If you are one of those fortunate souls who happens to work in the Equipment Rental industry, you may already have realized how difficult it is to get by with islands of systems that do not talk to each other: the dispatch system, the contract system, the equipment maintenance system, the invoicing system... ah, and I almost forgot... the accounting guy that comes in every month to try to make sense of what your business have been doing with the stack of invoices and timesheets that are sent to customers.
I have to say that before my last project at a global Security Services and Equipment Installation and Monitoring provider, I had little regards for the Field Services Series (comprised of Field Service, Contract Management, and Depot Management). I thought it was a cumbersome piece of software and had too many moving parts. But, I quickly realized that all those moving parts ensure a level of flexibility and integration required by businesses in this field. Granted, there are a few things that don't talk to each other -- out of the box anyways, for example, Project Accounting contracts and Field Services contracts, or one click setup for things like warehouses vs offices/branches, technicians vs employees/vendors/subcontractors, or the inability to unallocate parts from service calls back to inventory when a call is canceled. These turned out to be minor to moderately complex customizations that made life a lot easier.
However, I did overall like the level of integration between the Field Service suite and SOP, POP, and Inventory modules. I liked the fact that purchasing receipt transactions would clear back ordered items on service calls and that these could in turn be billed out on a SOP invoice once the call was closed. You also have to like the workflow capabilities in the service call arena. While still lacking the ability to enter information specific to each visit on a service call, the ability to cycle through multiple call statuses before the call is closed.
But enough of me... If you are in the Equipment Rental industry, you may want to check a fabulous post by my friend Michael D. Johnson, The MBS Guru about how he implemented and customized the Field Service Series to support the need of one of his clients. Michael explains in great detail and provides lots of screenshots of what he did during the time he spent implementing the solution.
Until next post!
Mariano Gomez, MVP
Maximum Global Business, LLC