increase their ROI. Contact us today to speak with one of our Dynamics 365 experts and find out what it will actually take to harness the power of Microsoft’s business solutions to accelerate your future.
Download this eGuide where we walk you through the most important elements of planning activities. Discover the long term benefits of planning, how to build the right implementation team and how to ensure a successful adoption. Download the eGuide.
How Do You Prep for a CRM Implementation?
Is your company implementing a CRM solution? Consider these 11 points as early in the process as possible.Get eGuide