Oilfield service, construction, and equipment maintenance industries all rely on field ticketing software to operate and prosper. Without it, they are forced to rely on manual methods of capturing data in the field, communicating with field technicians, managing jobs, and financial reporting.
On a jobsite, managing job details, sending out physical paperwork, approving paperwork, and receiving it back on time can be hard while working in multiple remote locations. If items fall through the cracks, the job is affected, the invoice is wrong or delayed, and you lose money—and possibly even the customer.
Without the right field ticketing software in place, you’re making life difficult for your field service operators and technicians and their ability to capture work details accurately and sufficiently on the jobsite. In turn, the data that is sent back to your accounting system and then passed to the customer via invoice is unreliable.
If your field tickets are taking days or weeks to get back from the field before you can issue an invoice to the customer, or you are having trouble keeping track of them, it’s time to make a change. In a fast-moving and highly competitive environment like field service, you can’t afford to experience issues or errors because of inaccurate invoices, error-prone spreadsheets, lost tickets, lack of communication, or delays.
Technology is constantly evolving, and that means field ticketing software is progressing too. You now have more flexible and better options in what technology you use to manage and optimize your field service people and processes. In this blog post, we have outlined 6 ways that modern field ticketing software can reduce the inefficiencies causing you grief and drive profitability. You will also gain some expert insight into what to look for in a field ticketing solution that best fits your unique requirements and industry.
6 Ways to Eliminate Tedious Paperwork and Increase Productivity in the Field
When your field ticketing software is a standalone, heavily manual legacy system that doesn’t connect with your critical business systems, it’s not doing its job effectively. The only way to eliminate the hiccups, streamline your field service processes, and get your entire business working on the same page is through an integrated field ticket solution that includes all of the essential functionality you need to efficiently track, communicate, bill, and report. Here are 6 ways that this functionality can help improve your field service business:
Manual paper records are often challenging to keep track of and can easily be lost on-site, so why wouldn’t you want to eliminate them? Converting your outdated, manual field ticketing process to an automated system offers great advantages, especially for your staff working in the field. An automated system can easily capture important job details, seamlessly track workflows from the office, and offers fieldworkers helpful features to make the job easier, such as capturing signatures and work progress photos throughout the job.
When field and service technicians communicate with the office solely via phone or email, small details can be left out or lost, and work can be delayed. With a mobility solution, head-office can approve work quickly, stay in better contact with fieldworkers, and track job progress throughout the day. Access to mobile, real-time data is a game-changer for field service companies because it reduces the risk of job data and keeps the entire workforce connected.
An effective field ticketing system can generally get invoices out within 24 hours after the job. Using only manual invoices in the field brings great potential for human error due to incorrect calculations and incomplete line items. These delays in capturing accurate work tickets can delay invoicing by weeks or delay customer payment while errors are resolved or backup information is located. That’s the last thing your business needs. To say goodbye to timing problems with payroll and invoicing errors, you need to consider a field ticketing solution with built-in billing and invoicing capabilities.
- Vendor Portal Integration
Field ticketing software should work with a variety of vendor portals to eliminate duplicate data entry, speed up payment collection, and manage rejections when they inevitably happen.
Consider looking for a system that integrates to your vendor’s electronic invoicing system to allow invoice uploading and supporting documentation, including the vendor field representative approval. In many cases, this is a requirement to receive payment for your services and avoids repetitive manual entry and upload of information into the vendor portal.
If you’re unsure where to start with this, we suggest checking out i2X Integration Solution, an app for electronic oilfield vendor integration that enables you to smoothly create and submit invoices electronically in a secure customer portal. Read more about it here.
- Job Costing
Job costing is vital for field service businesses to track profit and loss on all jobs and services accurately. The more connected it is to other areas of the business, the more accurate it will be to measure job costs for reporting and performance purposes. That’s why you want to make sure the field ticketing software you select for your business includes job costing functionality.
- Financial Reporting
Less data entry channels mean less potential for errors. Choosing a modern field ticketing solution with a centralized database that integrates with your financial management opens the door to faster invoicing, payroll, and month-end close. These solutions offer the financial reports and dashboards your managers need for timely performance measurement and smarter decision-making.
