Extend the Capacity of Sage with Field Service Management Solutions from FieldConnect

Managing a team of service technicians is one of the most complex operational tasks. The complications are especially compounded when a field service provider grows in size and reach. These challenges have historically been executed using primarily human labor. But the diverse variables in field service management require time and precision to mitigate unpredictable changes that occur frequently and at a moment’s notice. The management of these many components with human labor has been plagued with errors and inefficiencies—commonly resulting in miscommunications, delays, and incorrect or incomplete information.

But the technology to replace and enhance certain aspects of human labor has developed considerably. One of the most critical advancements in technology has been the development of Field Service Management (FSM) solutions. These software solutions have capitalized on the growth of permanently connected mobile devices and the rapid increase of communication they provide. FSM technology has been able to utilize these developments to manage mobile workforces and field service operations.

The striking growth of Field Service Management technology

Estimates have stated that the global FSM market will exceed a value of more than $5 billion by 2023—more than double its amount from 2017. Customer demands and the logistics of managing field service teams are growing and becoming more complex. Business leaders around the world are realizing and adapting the value of FSM software into their organizations.

The growth of cloud-based systems and the ubiquity of mobile device use has led to a development that makes FSM software a new standard. FSM has overhauled the way managers, service workers, back-office staff, and customers interact and communicate with one another. Studies have displayed that 89% of customers now expect modern technology from their technician scheduling.

It is clear that FSM solutions have created a demand for quality that field service management organizations must provide in order to remain competitive. And integration with legacy platforms is core to this progression. FSM can dramatically expand the function and reach of an organization’s current systems.

Software company Sage has been one of the industry’s forerunners for over three decades. They have been a market leader for integrated accounting, payroll, and payment systems. Sage’s solutions manage accounting, HR, payroll, payments, assets, construction, real estate, and enterprise systems. They now work with millions of businesses in all types of industries around the world.

Sage Intacct and Sage 300 CRE have become powerful resources for various field service providers. Integrating with these tools is a pivotal way for FSM software to further expand its capabilities and support for field service management.

We use this article to examine how industry-leader FieldConnect can help your organization extend the capabilities of Sage using their solutions for FSM software.

Overview

A day in in the life of a technician is made far more fluid and productive using FieldConnect’s mobile solutions. FieldConnect solutions allow a customer to submit a service request through an online portal. Once the dispatch teams produce their assignment, the allocated technician can remotely view the job and complete the work order in the field.

The customer can provide a digital signature upon completion and then receives a digital notification when the transaction is completed. Upon completion, the technician’s timesheet is automatically updated.

Integrating to extend the capacities of Sage

Each of these actions in the Overview section occurs using the field service extension provided by FieldConnect, which is integrated with Sage’s service module and the ERP and accounting system. By integrating with the Sage Intacct Suite and Sage 300 CRE module, there is no longer any reason for your field service team to use outdated timesheet and work order workflows.

This integration with your Sage ERP and accounting system adds insights and efficiencies while eliminating duplicate data. Direct integration with Sage speeds up billing and simplifies the management of service to your customers.

By combining with the power of your legacy Sage systems, FieldConnect tools provide instant access to assigned jobs, history, and equipment to mobile workers. Your organization will also reduce or eliminate paperwork while improving workflows for more timely billing and easier payroll processing.

Additional solutions from FieldConnect to extend your Sage 300 CRE module

  • FieldAcess connects field workers and office staff with our electronic work order software. This minimizes the time between customer sign-ff and invoicing. FieldTime also simplifies technician time review with an integrated review and approval solution.
  • FieldConnect Offline integrates to complete electronic work orders even during times when there is no connectivity.
  • FieldGateway provides access to a modular portal for full web-enabled dispatching, planning, and scheduling. It will also allow instant access to job status and accurate tracking of field technician performance.
  • FieldDirect empowers your organization to win new and add-on business by providing your customers an online, self-service portal.
  • FieldQuotes is a remote quoting solution that permits field technicians and sales staff to instantly quote and close new and add-on business while face-to-face with the customer.

Further Resources

A leader in the field service industry for nearly two decades, FieldConnect has been developed to partner with the powerful solutions of Sage Intacct and Sage 300 CRE.

With a diverse suite of products, FieldConnet’s solutions offer the highest quality in innovation and protection. Secure and efficient cloud-based resources are coupled with the finest partnerships in the industry. This multifaceted approach ensures that their support will extend the capabilities of Sage to its maximum, creating new functionality and opportunity for your business and customers.

Schedule a demo with FieldConnect to begin learning how to extend your optimization of Sage for mobile field service solutions.

Best Practices for Creating Quotes in the Field

The field service industry faces unique and rare challenges when it comes to quotes. It is an extraordinarily dynamic challenge that relies on accurate and timely information, refined collaboration, and advanced tools.

All industries are posed with the complex task of determining quotes for their product or service. This is an equation that requires a great deal of research, information, and ingenuity. Quoting must remain competitive while generating a profit margin that can sustain a business and contribute to growth.

Many industries must put in an upfront effort to determine a viable value for services in their market, and they commonly continue efforts to ensure their value remains up to date. Even when upsells or add-ons are featured in these industries’ value structure, they are mainly determined in advance of individual sales and purchases. Retail providers and restaurants serve as examples of a fixed menu for value that covers all their products or services. This permits a relatively fixed value structure and reduces the associated complexities of ongoing sales opportunities.

The field service industry is presented with a far more vigorous quoting process—a process that occurs daily and requires high-powered resources to sustain a competitive edge while satisfying customer demand

Providers of field service work and mobile job quoting must remain adaptive, intuitive, and informed to execute useful quotes. This requires real-time access to customer history, service agreements, rate tables, and inventory. Field technicians, managers, and dispatchers must be able to communicate effectively and timely. Each player contributes to providing a client with clearly defined and precise quotes—often occurring on the fly while in the field. Executing on such collaborative and complex tasks requires powerful resources.

The importance of effective quoting in the field

There is significant opportunity in the business of field service and mobile job quoting. But this fortune is reserved for organizations that can set the correct value for their service and maintain the flexibility to seize new opportunities. Setting a value too high places the business at risk of deterring the customer or minimizing their loyalty. A value set too low can have implications for service quality or fail to sustain the necessary revenue to remain profitable.

Effective quotes in field service work are full of nuances and potential profitability. Despite these challenges and opportunities, many of the resources available for field service providers fall short of offering the necessary tools to generate a competitive quote.

