The complete guide to service management software
What is Service Management Software?
Put simply, Service Management Software (SMS) helps companies to run their business and serve their customers better. SMS can be used for order management, dispatching technicians, capturing and storing customer information, and stock management processes. And, by reducing the need for paperwork, it helps service-led organisations to increase productivity and efficiency.
Cloud-based Service Management Software
While most service companies have invested in some form of Service Manager, not all solutions are created equal. In fact, over the years engineers and support staff have become increasingly frustrated with less-sophisticated systems that simply take offline tasks and put them online. So, employees still have to complete tedious admin and fill in forms, just via a computer or mobile device. And that’s where cloud-based SaaS can help.
What is SaaS?
SaaS (Software as a Service) describes any cloud-based service where applications are hosted off-site and delivered over the internet. So Google Apps, Facebook, Salesforce, etc. are all forms of SaaS.
Powered by cloud, with SaaS, businesses can create an interconnected system that monitors and shares information. So software can be used to perform everyday tasks and processes can be standardised and streamlined. For example, engineers can fill in electronic forms using a mobile device, and this information is then automatically and immediately synced with back office systems. So there is no need for support staff to duplicate this data into another system.
With cross-device compatibility, SaaS applications work on a variety of different devices including PCs, tablets and smartphones.
The benefits of cloud-based Service Management Software
- Lower implementation costs. SaaS can be implemented at much lower price than an on premise solution, with no significant investment in licenses or infrastructure needed.
- Lower running costs. SaaS will help you to create a more transparent cashflow, with everything you need delivered on a pay-as-you-go basis.
- Reduced total cost of ownership. SaaS provides reduced TCO as you no longer have to fork out on expensive infrastructure upgrades.
- Easy to get started. With SaaS, you’ll benefit from a tried and tested system that is ready to use and customisable to your business.
- With flexible subscription based pricing models you’ll only ever pay for what you use, and your solution can be scaled up or down without any fuss.
- Protected data. SaaS provides automated backup services and best-in-class recovery processes. So your data remains robust, safe and secure.
- More competitive. With automatic upgrades, your system is regularly improved at no extra cost to you, so you stay agile and competitive.
- Proactive approach to IT support. With customer service support provided by your SaaS provider, internal IT helpdesk calls are reduced, and the drain of firefighting eased.
- Business improvement. Free from the inconvenience of maintaining a complex IT architecture, your technical staff focus on tasks that drive business improvement and growth.
- Better access to information. SaaS provides enhanced access to data from any networked device.
- Better cooperation. All users have access to a common shared infrastructure. This encourages the simplification and standardisation of business processes.
- Enhanced business intelligence. SaaS can be set up to generate easy to digest reports automatically.
- Easy customisation. SaaS systems can be personalised and white-labelled to suit the needs of your business.
- Improved compliance. Processes can be established to ensure the upholding of regulatory compliance.
- Improve your bottom line. With businesses across the UK and the US wasting a staggering £8.15bn a year by using a variety of tools to manage similar services across their organisations, the impact of cloud-powered automation on your bottom line cannot be underestimated.
Cloud-based SMS and customer satisfaction
Many businesses focus their available resource on sales activity; forgetting about the benefits of ongoing customer engagement and support. However, SMS makes the provision of after-sale support simple. SMS also helps you to stay connected, with proactive follow-up starting immediately after each sale. And, where there are problems, SMS can help you to establish automated processes to deal with these quickly and easily.
SMS can also take over simple tasks, freeing your customer-service team to provide more proactive support. And, supporting continuous customer service innovation, with SMS it’s easy to deploy frequent upgrades that enhance the customer experience and make improvements based on customer feedback.
SMS also allows for a more personalised experience as you gain a deeper insight into each customer’s needs, and have the tools available to tailor your service and support accordingly. Of course, SMS also helps you complete jobs quicker, with better stock control ensuring your engineers get the parts they need as quickly as possible.
Cloud-based SMS and employee satisfaction
Employees are as frustrated with unproductive working practices as you are. In fact, while some employers like to complain about engineers taking too long on the road, most employees are wasting valuable hours through no fault of their own. And an employee who feels productive is likely to be much happier than one that hasn’t been given the tools they need to do their job.
SMS also provides employees with extra freedom, with changing attitudes and new technologies shaking up the traditional working environment. Today, fewer people sit at their desks 9-5 than ever before; with mobile working now more important to 67% of staff than a company car. And SMS helps to reduce the burden of “boring” work, so employees spend less time on admin and more on tasks they enjoy (and which make money!).
