There is no denying the fact that documents are the lifeline for every business in the world, as all fundamental functions like communication, analysis, transactions, etc. are heavily dependent on documents. Therefore, in this series – Know your docs- we will explore crucial documents in the business world.
In this second article let’s deep dive and explore field service reports, most commonly used in industries such as telecommunications, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC), construction, engineering, property maintenance, landscaping and transportation.
What is a field service report?
In simple terms, a field service report is a document that field technicians use to provide a summary and results of their service tasks after completing them (inspection, maintenance, site visit, etc.) to their respective service managers as well as dispatchers.
It is the responsibility of the service managers to monitor things like the work progress, and efficiency of the assigned technician on the site and manage the resources required to complete a job. Therefore, a field service report document provides an essential holistic view of what’s happening on the field to the service managers.
As for the dispatcher, whose job is to respond to customer work orders, the field service reports provide them with a log of who did what. These logs make their job easier in deciding who is the right person for the job based on availability and proximity to the site, especially in cases where regular maintenance is required.
These reports are usually stored in appropriate systems such as the Salesforce Field Service Management system so that if needed, a field service report can be used for billing purposes, to track the time and materials used for each job, and to document any warranties or guarantees associated with the work that was performed.
It is important to note that, as the reports often contain customer details, customer approval might be required before the field effort that was carried out is invoiced.
What is the purpose of a Field Service Report? When is it needed?
Field service reports are typically needed whenever a technician or engineer performs work in the field. They can be used to document routine maintenance work, emergency repairs, or new installations.
As mentioned above, field service reports are typically used to:
- Record and communicate information about the work performed in the field by a technician with their team as well as the customer.
- Provide a record of the work that was performed for invoicing purposes, including tracking the time and materials used for each job.
- Document any warranties and guarantees associated with the work that was performed.
- Provide a record of the work that was performed for compliance and regulatory purposes.
Furthermore, these reports help the management identify trends and patterns in equipment or system performance, which can then be used to improve maintenance schedules, prevent future problems, or even reduce costs.
How to write a Field Service Report?
The process of writing a field service report usually goes as follows:
- The customer describes the issue/problem on-site.
- The field engineer or technician determines the kind of service that is to be performed on-site: maintenance, installation, repair, or any other work.
- The field engineer documents the action taken while taking photo evidence of the defects and damages and confirms if the work was completed. Otherwise, follow-up actions are determined and scheduled.
- A summary of the field job is created by the technician.
- To conclude, digital signatures from all the participants: client, technician and service managers are collected to validate the report.
What are the key elements required for creating a Field Service Report?
Drafting a field service report is not a complicated process at all. A field service report does not follow any strict format as quite often different service managers have different standards for it, depending on the client. Nevertheless, what matters is that all the key details of the field service projects are documented accordingly. The best way to make sure no essential details are missed from a report is by including the following four elements while drafting a field service report:
- Title and Date: Just like any other official business document, a field service report must include a title that clearly identifies the report’s purpose and the date on which the work was performed.
- Customer and Technician Information: This includes the customer’s name, address, contact information, and company information (if available). As for the technician, it entails the name, address, expertise level, number of team members needed on the site, and company information that specifies whether the technician is from a third-party contractor or part of the in-house field team.
- Actions to be performed: This is essentially the heart of the report as it gives the team the most important insights about the job and performance. Therefore, all the information about the nature of the work (reported defects, details for installation, asset requiring repairs or service) as well as materials used, functionality tests conducted, follow-up actions and priorities, on-site visuals, diagrams, warranty information, or recommendations for future work.To enhance scheduling workflows and boost time management, it is a good idea to include a sub-section to define the average time taken to perform a specific task under this section.
- Signature of the customer and technician: This element is an acknowledgment section of the report. The report is only complete when it is signed off by the customer and the technician (also the service manager) upon the completion of the job. This ensures that the work has been completed as requested and provides evidence that customer and company expectations were met. Having the report signed by both parties is useful in the case of audits too.
What are the advantages of using a Field Service Report?
Field service is when a company provides its services beyond its own brick-and-mortar office/site by completing projects in the client’s preferred location.
For a comprehensive view of their workforce management, companies that provide on-site service (construction, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC), property maintenance, telecommunications, healthcare and engineering industries) often use field service management (FSM) systems. One such FSM software is the Salesforce Field Service, an extension of the Salesforce Service Cloud of the world’s #1 CRM platform. It empowers its users by connecting their frontline workforce and back-end operations which has proven to increase overall productivity and deliver on customer expectations.
In addition to storing data and ensuring compliance, the Salesforce Field Service helps businesses increase profitability and employee productivity by using automation and AI to provide more efficient and timely service. Moreover, it strengthens teamwork, too, by allowing data to be shared between the back-end operators (dispatchers, service managers, service agents) and on-field engineers.
Field service reporting has a key role in a company’s FSM system. Here are a few advantages of using field service reports:
- Comprehensive documentation: The field service report record provides a permanent record of the work that has been done, so it can also serve as a reference when it comes to compliance checks, reviews, audits, etc.
- Real insights to monitor performance: For service managers, these reports provide a detailed picture of how their field operations are running and where they need to improve. Field reports with time logs are extremely beneficial for service managers in evaluating how their technicians are performing on the field. The insights gained from the reports are often used to improve processes and technician productivity like reducing site visits and accelerating procedures, ultimately lowering the costs and increasing the overall profitability of the business.
- Improved inventory management: Reports help in tracking the history of every piece of equipment that a technician works with on the field. And with each completed job, the field service report provides updated information about the resources that were used or remain with the technician after completing a job. In cases where follow-up actions are needed, the report provides accurate information about the additional resources to complete those tasks.
- Better communication: Field service reports are beneficial not just to the service managers and field technicians, but also to other team members like Dispatchers and Service Agents. The dispatchers often need to have simultaneous access to all available information so they can send the person best suited for the job after the service agents have created a “work order”. Thus, a field service report improves communication for everyone in the team. Additionally, it is also useful for communicating with customers and other stakeholders.
- Increased customer satisfaction: By providing a clear record of the work that has been done, field service reports can help increase transparency and customer satisfaction.
Getting started with a Field Service Report…
Now that everything’s out of the box about field service reports, the next step is to create one for your business. Take a quick look (or watch the video ) and see for yourself how easy it is to draft a field service report using the Documill Dynamo document automation tool!
At Documill, we understand the challenges of drafting vital business documents very well. That is the reason Documill Dynamo comes equipped with features like fully customizable templates, fully compliant electronic signatures, document workflows, etc.
Get in touch and see how you can save time while reducing costs while generating documents inside Salesforce with our help!