We examine a few best practices for generating quotes while also offering resources to optimize these critical methods for any field service provider and their mobile job quoting efforts.

Best practices for field quotes

Finalizing a quotation relies on precise clarity. The requirements and parameters for the proposed work must be clearly defined. This involves details on the time, labor, and materials associated with the service provided. It is essential to keep in mind that a final quote is commonly a legal commitment. These commitments can have expensive costs resulting from unclear definitions, avoidable mistakes, or poorly communicated guidelines. But they also secure ample opportunity. An effective quoting process can consistently and reliably increase to potential revenue generate by each user.

Producing a quote should answer the following questions. Is the correct business contact information provided? How long will the contract be valid? What are the details of the schedule for the project or service? How are the expenses listed and detailed? What are the specific terms for payment?

A digital or printed version of the quote must be provided to each customer. This documentation will be sufficient for protecting the client and the provider in legal proceedings. Obtaining a signature on-site for mobile job quoting is an ideal way to ensure a quote is confirmed and validated.

Further Resources

It is clear that providing quotes in the field service industry is a complicated and critical function. Installing the most innovative and experienced technology to assist in accurate, timely, and fluid quoting can significantly influence the competitive position of a field service provider. Being able to execute mobile job quoting will further advance the quality of your service and increase revenue per user.

Field service management software will assist in optimizing the processes and accuracy of your field quote efforts. This will ensure speed, efficiency, and the capacity to freeze out your competitors from making a competitive bid.

Embolden your field technicians with the specially designed and powerful FieldQuotes software solution from FieldConnect.

Quote add-on services and business while on the job site, face-to-face with your clients. You can ensure that all quotes comply with the pricing established in your ERP. And your organization will dramatically minimize the labor and time put in by the back office.

Any optimal field management software should be guided by a combination of advanced solutions and real experience in field service. FieldConnect combines these unique qualities, utilizing technology informed by years of expert training in the field.

With nearly two decades of expertise in the industry, FieldConnect has grown to be the leader in software solutions for Mobile Field Service providers.

Explore the FieldQuotes software and FieldConnect’s full suite of services while requesting a demo today.

Tips for Ensuring Dispatchers Maintain Scheduling

The role of dispatch in the field service industry cannot go understated. Dispatchers are at the center of successful field service organizations. Many allusions to other professions can help us understand the critical and dynamic role dispatch teams fulfill in their support of a businesses’ operations. Let’s explore two.

Imagine the dispatcher is like a circus ringleader. A great leader of any circus ring can be seen juggling—sometimes literally—numerous and diverse acts from moment to moment. They organize and direct these acts with precision while maintaining the highest level of engagement possible from the audience. The circus ringleader balances organization with a customer experience like few others.

It can also be revealing to understand a dispatcher as a team of parents with multiple children. The high school children have a variety of after-school activities or evening events. An infant is in constant need of supervision and care. A toddler regularly finds mischief in the yard or bathtub or a handful of paint on the wall. Parents are charged with managing complex schedules while knowing any plans—regardless of how thorough or exhaustive—must remain flexible and account for sudden changes or emergencies.

Dispatchers play each of these roles in a field service organization. They are organized and multi-talented like the ringleader—directing active, evolving, and complex situations. And they manage these tasks while remaining informed and in communication with a diversity of customers. A dispatch team is also quite like a set of dynamic parents—planning a broad schedule, directing multiple parties, and developing strategies for constant change and emergencies.

The dispatch team orchestrates these responsibilities with the same level of vital importance that a ringleader has to their circus or a parent to their children.

Field service organizations require the pivotal role of the dispatcher, and achieving growth depends on the dispatch team to be optimized for efficiency and reliability.

In this article, we offer a few tips and ideas on reaching and maintaining the highest level of dependability and success from your dispatch team and their core goals for scheduling.

How dispatch management is critical to field service work

The dispatch team is the frontline for both technicians and customers. Dispatchers need to excel at communication. They must be able to manage the concerns and challenges not only of customers but technicians as well. Dispatchers commonly function as a bridge between the service team and the customer—a task that requires the ability to organize, multi-task, and access critical information quickly and efficiently.

Dispatch representatives have a unique and broad vantage point on operations, technicians, and customer profiles. The dispatch team maintains a position similar to the circus ringleader. A dispatcher observes an entire operation and understands where various skills, assets, and priorities can best serve the organization’s overall picture.

Multi-tasking and organization are the life source of dispatch strategy. Dispatchers are always orchestrating a balance between detailed planning and on-the-fly decision-making. The best dispatch team will be empowered with the right resources to elevate their responsibility to the organization and multi-tasking.

Emboldening the critical role of dispatch with the most innovative tools is paramount to any field service organization’s expansion and success. Resources—such as FieldDispatch software from industry-leader FieldConnect—ought to mobilize, engage, and simplify access to information for dispatch teams to achieve and maintain optimized planning and scheduling.

Tips for elevating dispatch management and scheduling

Any list of tips for promoting optimized dispatch services should focus on developing more advanced skills for organization, diminishing pressure in high-stress dynamics, and the adaptability to respond to evolving priorities for technician and customer needs. Ensuring that schedules are sustainable, reliable, and consistent involves a robust approach beyond merely assigning tasks in a calendar.

1. Master prioritization

We would all like to offer the same priority to every customer and technician every time. But limited resources and scheduling restrictions do not permit. Dispatch must become adept at triaging each task, technician, and customer request. A slowly leaking pipe in the garage of a home, for example, is unlikely to need the same priority as the failure of frontline medical

equipment at a hospital. This is a stark comparison, but the principle plays out in dispatch services daily.

Dispatchers need to be equipped with the most relevant resources to ensure proper prioritization of tasks can be executed. A field service dispatch software can reduce a set of complicated tasks to a vastly more manageable system. Dispatch teams can look into service history, access contracts, and quickly make decisions on priority. With features like drag-and-drop calendaring and a robust set of views, dispatchers can ensure that their schedules are sustaining ideal priorities for any field service provider.

2. Refine routing

The time a technician spends on the road directly correlates to service costs and cuts into profits. Dispatchers require awareness of the technician’s location at all times. The dispatcher should use this enhanced knowledge to correlate with traffic demands and predict the fastest and most efficient routes to the customer. Minimizing the costly impact of gas and travel time will maximize scheduling and contribute to sustaining revenue.

Equipping dispatchers with the ability to track technicians through their mobile devices using a field service software solution will dramatically impact the capacity to refine routing. FieldConnect’s experience and services are optimally designed to provide this precise support to your dispatch team.