Is the cloud safe?
Security concerns have frustrated cloud adoption, with some organisations choosing to keep their business-critical data, software and hardware onsite. However, with robust cloud encryption now available, this could be riskier than storing it with a SaaS service provider in a remote location.
Today, reputable SaaS vendors make security a top priority and will have a reliable, secure infrastructure in place that far outstrips what most businesses would be able to build for themselves. In fact, substantial investment would be required to make an on premise solution meet the security and reliability of most business-standard cloud applications.
How to improve ALL your business processes with SaaS
- Warehouse Manager. From stock, sales, purchasing, and fulfilment, SaaS ensures that each stage of your warehouse operations is as efficient as possible.
- Finance and Accounting applications. As businesses seek to reduce their overhead costs – while extending functionality – cloud-based financial software is an attractive option.
- Business Intelligence software. It’s easy to improve decision making, with access to the most up to date and accurate data, from multiple data sources.
- Training Manager software can be used to support a wide-range of training activities including LGV, forklift, and manual handling training.
- Service Manager Route Optimiser. With SaaS, you can control multiple jobs, engineers, and vehicles, with a system that automatically plans the ideal distribution of work and determines the most effective routes.
Helping to improve productivity, modern service businesses use SaaS to help with a broad range of functions. But, if you want to make larger scale improvements it’s worth deploying an integrated SMS. This offers complete integration throughout all your processes, rather than trying to patch different applications together.
The future of cloud-based SMS
An interconnected system that monitors and shares information, the industrial internet of things (IIoT) is set to add around half a trillion dollars to the UK economy by 2030. And just like the internet, the IIoT is set to change the world as we know it.
The impending IIoT is driving the growth of cloud-based SMS, with the promise of interconnectivity fuelled by modern tech. Here are just some of the benefits the IIoT will deliver:
- Reduced downtime. By bringing together operational and informational technology, businesses will benefit from improved insights and reduced downtime.
- Boost productivity. By creating a system that integrates complex machines, software programs and sensors, business will be able to analyse data better and increase productivity.
- Improve quality. Problems can be identified quicker, leading to fewer bad parts or products and speedier repairs.
- Cost savings. By facilitating predictive maintenance, businesses could generate savings of up to 12% over scheduled repairs, leading to a 30% decrease in maintenance costs and 70% less downtime from equipment failure.
- Capitalise on new opportunities. As technology continues to improve, organisations will need less human supervision and intervention. And, free from the inconvenience of mundane tasks, valuable programmers, technicians, engineers and IT staff will be able to prioritise elsewhere. What’s more, with enhanced insights available, these employees can focus on projects that drive improvement and open up new revenue streams.
Is your service business ready for SMS?
While cloud-based SMS can deliver substantial benefits, it’s important to undertake due diligence before rolling out any new application(s). Before you begin:
- Establish what you need to achieve and how cloud-based SMS will help you to do this.
- Determine whether it is suitable for your business. While ideal for small to medium businesses, cloud-based SMS might not be appropriate for the more multi-dimensional requirements of sizable enterprise organisations.
- Check whether a free trial is available so you can test the solution for yourself.
- Establish whether your existing IT systems are compatible with the new application (assuming you need to continue using these).
- Ascertain if there are any customisations to be made.
- Identify any security issues that need to be resolved.
- Ensure that you have a suitable internet connection.
- Arrange training as required.
For most businesses, with the right preparation, moving to cloud-based SMS is painless. Check with your provider to establish how long it will take and whether they can help you to roll out with ease.
How much does cloud-based SMS cost?
With most SaaS solutions, you’ll be charged a regular subscription (typically monthly or yearly). The price you pay usually depends on the size of your business and the number of users.
Service Manager Software from Service Geeni
Providing a total Service Management Solution at Service Geeni, we will help you to develop agile practices that increase your efficiency, optimise your workforce, and boost your sales.
You also benefit from:
- Access to previously unaffordable software and tools with no upfront capital investment
- Automated backup services and best-in-class recovery processes
- The ability to add functionality as your business grows
- Access to the latest software, without hefty upgrade costs
- 99.9% uptime with best in class SLAs.
To find out more about how we can help your service-led business succeed with Service Manager Software, speak to a member of our team on 01942 261 671 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
 BT, The Mobile Multiplier, 2016