Your next big opportunity may not be developing an application meant for use inside a client’s facility. The global field service management market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16.5% to reach $4.45 billion by 2022. North America is expected to lead market growth, due to its high rate of cloud application adoption as well as competitive pressures to enhance customer service.
Businesses with field service operations are looking for ways to increase efficiency, save time and decrease costs, and those with operations such as direct store delivery (DSD) or new on-site services may be building new revenue streams or looking for ways to maximize profitability. Your clients and prospects also need reliable methods to stay in contact with their field workers and to locate them quickly. Your development business may be positioned to provide just the solution they need.
ISVs developing apps for field service need to keep these five features in mind to launch products that the market will find most valuable:
- Platform agnostic: Your clients with field workers may be using a variety of different devices—everything from company-issued mobile computers to BYOD consumer devices. Your client may be transitioning from Windows Embedded or Windows CE to Windows 10, migrating to Android OS, or equipping its workers with iOS devices and rugged sleds. It’s also possible that employees within a single organization use different devices depending on their job descriptions. Develop a versatile app that can be used with all platforms, and that helps your client easily upgrade to new hardware.
- Enables mobile printing: In field service, wireless printing is essential to create invoices, receipts, labels, barcodes, instructions, and Whether your clients provide DSD, van sales, on-site repair, or transportation or public services, the ability to print will help them perform their jobs more efficiently and provide better customer service. Integrate your solutions with a reliable, state-of-the-art mobile printer to provide your clients with this functionality.
- Scalable and flexible: Your clients’ industries are evolving at a rapid pace due to technology disruption and changing customer expectations. Their clients want convenience, prompt communication, schedule transparency, and excellent service—and they want it now. The application you develop should support your clients’ business objectives today, but also give your clients the ability to scale their operation and add new functionality to as needed. Develop future-proof solutions that provide your customers the ability to adapt to change—without changing applications.
- Secure: Field service applications require heightened security since data is shared between the client’s facilities and remote field workers. Apps for field service should have built-in security to protect your clients’ data and their networks. This is especially vital for industries that must comply with regulations to protect sensitive data. Make sure your app meets required encryption standards, includes access control measures, and supports security best practices and regulations.
- Integration with strong partners’ solutions. Hardware vendor partnerships enable you to offer your clients a total solution that is virtually ready for them to use. Look for partners that have an established ISV partner program that will benefit both you and the hardware vendor. Also make sure they provide support, SDKs and other tools you need to make it easy for you to integrate your software with their devices. Field service operations have unique needs, so make sure you are partnering with a hardware vendor that understands the industry and offers mobility devices specifically designed to meet its challenges.
Predictions for growth the field service management market are an invitation for your business to help your clients operate more efficiently and profitably—and to grow your company. It’s time to think outside the four walls of an organization and take advantages of the opportunity to develop applications for field service teams.