Keep in mind that part of refined routing is the ability to re-route. Using a dispatch software solution will allow dispatchers to make quick and accurate changes to routes as they arise—fully concentrating on ideal performance.

Ease access to information

Dispatch is a fast-paced set of tasks with multiple inputs and outputs. Customers and technicians are consistently relying on and communicating with dispatchers for information critical to their service. A dispatch team must efficiently and reliably access information while on calls or establishing broad strategies. Having access to a report on the technician’s locations, skills, and availability is critical to managing a successful and flexible schedule. The same information concerning customers should be accessible. Dispatchers need to have a customer’s work history and profile available at the tip of their fingers.

An informed customer is commonly a more profitable customer. Empowering the customer through informative and customized portals is a valuable resource to a dispatch team’s efforts. Suppose a customer can find an answer or make an appointment without the direct assistance of a dispatcher. In that case, the entire operation runs leaner and cleaner. The same customer profiles can embolden dispatchers to make the most informed and timely decisions while on a call.

The FieldDispatch solution will engage any dispatch team in troubleshooting with online access to customer, site, and equipment work order history. Using their own web portal, customers can make service requests on an electronic dashboard and significantly amplify their experience.

Further Resources

Field service management software will assist in optimizing your dispatch efforts and ensure sustainable, refined scheduling.

Any optimal field management software should be guided by a combination of advanced solutions and real experience in field service. FieldConnect combines these unique qualities, utilizing technology informed by years of expert training in the field.

With nearly two decades of expertise in the industry, FieldConnect has grown to be the leader in software solutions for Mobile Field Service providers.

Explore FieldConnect’s suite of services and request a demo today.

Preventing Data Loss in the Field Service Industry

The Internet of Things (IoT)—and the growth of digital solutions broadly—have had a significant impact on the creation, distribution, and security of data. Data is now far easier to generate, with a breadth of nuances beyond most of our imaginations.

From the raw data collected to the resulting data produced from analyzing this aggregate information, our reliance on sophisticated analysis—and the awareness it generates—has increased.

Each of these progressions in data generation and data transfer has had unparalleled benefits. But as with most innovations, new technology and opportunity often result in new challenges.

One of these challenges is security. There are manners in which protections against the loss of data have dramatically improved. And, of course, there are now unique issues we must recognize and offer a response.

IoT and the development of digital solutions have a distinctive influence on the relationship of data to field service work. IoT has influenced the equipment and the nature of tasks and training for technicians and management alike. Digital solutions have modified workflows and administrative resources.

Data stands at the center of this technological evolution. And field service management solutions are offering support against the risks of these essential resources

This article examines methods to avoid the devastating effects of data loss on a field service organization. Our approach involves the way innovating your procedures can protect data and key features to keep in mind with the adoption of advanced digital solutions.

Innovating to prevent data loss

Many traditional business operation methods have resulted in unnecessary loss of data and can be remedied with modern solutions. Field service management solutions offer innovative and broad resources for protecting against data loss—the types of losses that result in costly risks to customers and businesses.

Lost forms

The field service industry is heavily reliant on myriad forms—from invoices and billing to scheduling, dispatching, and service. Antiquated paper-based operations have been ineffective and costly. Recording and storing data on paper is vulnerable to even the smallest of errors in the daily process of operations.

By transitioning to a field service management solution, organizations can digitize their data in a way that protects against the losses that are common to paper-based operations. Some of the solutions include real-time data entry, allowing for errors to be remedied quickly, and cloud-based solutions offering reliable and efficient storage of this data.

Data transfer

Traveling to and from the office to transfer necessary data is an inefficiency in labor and time. It is also a common cause of data loss. By equipping technicians in the field with mobile devices, data can be transferred in real-time and securely. Moving in such an efficient way protects against the loss of raw data, but it also functions to protect against the loss of data produced from research.

Analyzing the raw data from operations permits the creation of new data on trends and processes. Ensuring the original information is safeguarded and inputted correctly results in further data loss protection, increasing efficiency, and revenue growth.

Using a viable field service management solution protects data associated with tracking work orders and tasks, customer calls and contracts, parts and inventory, technician capacity and specialization, and various other data points specific to an organization.

Protecting against the loss of digital data

The benefits of transitioning to digital data with field service management solutions, outlined above, are substantial, but they do present unique and critical challenges. Not all field service solutions are created equal. From mobile devices to cloud-based storage, it is essential to find solutions that take a thorough and detailed security approach and prevent data loss.

Cloud-based solutions

The advent of cloud-based solutions is an extraordinary resource for field service organizations, but the risks involved must be a priority. It is critical to recognize that not all mobile field service solutions perform at the same level. Too many underperforming field service solutions do not place enough emphasis on cloud-based security. Failure to encrypt and protect data storage and transfer leads to vulnerabilities and losses through theft, cyberattack, and leaks. These are losses that have been devastating to many field service organizations. A solution is to discover a mobile field service solution with a proven and verifiable data security commitment.

It’s also vital to find a solution that respects data backup. Backing up data should occur regularly to avoid even the smallest data losses. Find a solution that respects the opportunity and risks of cloud-based services through dynamic encryption, efficient patching, regular system updates, and other exhaustive security practices.

Mobile devices

Implementing mobile devices has a specialized relationship with the remote nature of work in the field service industry. There is little risk in saying such technology has revolutionized workflows and efficiency. But as we have mentioned, every innovation involves changes to risk factors. Data must be especially guarded when it comes to mobile devices, and not all field service solutions provide the necessary foundation for security.

Low-cost software options too often do not provide the solutions necessary to protect the applications that empower mobile devices. Using faulty or inferior applications on mobile devices can result in unintentional loss of private financial data or critical data about your customers and business.

The physical devices also need to be safeguarded. Your mobile field service solution should involve strong user authentication. Minimum password lengths and character requirements are basic security of applications using cloud-based software. More advanced security measures utilize multifactor authentication and single sign-on features—such as fingerprint scans or temporary text codes. Each of these steps will add extra layers of security and prevent the loss of data that is critical to avoiding the risks that impact revenue and efficiency.

Employee training

Employees that lack necessary technical training can also lead to data loss. Typical data loss trends involve employees inadvertently downloading malware or accidentally exposing critical business information. Other trends include leaking passwords or access codes and numerous different scenarios. A well-functioning mobile field service solution will provide safeguards to these data breaches and losses while offering accessible solutions for employee training.