There is No “One-Size-Fits-All” in Field Ticketing Software
Field tickets track the labor, equipment, and materials of every job so you can easily track the work and bill the customer. Your field ticketing software should be able to accommodate all the details required to complete the work in one job, so your customer can receive the service as efficiently as possible. It sounds straightforward, but the truth is, there’s a big difference in field ticketing software depending on what industry you are in. Here are two examples:
EXAMPLE 1: Oilfield and Construction
The oilfield and construction industry requires field ticketing software that will function optimally on a jobsite, providing capabilities that cover extraction or construction jobs. These field tickets (or “Tour Sheets” in the drilling industry) start with a call or ticket that has been set up ahead of time, which is then dispatched to the field technician or field team leader on a jobsite.
Pertinent information was collected by the call dispatcher, who now needs to relay where and when the job is to occur, the contact person to reach, and directions to get there. Other required information is the anticipated duration of work and a budget for the expected amount of time and consumed materials.
Oilfield service companies especially face added challenges of re-entering data into several electronic invoicing systems used among upstream oil and gas companies. It can be painful to manage and track mobile field workers, field paperwork, and timely invoicing while maintaining profitable workflow processes. Field ticketing software in the oilfield and construction industry should include:
- Specific on-site worker details, such as what skills and certifications the work team should possess, who should be on the team, their availability, how workers are being transported to the site, whether they require accommodation and food, and whether they will be in cellphone range or need a satellite phone.
- Protocols for safety inspections and safety incidents, as well as timesheet details and pre and post-job checklists.
- The ability to allow for unexpected changes that often happen on-site. For example, the required work could change, or the equipment could break down. In this instance, if you don’t have cell service to communicate with the office, you will need a manual ticket pad with enough tickets to accommodate the work changes.
- Reporting flexibility and specific approvals or documentation you will need to provide client representatives.
- Mobile accessibility to handle paperwork and job details from anywhere.
EXAMPLE 2: Equipment Maintenance
Field ticketing software for the equipment maintenance industry, on the other hand, needs to provide service field tickets for servicing equipment, such as an excavator, generator, appliances, or other machines. This kind of ticket begins similarly to the oilfield ticket process.
In the equipment maintenance industry, your employee needs to be able to head out to a location with all the information required to service equipment. He or she should have access to the relevant repair manual for each job (whether online, in download form, a checklist, paper-based, or stored on a computer system). It’s also important to have access to the service history of the equipment, customer conversation history, previous technologist notes from the site, as well as the warranty details on the equipment.
Your field technicians need to be as equipped as possible before embarking on a job, so your field ticketing software should be able to accommodate their accessibility needs. They will need to be able to access job and customer details from anywhere, collect payments at the job, and more. The field ticket itself should include notation of any special training or certification required to perform the job and what kind of specialized testing equipment or tools will be needed. The ticket should also include protocols to deal with possible weather issues or dangerous environments that may affect the work.
Integrated Field Ticket Software
Every detail matters in the field service business. At Open Door, we solve obstacles through personalized technology solutions that influence all parts of your organization and provide better control of your operations.
To support the growing needs of our field service customers in various industries, we developed ODT Field Ticket, an affordable and easy-to-use field ticketing application that is fully integrated into Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. It is quick to deploy, easy to learn, and accessible on any desktop, tablet, or mobile phone. Here’s how it works:
- Using this app, your employees can accurately capture and submit job details at the jobsite for internal approval. It helps them record and consolidate a variety of material and labor details on the job, including services completed and equipment used. ODT Field Ticket app can also be configured for use with Items and Resources/Services with specialized pricing rates per customer, customer group, and campaign for each job.
- Once approved, the field ticket post automatically generates Job Journal transactions and posts the journal lines to the correct Job to create Job Planning Lines, as well as Job Ledger Entries.
- A detailed sales invoice from multiple field tickets is then generated and either emailed or printed in a summarized or detailed view for your customer.
- From there, your management team can easily create and share profitability reports and “Work in Progress” reports for performance measurement.
- It’s important to note that you can also adjust the Field Ticket Lines to a Rental Contract which will combine rental and field charges for your customer. Further job costs can be recorded via Time Sheets, Purchase Invoices, and Journals.
If you’re interested in learning more about ODT Field Ticket and how it can help you simplify your service process from field ticketing to invoicing, get in touch with our team for a no-pressure chat. We can show you how ODT Field Ticket can seamlessly fit into your existing operations and answer any questions you have on the software and functionality.