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A Guide to Field Service Management Software (Open Source)

Handling field service task may become daunting if not appropriately managed. Luckily, you can look after your field service tasks with the help of field service management software. The field service tasks involve coordination with different departments within the organization, back-office employees, and external vendors.

What is Open Source Field Service Management Software?

You will find different types of field service management software. The open-source field service management software, on the other hand, comes with free license. Since it comes at zero cost, you will not have to worry about incompatibility issues or subscription fees.

Who Should Use an Open-Source Field Service Management Software?

If you have a small business and wants to keep your investment only for a month, then you might use the free open-source field service management software. The cost associated with deploying open-source field service management software will be small.

However, there is no assurance that since the software is free, they will provide the best services and will be stable. The best part of this software is that it is very customizable. If you want to tweak it according to your specific needs, then you can do that.

This is not the case with the paid software. However, do not misconceive the fact that the open source field service management software is free of bugs and issues.

How Do you Evaluate Field Service Software?

Many businesses fail to manage tasks successfully. To ensure that the tasks are managed efficiently, you should evaluate the field service software you want to choose. The main thing to look for in the software is its capability to meet your business’s needs.

You can evaluate the software based on the following features:

Appointment Scheduling

As an ideal field service software, you should be able to manage appointment scheduling with a single click. You will not have to deal with complicated layers of date input to schedule an appointment. The software should allow you to enter customer information, cancel an appointment on demand, add description or notes, and reschedule the appointment if necessary.

Estimate Creation

The field service management software should allow you to track the number of hours and the cost associated with the project. Therefore, it is ideal to have a ticket estimating program that is integrated with your service/support software. If you are not using a tool that has integrated with the software, you can try a separate software.

Service Level Agreement

A service level agreement is an arrangement between the customer and the supplier. The terms and conditions in the agreement should be clearly mentioned in the field service management software. A good field service management software should come with a built-in SLA management tool. It should allow the service team leader to make modifications to the SLAs.

Subcontracting/Job Management

Subcontractor management is an important feature in the software. The field service management software should allow you to bulk assign the tickets based on various factors such as location or the type of ticket. The software should be able to notify the employees about the service with the use of the various channels such as email, sms, or phone calls.

Should I Consider an Open Source Field Service Management Software?

Open Source Field Service Management Software has low to zero costs. However, it is not always the case that all open source tools will solve your business problems. As a business owner, you need to evaluate the software to find tools that meet your business process.

Proprietary vs Open Source Field Service Management Software

The proprietary version comes with a price tag. However, just like free open source field service management software, it comes with numerous features. The proprietary field service management software is particularly useful for small-sized businesses.

But, you will not have the capacity to customize the software before buying it. The open source field service management software bears cost-saving benefits in both long-term and short-term. In the long-term, you will be able to cut the cost of training, implementation, and support.

On the other hand, you cannot expect to save money on the short-term. You will have to spend some money on training and learning, evaluation, implementation, and customization.

What Can Be Done with the Open Source Field Service Management Software?

The open source field service management software has different applications in the service industry. For example, Field Service Software mainly helps in managing the service desk. The software is used for all the activities that happen on the service desk.

It helps the customer care department to manage all their interactions with the customers. The tools or modules help the call center to perform the following tasks:

  • Answering customer queries
  • Details about the company and product
  • Access to the Request/Task tools for the customers
  • Escalation process for the management

As an administrator, you can use the open source field service management software to prepare the field service visit plans. You can schedule the visit and generate reports for the sales representatives.

What Should You Do When You Do Not Like an Open Source Field Service Management Software?

There will be times when you will not like the open source field service management software. Therefore, you can migrate to other suitable tools. There are many service management software available in the market. You can easily find the one that suits your business needs.

The Best Open Source Field Service Management Softwares

  1. Fergus

Fergus is a cloud-based tool that packages itself as an all-in-one field service management solution for small service businesses. One of Fergus’s highlights is a feature called job cards, which allows users to store all information related to one project, including pictures and notes, in one place.

It offers a free tier with no cap on the number of users. However, the free tier limits users to 10 job cards per month.

Advantages:

  • Similar platform across mobile and desktop with the ability to automatically sync
  • Work with auto scheduling with a mobile/desktop scheduler

Disadvantage:

  • No iPhone or Android app for Fergus

Price: FREE

  1. Loc8

Loc8 is a cloud-based field service management tool that has a free tier for up to two users. Its task management feature is similar to Fergus’s job cards and allows users to create tasks to represent projects and add photos, attachments, and notes to the tasks.

With all tasks synced to a central database, technicians in the field can see upcoming appointments on their mobile devices, view the details of a job, and write comments. They can also obtain customer signatures for completed jobs and schedule follow-ups if required.

Advantages

  • Mobile and desktop scheduler
  • Drag and drop ticket management

Disadvantages

  • Split-screen needed to view a desktop and a mobile version
  • Limited options for mobile field techs

Price: FREE

  1. ReachOut Suite

ReachOut Suite is a cloud-based field service management tool that combines customer relationship management and technician tracking into one platform. The tool is free for up to three users.

ReachOut Suite offers work orders that function similarly to the job management features of the two previous tools. Users can input job details in the work orders, add photos and comments, and assign technicians. These work orders can be viewed on a smart calendar and scheduled using the drag-and-drop functionality.

Advantages

  • Integrated GPS tracking
  • Geo-fencing to send alerts to field techs

Disadvantages

  • No time tracking tool available
  • No comment or note functionality

Price: FREE

  1. ServiceTrade

ServiceTrade is a cloud-based field service management tool designed to help commercial service contractors deliver better services to their customers. The vendor calls the free version a “self starter” account and it is limited to one user.

The vendor describes the great features of the free version as having one dashboard, access to notes, blogs, and a personal address book. This tool has two forms of customer engagements. The first form is through the “My Work” tab, which includes messaging, notes, and assignments to resolve service issues, and the second is through the “My Customers” tab, which helps with the selection and scheduling of field service resources and tracks their usage.

Advantages

  • Easy to use workflow board
  • Scheduling capabilities

Disadvantages

  • Functionalities are limited in the free version

Price: FREE

  1. Tasker

Tasker is a cloud-based field service management tool that is free for up to three users. Its job management feature—called task—is quite similar to the job management features offered by the tools discussed above.

For each job, users can create a task and assign it to a technician. Users can also add comments and photos to the task and mark out any follow-up requirements. Tasker comes with a mobile app for field employees. The app allows users to log into the desktop dashboard, add a task to their phone, and start work within a few minutes.

Advantages

  • Mobile and desktop scheduler
  • Drag and drop ticket management

Disadvantages

  • Still only available on mobile
  • No time tracking tool available

Price: FREE

Next steps

Now that you have a better understanding of what the top five free and open source field service management tools offer, you can start figuring out if any of these tools is the right one for you. Spend a little time evaluating the tool’s offering vis-a-vis your requirements.

Here is what to look for in the tool:

Easy to use interface: Does it have a user-friendly UI or a highly intuitive interface?

Does it have a user-friendly UI or a highly intuitive interface? Mobile capabilities: Can your technicians use this tool on mobile? What are the functionalities available for mobile?

Can your technicians use this tool on mobile? What are the functionalities available for mobile? Cost of your specific implementation: Is your specific need suitable for the pricing model of this software?

If the software meets your requirements, welcome aboard!

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