Partnerships and integration

Protecting against security risks and data loss with your mobile field service solution also hinges on effective and experienced partnerships and integration with current systems. A quality solution seeks partnerships with proven experts that provide polished and skilled services that protect your data.

Partners such as Microsoft Dynamics and Sage Intacct can seamlessly interact and integrate with your mobile field service solution. Your mobile solution can also extend other services’ native functionality, like Vista Service Management and Spectrum Work Order modules. Creating partnerships with these skilled and renowned organizations is critical in responding to security risks and potential data loss.

Further Resources

A leader in the field service industry for nearly two decades, FieldConnect has been developed with data security as a central priority.

With a diverse suite of products, FieldConnet’s solutions offer the highest quality in innovation and protection. Secure and efficient cloud-based resources are coupled with the finest partnerships in the industry. This multifaceted approach ensures that their support will meet the ongoing and changing risks associated with protection against the loss of your essential data.

Schedule a demo with FieldConnect to begin learning how your mobile field service solutions can be identified and implemented. We will help your organization achieve its business goals, retain employees and customers—and grow your revenue.

Productivity Tips for Field Service Technicians

Analyzing and measuring productivity has been of interest to all types of operations for centuries. Scientists have formally studied the realm of productivity since the 17th century. But many things have changed in that time. The laws governing labor have progressed, and our tools for assessing productivity have become considerably more exhaustive and nuanced.

But one thing has not changed for the field service industry: Our work is unpredictable. Field service organizations are posed with a particularly unique challenge in this regard.

How do we reliably analyze, measure, and respond to productivity when the forces impacting it can be uncertain?

There are endless ways field service technicians cannot control the influences on their productivity. From customers canceling or rescheduling at the last minute to emergency calls or the failure of necessary equipment, field service technicians are faced with a constant barrage of random and fickle influences to their professional responsibilities.

But field service technicians and organizations are resilient and resourceful. We have found plenty of means for responding to the novel challenges of our field and their relationship to remaining productive.

Tips for Field Service Technician Productivity

In this article, we examine some considerations and resources that will empower field service organizations to support their technicians in maintaining and growing productivity.

1. Identify goals for productivity

This may seem like an obvious first step, but it is a valuable tip for pursuing more refined productivity strategies. Every strategy must begin with a plan and specific goals in mind.

There are a few things to keep in mind when goal setting. Ensure that any goal strategy involves a formal system of feedback about the progress being made toward each goal. Assign a timeline for regular updates and parameters for information to be provided about the progress. Secondly, assure the goals being set stretch and test your current capacities. You want goals to offer an attainable challenge.

Goal defining and tracking will be dramatically improved with the proper resources. Managers should have access to detailed reports throughout a workday, and this can rarely be accomplished without the appropriate technology and software (which we will offer tips on in our closing section).

2. Technician tracking

Speaking of the proper technology and software, we cannot underestimate the emphasis on tracking technicians. This is not merely a managerial concern. Technicians are remarkably more informed and productive when they can be dispatched or scheduled most efficiently. Empowering the dispatch or back-office teams with on the technician’s location will substantially cut down on extra driving distance and time while increasing efficiency and elevating productivity.

3. Prioritize scheduling strategy

This is a close cousin to the above tip, but it is distinct.

These two tips share the common goal of reducing travel time to improve productivity, but it all begins with a robust strategy for scheduling. Creating the most precise schedules is the first step towards the productivity that results from less travel time. But all experienced field service organizations know that schedules are a beginning infrastructure. Flexibility must be planned into any scheduling strategy. And the easier modifications can be made, especially on the fly, the more productive a scheduling strategy will become.

Finally, consider offering incentives to customers to schedule appointments during hours that are most efficient for your organization. Perhaps there are trending low-volume times in the day that you would like to fill, or periods in the year that are better suited to specific tasks over others. Offering customers discounts or coupons or other advantages to scheduling in these specially designed windows can significantly impact overall productivity.

By far, adopting a field scheduling software is the most efficient, reliable, and refined way to go about implementing and executing any solid strategy for scheduling.

4. Easily accessible inventory

We highly recommend effort being invested in the development and organization of inventory. The time technicians or administrators spend searching through the commonly extensive

inventories of parts, tools, and other resources is valuable labor and revenue exhausted on productivity.

If you do not currently have a formal system for your inventory, our tip is to invest the effort into developing one. In the meantime, ensure that you are tracking the usage of parts, equipment, and vehicles. As you grow more extensive reporting on inventory, consider reaching out to your suppliers for a purchase history to assist in establishing a robust history and infrastructure moving forward.

5. Equip dispatchers with information and training

Much energy goes into equipping our technicians in the field with the proper resources and information. But we also recommend utilizing your dispatchers in more dynamic ways.

Resourcing your team more diversely increases productivity from your technicians. Take, for example, that your dispatcher could be provided the information and training to direct customers through diagnosis, discovery, and resolutions to issues before dispatching a technician. This helps reduce No Fault Found Dispatches (NFFD). Reducing NFFD through trained and informed dispatchers stands to eliminate unnecessary and avoidable mistakes. It will increase the productivity of technicians applying their skills and expertise where they are most needed.

6. Understand and Implement Field Service Management Solutions

Executing each of the previously mentioned tips are critically expedited, polished, and more productive with our final tip: Identify field service management solutions that fit your organization.

Below are some directions and resources to inform your search.

Your management solution should provide a mobile field service application with comprehensive features. Assess these features for location and navigation, service notes and reference, checklists, expense tracking, and time in the field and appointments. Keep in mind that this is only a partial list of the extensive features available for field services applications.

Automation is key. A well-designed solution should permit the automating of recurring and basic tasks—such as resolution management, service task assignments, ticket routing, and other items specific to your organization.

Transparent and flexible scheduling features are also a high priority for your solution. Empower your administrators and dispatchers to better utilize and organize your field service workers. As schedules inevitably fluctuate and new tasks arise, your organization should be equipped to respond quickly and easily. Using drag and drop scheduling features will allow your administrative agents to override tasks and produce assignments for the ideal technicians.

These are just a few of the functions to regard as you search for your field service management solution. Critical functions of your solution also need to be concerned with the customer experience and the ability to collect and analyze data.

Allow the most experienced and dedicated professionals at FieldConnect to assist in starting you on your journey toward finding the solution best suited to provide you the highest potential for productivity and generating profit.

You can request a demo of their diverse suite of services today.

