The key to a successful field service business is making sure your technicians have the right tools for the job. Even though some businesses struggle to get their technicians to embrace the paperless platform of mobile data collection, others find an entirely different struggle facing them: keeping up with the expensive hardware.
Whether the services you offer require different types of hardware or the current solution you have now just isn’t allowing you to be flexible with upgrades, hardware challenges are often a thorn in many fleet professionals’ sides. The one thing you shouldn’t think is, “there isn’t a better solution out there.”
AssetWorks Field Service Solutions (FSS) understands that no two businesses are alike, and that you need a system that will be flexible to your needs and bring you as much ROI as possible. Here are some things to consider to help solve your hardware challenges.
You’ve got to have Options
Depending upon the type of industry you work in, you might need different ways to get things done. Many businesses require a variety of different vehicles and mobile platforms to serve their customers and the conditions they face. When it comes to hardware options, many providers won’t give you the flexibility to tailor to your needs. An Electronic Logging Device (ELD), can help you improve your fleet’s maintenance and help cut down on expenses like fuel costs. Fleet professionals settle for the “one for all” solution, because if they try to have different mobile options through their fleet, it gets more expensive than what they’re paying now. To be efficient and competitive, every fleet should consider these three varieties of ELD platforms:
- Highly Rugged ELD Platform
- Semi-Rugged ELD Platform
- Consumer Grade Tablet/Smartphone
Highly Rugged ELD Platform
When you work in tough conditions, you need your equipment to withstand the elements. A highly rugged mobile computer will allow you to operate efficiently and through the harshest of environments. A tough, compact mobile computer will usually be built in and connected though the ECM to always offer a reliable power source. Allowing the device to be mounted in the vehicle, and having the capability to operate in high and low temperatures, ensures that a highly rugged ELD platform is a great option for the toughest jobs.
Semi-Rugged ELD Platform
A more cost-effective option that is still a great for durability is a semi-rugged ELD platform. This portable unit, with a docking station in the vehicle, was built for the mid-range specifications of shock/vibration, moisture and dust. Just like the highly rugged platform, you’re able to connect it to an ECM for a reliable power source. This is a dependable option for the purpose-built vehicles.
An affordable consumer tablet will let you keep costs down and keep your vehicles in compliance. This portable, widely available solution can be connected to Bluetooth and an ECM power source. Although most won’t have a protective coating on the outside, the consumer tablet is perfect for jobs that are not in harsh environments.
Support after Sale
Did a previous provider make you feel that there was little to no support after you paid for the product? Many businesses feel “left in the dust” after choosing a hardware provider and not being able to ask questions or receive any hands-on training.
A field service management provider should be delivering the highest quality service to their customers. The common perception of after-sale support is that it is just an additional cost instead of making it an essential part of the customer experience. After months or even years of customers dealing with issues with no support, this leaves a negative image of the brand.
Many success stories over the years have seen two things in common. One of these notable features is that there is a dedicated project manager to work with the customer through their whole deployment process to make sure they and their team have a smooth transition and help them become experts in the everyday product. The second common trait in success stories is being able to have 24/7 customer support. Knowing that they’re able to call day or night with any problems their business might be having leaves them with a peace of mind so that they can focus on the more important tasks at hand.
In an industry where everything is constantly changing and updating, businesses rely on the consistency of their providers to make sure they’re receiving the best overall product and service. You need someone who’s been around long enough where they see enough scenarios and have enough experience to keep your business running up to date. Having a partner that will listen to your questions and go through different types of options to find the best solution for you will take you a long way in developing a long term partnership.
Hardware challenges should be an issue of the past. Don’t settle for a service provider with hardware that isn’t flexible and is too expensive, with little reliability and shaky support. Making a change can be hard and overwhelming, but you deserve a solution that will be the best for your business and help you see the most ROI possible.
AssetWorks Field Service Solutions (FSS) has been the leader in developing tools and solutions for over 35 years. We’ll find a flexible solution for all your needs, with a dedicated project manager to help you along the way. We’ll show you how to utilize your back office features so that you’re taking advantage of all the data possible to increase your business ROI.