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4 field service management solutions to keep your jobs on track

Eric Geier | Nov. 18, 2013
Scheduling, billing, inventory and client tracking -- these applications offer complete systems for managing your on-site service business.

Managing a field service company can be a logistics nightmare. If you don't have a proper system for tracking invoices and payments you could be losing revenue from lost or late invoices. Even worse, employees may be able to easily pocket money from customers or walk off with inventory or company equipment. And customer service can be affected if you don't have a customer relationship management (CRM) system that stores contact info and service history. Fortunately, there are many options to help streamline the process for any type of field service business, whether you do window cleaning, plumbing, appliance repair, or IT support.

Here I review four different field service management solutions, all offering free trials with pricing starting at $39/month and even one completely free solution.

Mhelpdesk offers a 14-day free trial, then pricing starts at $75/month for the first user and $25/month for each additional user. On the first login you're prompted to complete a wizard-based setup. It allows importing of customer data via CSV (with their specific field/header names) or QuickBooks.

Creating services and inputting product inventory is easy and allows you to track wholesale pricing and reordering. Though the products and services list can be exported, you can't import the data.

When inputting customer information, you can define custom fields for any specific data you want to store. Plus you can easily create and email a username and password for the customer, allowing them to login to view service history.

Creating work orders is done via a streamlined interface that allows you to easily move from an estimate to invoice and payment, with the ability to also input time and materials, logs/notes, messages to the customer, and upload related files. Here it would be great to see more flexibility in entering and tracking field tech availability and the ability to send SMS alerts to field workers.

Mhelpdesk offers a free mobile app for iOS and Android devices. You can view and edit work orders and customer info. It offers pretty much the same functionality as the Web-based interface for the work orders, but editing invoices and estimates could be more user-friendly.

Overall Mhelpdesk is a solid service, offering most of the features you'd probably need. It also offers a great setup and support option: a one-time fee of $350 for one-on-one help in customizing the service and even employee training on the solution. Though it doesn't provide a direct way to track non-availability times for field workers other than seeing assigned jobs, it can easily be done via creating events on the calendar.

Connect2Field offers a 14-day free trial, then pricing starts at $65/month for each admin and $10/month for each field worker. Online documentation steps you through the initial configuration. Connect2Field features importing and exporting of clients, products/services, jobs, and suppliers. It requires the data to be in its format but offers templates to copy or type in the data.


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