 About FieldConnect

With nearly two decades of expertise in the industry, FieldConnect has grown to be the leader in software solutions for Mobile Field Service providers. From family-owned and operates services businesses to multi-billion-dollar corporations, FieldConnect has the solutions that make your field technicians more efficient, reduce or eliminate paper from your workflows, and accelerate your invoicing cycles.

How to Eliminate Field Service Paperwork

Making transitions in life or business can be challenging to envision. Yet, these transitions stand to offer access and resources that can dramatically enrich the way we operate.

Take, for example, how some of us hold onto a nostalgia for the days of gathering around a radio for our favorite sports events or entertainment broadcast. But few of us would give up the opportunity we now have to see our favorite players and actors in real life on the screen. We like our television in vibrant colors and high-definition detail.

Much of the same can be said for eliminating our dependence on paperwork when it comes to workflow and processes.

Reducing or eliminating paperwork from operations stands to save us precious time, money, and risk to growing our business, improving service and operations, and increasing the satisfaction of our employees and customers.

In this article, we examine some of the ways traditional paperwork presents challenges and setbacks to efficiency and profit, while also offering tips on modernizing efficiency, reducing risk, and increasing productivity.

Why eliminating paperwork is critical

In reality, the challenges listed below only begin to scratch the service. There are plenty of ways paperwork has historically rendered workflows less efficient and contributed to unnecessary difficulties and setbacks for field service businesses. But the below items help present a picture of why reducing or eliminating paperwork stands to dramatically improve the way our company operates and grows.

Lost Job Forms

More moving parts in a business workflow equates to more room for error and mistakes. Field technicians have a multitude of forms necessary to complete their job, but the field is not an ideal environment for organizations. Having an array of different paper forms and various other resources relying on paperwork, the chance of loss dramatically increases. By switching to a process that eliminates these moving parts, the field technician is less burdened with tasks unrelated to the service they provide, and the risk of losing essential information is reduced or eliminated.

Accessibility of service history

Our service history must always be readily accessible. Customers commonly request old service reports or work order history, along with a variety of other records. Organizing a large volume of paperwork can be a nightmare for any service organization. Stacks of work orders and service history and mandatory forms require a great deal of physical space and expert organizing that requires time and skill to manage.

Analysis of work trends

In addition to the need for expertise in organizing to ensure accessibility of service history and work orders, traditional paperwork is far more challenging to analyze than digital alternatives. Understanding how past work trends may impact efficiency standards is critical to improving on weaknesses and refining strengths. The historical use of paperwork is a hindrance to this process. It requires larger teams and a high volume of time and labor to sort through and assess paper-based data for analysis and research.

Back-office efficiency

A great deal of effort goes into the processing, inspecting, and filing of paperwork by any back-office staff in a field service organization. All information must be turned into useful data and organized promptly. Errors in filing, lost forms, and incorrectly interpreted information contribute to a multitude of challenges and setbacks for the organization.

Billing processes

Processing paper requires material resources, but it also involves more labor. This has a critical impact on the billing processes of any organization. By eliminating the need to print and process paper-related resources, the billing department can refine the way their labor is distributed and save the organization money.

Less travel for technicians

Paperwork requires a transfer from the technician to the necessary staff and management. This results in a technician using valuable time on transporting the paperwork after service has been rendered. If a technician could transmit the same information without travel from the field to the office, a great deal of time and money would be saved and spent in more viable ways.

How to reduce paperwork and increase efficiency

Reducing paperwork and transitioning to digital solutions can be made manageable and straightforward. And the benefits are well worth the effort and attention. Traditional paper resources can be replaced at so many levels when a company decides to seek strategies rooted in modern digital technology.

Below, we explore some of the critical ways digital solutions are replacing paperwork and refining the way we execute business.

Mobile Devices

At this point, we all have a digital device in our hands or pocket. And it is a requisite tool for many businesses to supply their field technicians with work phones, tablets, and/or computers. Using these devices is not only cutting down on the number of costs associated with purchasing paper, but also contributing to an increase in time, money, and labor spent on commodifiable tasks over administrative work.

Field service organizations inherently involve a mobile workforce, which means mobility of communication and transfer is essential to operations. Utilizing mobile applications on phones, tablets, laptops, and other devices cut down on time spent filling out paperwork and transporting paper to the office. It also reduces the amount of paper a technician must carry with them and organize out in the field. Since digital solutions can be immediately relayed to the office, the risk of improperly filling out forms can be monitored, and the potential for loss of a form is eliminated.

Digital Forms

Technological advancements are revolutionizing our dependence on the paperwork we have relied on to create, access, and tailor the many necessary forms in the field technician industry. As any field service organization knows, there are myriad types of forms required for completing various tasks. Numerous factors also influence form types. A field technician is likely to have multiple types of work order forms depending on the service provided. Even more, forms associated with safety, compliance, or inspection can vary based on the city, state, or country of the service.

Being able to customize forms and establish flexible templates is essential to any organization. Digital templates for a multitude of needs can be created or quickly customized depending on the variety of influences that impact the requisite nature of a form.

Possibly the most critical function of digitizing forms is their contribution to organizing and accessing archives. Paperwork has required significant amounts of physical space for filing and organizing, including cumbersome and labor-intensive efforts at retrieving archived information. Digital solutions dramatically reduce the amount of physical space needed for this large-scale organization. They also make retrieving stored information significantly more efficient and reliable.

Customer portal

A reduction in our reliance on paperwork is associated commonly with offering digital alternatives to our field technicians and office managers. But the resources we use for our customers have also depended a great deal on paperwork.

By digitizing invoices and work history, an organization can offer customers any-time access to the resources they require. They can easily pull up a full history of service or other informational resources relative to their service needs. This dramatically reduces the amount of paper technicians must provide the customer, and it has a considerable impact on the customer’s ease and efficiency of access to vital resources.

Management Software

A well-designed and robust field service management software is at the core of any effort we make to reduce paperwork and empower our digital solutions. And the ideal software will produce considerably more.

Proper field management software will assist in optimizing your dispatch efforts and maximizing your capacity for creating quick and informed quotes. It will also ensure that your project management is informed with real-time, accurate data on technicians, service calls, and customer needs.

Any valid field management software should be guided by a combination of advanced solutions and real experience in field service. FieldConnect combines these unique qualities, utilizing technology that is informed by years of expert training in the field.

With nearly two decades of expertise in the industry, FieldConnect has grown to be the leader in software solutions for Mobile Field Service providers. From family-owned and operates services businesses to multi-billion-dollar corporations, FieldConnect has the solutions that make your field technicians more efficient, reduce or eliminate paper from your workflows, and accelerate your invoicing cycles.

You can request a demo of their diverse suite of services today.

Field Service Technician Scheduling Tips

Few industries rely on scheduling management in the same way as field service businesses. Being skilled and strategic at managing schedules is a necessary and critical function for any business that relies on field service technicians and other similar types of employees.

The typical office job may have a wave—or two to three—of employees scheduled to arrive in the morning and depart in the early evening. Perhaps scheduling is further complicated with an evening shift or an overnight shift. But even these scheduling scenarios are considerably less dynamic than the challenges and nuances facing field service businesses.

A mastery of scheduling distinguishes one field service company from the next.

Managing a field service business requires a capacity to anticipate issues, adjustment on the fly, and implement proactive planning. Scheduling customers and providing assignments to technicians is a complex challenge that can be unpredictable for numerous reasons. Equipment, machines, customers, and employees all play interconnected roles that can be difficult to foresee.

Scheduling management in the field service industry can be understood as a practice that incorporates both art and science. Management necessitates the capacity to remain nimble and improvise in the face of inevitable fluctuations, but it must be informed and structured within an architecture of best practices.

9 Tips for Field Service Technician Scheduling

In this article, we explore nine tips that inform your ability to develop a strategy for schedule management that can heighten your ability to anticipate issues, while remaining grounded in real data and strategy that enable you to adapt efficiently in real-time.

1. Prioritize Employees

Field service scheduling can include a diversity of employee types, including full-time, part-time, and freelance technicians, with varying skill or specialization levels. It is paramount to successful schedule management to centralize priority around the needs, abilities, and desires of employees. Communicating that an employee’s life and work is at the core of any business strategy will result in a sustained satisfaction that drives employee retention.

The key to prioritizing the needs and concerns of employees is maintaining access to management. When management is accessible for communication and feedback, healthy work culture can be sustained. Taking the employee into consideration with scheduling should balance with the demands of the business, and it can account for such things as a technician’s specialized knowledge of particular equipment or their strong rapport with a customer.

2. Assess overall labor force

Any attempt at schedule management should begin with an assessment of available resources. This process can be informed by focusing on two primary areas: historical trends and establishing a baseline.

The first of these is developed through reflection on previous trends in the business. Your company can execute a full audit of all the elements that contributed to the most efficient days on record. One such example would be assessing a day when the highest volume of calls was received and executed. Analyzing such sample days for efficiencies that can be mirrored is a best practice in developing future strategies for scheduling. Similar efforts can be made to reflect and analyze less efficient days as well.

Once an audit of best and worst performances is analyzed and mined for clarity, a company can establish a baseline. This can involve figuring out the minimum necessary labor for an average day and then affect further estimations on how many additional resources or hours are required for response to any additional calls.

3. Develop a system of prioritization

In an ideal world, every customer and every call would receive the same priority. Unfortunately, limited resources and shifting demands do not permit such a luxury. As a result, it is necessary to establish a hierarchy of precedence for types of customers. These priorities can be informed by such dynamics as a type of work, urgency, or any elements unique to your business. Establishing such priorities also provides the benefit of being able to decline work that would detract from defined priorities and potentially interfere with profitable decisions for scheduling.

Once the architecture for priority has been established, it is critical to communicate the system with everyone on the team, especially essential technicians and the dispatcher.

4. Emphasize the role of dispatcher

Too many field service companies attempt to cut costs by hiring inexperienced dispatchers or deemphasizing this function in general. The role of the dispatcher should be given high priority and sufficient resources. Cutting back on this critical role sets a shaky foundation for effective schedule management.

A capable dispatcher will excel in customer service and manage to multitask. They must also be supplied with the correct tools. Tools such as FieldDispatch software from FieldConnect are invaluable for creating a dispatch system that ensures fluid operations. This type of solution permits mobility and flexibility, allowing for quick troubleshooting and simplifying scheduling for preventative maintenance calls, emergency rescheduling, and accommodations for new business opportunities.

5. Balance Manual and Automated Scheduling

As with the resources applied to dispatch services, the best performing schedule management strategies take advantage of innovation in technology. Automating scheduling will save time, produce efficiencies, and redistribute necessary resources across a broader spectrum of operational needs. To maximize the technology available for automating scheduling, a manager should always be ready to improvise essential changes. The ideal solution builds a foundation on automation and blends it with the adaptability of manual scheduling.

6. Use reminders

Effective schedule management develops plans ahead of time. When appointments are scheduled in advance, sending out reminders for management, technicians, and customers is essential. This can assist in identifying scheduling issues early on and being able to pivot appropriately. Customers forgetting about appointments or running late consistently propose complications to established scheduling that can be mitigated or reduced by using technology to send reminders.

7. Empower analytics

We cannot emphasize the need for effective and exhaustive technological solutions for the management of scheduling. It is critical to track all data related to jobs, monitoring numbers such as first-time fixes, emergency or unscheduled calls, delays, and the myriad other challenges that arise specific to your operations. Work can be scheduled according to the days of the week, month, or seasons when call volume is highest.

To collect, analyze, and properly implement such data, key resources such as FieldGateway can be installed. Data can even be provided in real-time to create a seamless integration between your back office and the field.

8. Implement GPS tracking technology

Using GPS technology to track field technicians is illuminating for both management and the customer. Management can know which technician is closest to a job site or if they have arrived at the customer. This software can also inform the customer of a technician’s location, offering

them comfort and assurances that result in satisfaction. Tracking such information can also inform future audits of business operations and clarify where efficiencies can be amplified.

9. Technology that integrates with current solutions

Whether you are a new business or further expanding your horizons, it is vital to leverage modern scheduling tools for your company’s growth and success. As with most innovations, it is essential to find tools that integrate seamlessly with your current tools.

FieldConnect offers an array of resources that integrate with your current systems and go beyond even the best practices listed in this article. If your field service division still uses outdated systems and workflows, you are missing out on the measurable benefits that impact customer satisfaction, service capacity, and productivity, as well as field service staff retention.

FieldConnect offers a full suite of complete service solutions that will enable your scheduling management strategy to function at its peak performance.

You can easily request a demonstration of these many resources with FieldConnect today.

How to Improve Customer Communications

You call your bank to check on a charge to your account that you do not recognize. “Please say or type your 16-digit account number,” says the automated voice. You dutifully oblige and then push the “3” button to reach a human. After a couple of minutes, a live voice appears on the line. “This is Kim. How can I help you today?” You respond with your issue and the very next question is “I can help you with that. For security purposes, can I please have your 16-digit account number?” “What?” you think to yourself. “I already provided this information.”

The scenario above represents one of my biggest pet peeves when working with any financial organization. It suggests a number of issues – lack of integration between automated systems and the ones that representatives use, an assumption that I might not be very good at identifying and pushing buttons with numbers on them, or that scammers and thieves can be easily thwarted by having to say an account number, rather than just pushing the buttons on a phone. I believe that the first reason, lack of integration between systems, is primarily at fault, but the key point is that I no longer prefer the phone to deal with my financial institution.

This brings us to the systems that a field service company uses to manage its business. Many of these systems are inward-facing, dealing with payroll, accounting, inventory, and the like. But how well have the externally-facing systems been set up? These systems represent the ways that customers interact with the business and they are critical to acquiring and retaining customers, especially as the way they work, and that we work with them, has been forced to evolve. Whether by phone, website, email, or text message, the interactions need to be consistent, despite their unique qualities and need to be supported whether someone is in their office, in their home, or in some other location. Where consistency can be enforced across all these scenarios, the dividends will be substantial, supporting brand awareness and creating a positive customer experience across all communication channels.

First Touch

Perhaps one of the most critical touchpoints for any service organization is the first one. How easy is it to navigate the phone menu, or make a request on the website? Better yet, is there a dedicated line for service requests that bypasses the lengthy menus and recorded messages? After all, the potential client is dealing with an issue that needs fixing and time spent navigating through phone menus could feel like a lifetime. If you have a number of customers under maintenance contract, consider a dedicated number that gives these important customers more direct access and a VIP experience.

For non-emergency scheduling, consider a few different channels where the customer can identify the problem and provide preferences for scheduling the service call. These channels could include a web portal, a specific email address, or even text messaging capabilities. Again, for those customers with maintenance contracts, consider a proactive, outbound message to initiate the service visit, based on the maintenance interval time. When considering a web portal, make sure that there are no onerous software or browser dependencies. This capability should be easily supported on a standard configuration, especially as many people are now doing their jobs from home.

Once initial contact is made, are automated responses and confirmations sent quickly? Ideally, there’s a mechanism for responding quickly to voice mails, emails, web requests, or text messages. If there is no

automated way in place to accomplish this, does someone on the service team have the responsibility to connect with the customer? This key step lets the customer know that their request has been received and is being worked on. Bonus points for being able to personalize automated responses with company or contact name.

Scheduling the Service

Coordinating a technician to meet the customer’s timetable can be challenging, but customers should be insulated from those challenges as much as possible. From an internal perspective, leverage tools that help match the right technician to the job. Their suitability at the time could depend on several factors – location, areas of expertise, and equipment and parts on board their vehicle, for example.

Once the technician has been scheduled, let the customer know what the schedule looks like and when they can expect service. Windows of time are a necessary evil with a remote workforce due to unforeseen issues that might impact the arrival time. But being able to shrink the window, say from a 4-hour window to a 2-hour window will give customers a more positive perception of the service company and its ability to manage the remote workforce. If the time window can be shrunk to an hour or less, that represents best-in-class.

When the Technician Is On the Way

The service call has been scheduled and the technician is assigned. Keeping customers informed through a variety of communications keeps the lines of communication open to further reinforce a customer-centric approach. For example, a confirmation can be sent via the customer’s preferred channel. But rather than send a one-way communication, consider adding a feedback mechanism for the customer to confirm that the time still works, or to provide updates relative to their own availability.

Even more important is the ability to keep the customer informed as their service time approaches and should include a call from the technician when they are 15-20 minutes away. Leveraging technology even provides interactive mapping capabilities that will show where the service technician is on an interactive map, taking any guesswork out of the arrival time, as it approaches.

Completing the Service Call

Once the work is completed and it’s time to sign off, what does the customer review? Traditionally, the technician would walk through the work that was done and answer any questions. But with concerns about direct, person-to-person interaction, why not attach pictures to the job that was done? This approach reassures the customer and shows them exactly what work was performed, since the field tech may not be able to do a traditional review, and equipment placement often precludes customers from seeing the work for themselves.

Once the technician leaves the worksite, what kind of follow-up is conducted to provide the customer with a review of the problem, and the fix? Take advantage of the field service management technology and roll up the results of the repair. This can include an overview of the work done, as well as the pictures documenting the failed part(s) and showing the replacements. For certain types of equipment, it would be helpful to include any regulatory documents that need to be filed, or that were filed on their behalf.

The Billing Process

Now that the work is done, it is time to get paid for it. What does this process look like with technology applied? For one, it can be considerably quicker and can eliminate the physical transfer of paper documents from one person to another. Also, since the information from completed work orders can be sent immediately back to the office, invoices can be turned around in hours, or a couple of days. But, be aware of the agreed-upon billing terms for maintenance customers and make sure the due date doesn’t reflect anything other than those agreed-upon terms.

But think about the billing process as an opportunity to accomplish a few other objectives, including additional awareness about services you might offer, as well as a request for feedback. No need to do a hard sell, as the contact is already a customer, but certainly a chance to demonstrate the full range of service offerings. As far as customer feedback, it is essential to give customers the opportunity to share how their experience went, whether good or bad.

Follow-up

The service has been completed and the invoice has been processed and sent. Now is the perfect time to stay top-of-mind with a follow-up. The beauty of this communication is that there is no ulterior motive or sales angle, so the customer perceives this purely as goodwill. Yet, you can subtly support your objective of a quality customer experience.

This communication can take several forms, depending on how much work is performed for that customer on a regular basis. It might be appropriate to send a follow-up that summarizes the single visit, or perhaps roll up all visits for a certain period of time – monthly, quarterly, etc.

Synopsis

At the end of the day, it is about associating service with positive customer experience at every stage of the journey. From beginning to end, companies need to take advantage of every opportunity to smooth the path to completed service, whether planned and scheduled, or based on an emergency situation. Maintaining consistency in the look and feel of messages, regardless of the channel, will enhance the service company’s brand, keep the customer informed at all times, and provide a customer experience that differentiates the service offerings from competitors.

Field service management solutions can help open up additional communications channels, leverage the internet for self-service options and real-time technician tracking, and aggregate information for the customer that demonstrates exactly what was done, including pictures, to eliminate billing disputes and resolve any discrepancies that might arise. Additionally, the same solution can streamline internal processes, eliminate tedious, paper-based tasks, and drive efficiency for greater revenue. Sounds like a win-win!

How FieldProject Can Help Your Field Service Business

How can construction companies better manage their many projects, especially in today’s ever-changing work environment? While remote work is business-as-usual, given the nature of the construction industry, some of the changes that impact the way we work require new approaches to maintain efficiency and visibility to all aspects of construction project management.

Time Entry

At the most basic level, one of the challenges of project management is one of the most straightforward – tracking and accounting for workers’ time, whether individually, or as a crew.

Integration

For companies using Vista by Viewpoint, or Spectrum by Viewpoint, it is important to consider the value of direct integration into these platforms. FieldProject maximizes your investment in the Viewpoint platforms by leveraging existing data, reducing IT complexity, and maximizing project-based resources.

Integrating the Back Office

Your back office may no longer be in the office. With so many workers now working from home, how can you integrate them into your traditional workflows? By making all information available through a web browser, on any mobile device, the back office can now complete their tasks from wherever, whenever.

Equipment Usage

While the human aspect of projects is important, it is also beneficial to track equipment usage and to assign that usage to the appropriate part of the project.

Reporting and Visibility

Our solution offers project phase tracking, equipment management, as well as the previously-mentioned time tracking for individuals and crews.

  • Configurable, at-a-glance project status, and detailed service reporting.

Additional info

FieldProject from FieldConnect is the perfect field mobility tool to quickly collect the data you need to manage your projects. Speed up invoicing and improve accuracy with this easy to use tool for managers, supervisors, crew leaders, and individual team members in the field. With FieldProject, your office is anywhere and everywhere

FieldProject integrates with your ERP to capture project time for individuals & crews, and materials & equipment – from any web-enabled mobile device. Enter and access mobile project activity documentation including pictures, video, task notes, custom forms, and signatures all with a direct connection through your ERP project module. And, your field team can review and manage active jobs, project history, crew time tracking, mobile form entry, material costs, & equipment assignments.

  • Eliminate paper-based forms – capture all form data in a reportable SQL database.
  • Simplify your field team’s internal and external communications with online project details on any active project from any web-enabled device.
  • Eliminate duplicate data entry – enter project notes one time for everyone to see and review from anywhere.
  • Drive accountability for your team and your customer with digital signatures and on-the-spot reporting capabilities.
  • Improve billing accuracy by assigning the right inventory to the job and by tracking equipment usage, all at the job site.
  • Project Managers, Foremen, Crew Leaders and field engineers use any Internet browser capable device to access FieldProject. Use offline mode if no connection is available. FieldProject automatically scales to fit your device – whether it’s a mobile phone, tablet, phablet, laptop or desktop computer.

How LEGO and FieldConnect Changed the World

In the days before electricity, Billund was an obscure Danish village, and Ole Kirk Christiansen was just a simple carpenter with ambition. As a young man, Christiansen turned his love of whittling and playing with wood into a business and, in 1916, he opened his own shop.

While initially producing furniture like ladders, stools, and ironing boards, Christiansen’s love of toys is what drove the company forward. As toys became a bigger part of his business, he even renamed the company to reflect its new direction: leg godt, or “play well,” became LEGO.

Ole Kirk died in 1952, just as his son was on the verge of transforming the simple Automatic Binding Bricks into a full-blown “System of Play.” Designed on the principle that all blocks should interlock and be interrelated, the system became the foundation of modern-day LEGO. That means that any LEGO block produced since 1955 can interlock with any other.

Software & Hardware Technology

LEGOsIf all of the software and hardware technology that businesses use today came from the same source, it would fit together as easily and seamlessly as LEGO bricks do. But they don’t. We’ve tried to overcome that challenge through the adoption of industry standards, but the failure of that effort for many applications is encapsulated in this quote from a technology analyst a number of years ago (wish I could provide proper attribution). He said, “The beauty of industry standards is that there are so many of them!”

Technology companies have introduced a flurry of integration “brokers” over the years, and they, too, have failed to provide the kind of straightforward integration that companies could really consider agnostic. The latest wave of integration strategies has revolved around integration platforms and integration as a service. While these approaches have simplified integration to a certain extent, it can often feel like you’re mixing your erector set with some Lincoln logs and things just don’t line up. And when things do break, it can be impossible to fully understand and manipulate what might be inside the black box of an integration platform.

FieldConnect’s Approach

At FieldConnect, our approach has been more aligned with Christiansen’s LEGO concept. If you imagine all the “components” of a typical LEGO set, you may recall the seemingly boring, flat, gray piece. While unassuming in a stand-alone scenario, this gray piece provides the foundation to build upon, assuming that the pieces are compatible. Soon, the gray piece has walls, towers, and defined spaces built upon it in yellow, blue, red and green. No matter the size, shape, and color of the blocks on top of the foundation, they all fit, because they were made that way. We like to think of ourselves as the flat, gray piece. Maybe a bit boring, at first, but as you combine the building blocks of our solution, and start integrating them with blocks from other solutions that your business uses, the real fun begins.

But how did we make the other pieces fit so well with our gray one? We simply figured out what the various pieces of a complete solution looked like, and made our foundation in a way that would make sure they all fit. We found that the best way to ensure this fit was to integrate the system at the data and process levels. So, we don’t integrate with the data, but rather just use the data that is available to us, because we have architected our field solution so that it can read and write directly to the database.

Let’s look at how we work in a Microsoft environment, as an example. Microsoft has many components that can be brought to bear in a field service management scenario. We have created the FieldConnect so integrate seamlessly into this environment. Essentially, we looked at how Microsoft has designed and built their yellow, blue, red, and green blocks and then designed our gray foundation to make sure their blocks will snap onto our base.

Increasing Collaboration & Improving Business Processes

LEGO BugattiSo, while we have the field service piece covered, how can we increase collaboration? Let’s snap the yellow brick from Microsoft Teams onto that gray, flat one. How about managing business processes? The red Flo brick will fit nicely. Our executives need dashboards to know how the business is doing relative to key performance indicators. The blue brick from Power BI has a spot on the base. You can even add the green brick from Microsoft Office to integrate the traditional productivity applications into the overall system.

While this may be a simplistic view of software integration, do not underestimate the power of a system that integrates in a manner similar to the LEGO example above. This approach can enable tight integration and the ability to grow while leveraging the power of interoperability to accomplish amazing things. Just to complete the analogy, we leave you with this:

Yes, that is a full-size Bugatti Chiron supercar made entirely from LEGO bricks. Proof that an integrated, modular approach can yield amazing results!