What is Service Management?

Service Management consists of the software, processes and activities to help you track, record and manage your service processes – enabling you to improve “moments of service” for your customers, now and in future. Its main element is Field Service Management, which aims to improve the efficiency and response times of teams in the field.


This guide introduces you to Service Management – answering questions such as:


  • Why do I need Service Management?
  • What should a Service Management solution include?
  • What is Field Service Management?
  • What is Planning and Scheduling Optimization?
  • What is Contact Center and Customer Engagement software?
  • What is Parts and Repair Management software?
  • How do you choose the right Service Management solution?

Why do I need Service Management?

Service Management software helps you to bring together the many different elements of your service offering, from people to processes to parts – so you can provide the “moments of service” your customers increasingly demand.

But of course, every business is different – so the elements of good service will vary too. The right Service Management solution allows you to adapt to the needs of the customers you serve – providing the right points of data to the right parts of your organization, while providing the technology tools you need to make service happen.


What are the benefits of Service Management software?

Service Management software helps you to enhance the service experience for your customers, while providing that service as efficiently as you can. At the same time, it can help you transform your organization – by making service a central part of your business strategy.

You can use Service Management software to:


Enhance the customer experience

Your customer doesn’t care about factors that might affect their service, such as the heavy traffic at rush hour in their city, the difficulty sourcing replacement parts, or the availability of technicians to get the job done; all they care about is the level of service they get. Your Service Management software helps you to bring together the multiple elements that make good service happen.


Provide service efficiently

Providing good service is about making sure you have the right information in the right place at the right time – moving away from paper-based solutions toward automated software that minimizes duplicated effort, saving your people’s time.

But it can also be about performing complex calculations that only computers can do well. For example, if you need to schedule a fleet of 100 engineers to reach multiple appointments a day, that’s serious data crunching which you need effective software to do efficiently.


Make service part of your strategy

Perhaps most importantly of all, a Service Management solution can help you to put service at the heart of your strategy. For example, if you’re transforming your business from a product-based approach to a service-based one, technology can support your day-to-day operations while also supporting the required changes to your processes. 


What should a Service Management solution include?

Every organization is different, so it’s critical to source a Service Management solution that matches your needs. Modules may include Field Service Management, Planning and Schedule Optimization, Contact Center and Customer Engagement, and Parts and Repair Management.


By choosing the right Service Management components, you can make your IT meet the needs of a disparate variety of end users, from the contact center to the depot to mobile employees in the field – while still putting the needs of your customer first.

What is Field Service Management?


Field Service Management (FSM) is the “bread and butter” of Service Management – helping you to manage essential field operations and processes, from assets and parts to contracts, invoices and warranties. If you depend on field service to run your business, you need FSM to function correctly.


FSM helps your end users to understand many aspects of your relationship with your customers – from service level agreements (SLAs) and warranties so that you understand your obligations to your clients, to service tickets and appointment delivery so you can meet evolving customer needs. 


Ultimately, FSM helps you to minimize repetitive and paper-based tasks that your end users face from day to day. But it also helps you start changing the way you do business – helping you to move toward a more service-oriented business model, building your business around improved outcomes for your clients.


A good FSM, meanwhile, enables your staff to serve customers effectively from their mobile devices, via a Mobile Field Service solution – whether that means finding the parts that customers need, or raising invoices, providing quotes, and so on. That way, it can support your digital transformation.


What Is Planning and Scheduling Optimization?

Service Management is also about getting the right people to the right places at the right time, as efficiently as you can – meeting customer needs, while also saving money and time. Planning and Scheduling Optimization software helps you to do that – and more.


When you need to get multiple engineers to multiple clients in multiple locations, for example, Planning and Scheduling Optimization software is for you. This tool can work in real time to create the fastest most effective schedule for your service teams – while flexibly taking into account the targets and KPIs that you can set.


After all, you can’t provide “moments of service” to your customers if too many technicians are on the wrong side of town and no one can make it to a job.


Good planning and scheduling optimization is also about looking to the long term, helping you to provide scenario planning in a variety of different circumstances. This “what if” planning could help you understand how service levels would change if your workforce numbers went up or down – or how you might cope if you won a large new contract. 


So, this can help you not only to meet customer needs now, but plan for meeting future needs in years to come. 



What Is Contact Center and Customer Engagement software?

Effective service also depends on your ability to handle requests relevantly and appropriately, regardless of customer service channel. Contact Center and Customer Engagement software gives you the power to do this.


The right Customer Engagement solution helps you to cultivate customer relationships, but also stay efficient by minimizing duplication or moving to a digital customer service model. It can enable an omni-channel contact center, allowing customers to reach support staff via the channel of their choice – or receive automated support in the form of chatbots, virtual assistants or self-service options. It can also include modules such as customer relationship management (CRM), to help you track interactions with clients.


What Is Parts and Repair Management software?

When a product needs repairing or replacing, that can be a source of frustration, but it can also be a chance to impress a customer with your service. Parts and Repair Management software can help you to achieve this, helping you to manage parts, repairs and associated logistics.


For example, how do you ensure that technicians have access to the right parts at the right location – whether in a service facility or at the customer site? How do you schedule the return of parts or products for assessment, exchange or repair? By getting this right, you can enhance service but also stay efficient.


Parts and Repair Management software enables you to keep track of the locations and stock of service parts; manage your incoming and outgoing supply chain, including third-party stock; manage your depot and contractors; and stay on top of vital Reverse Logistics.


How do you choose a Service Management solution?

Service Management software can be highly complex – so to choose the right solution, it’s important to thoroughly assess your service needs as an organization. That way, you can hold technology features up to scrutiny and make sure the solution works for you. 


Be aware that the different service functions in a business can be highly disconnected from each other – and it’s the job of Service Management software to bring them all together, creating a seamless experience for the customer.


The last thing you want to do is to force your existing service processes into a rigid mold, simply to suit the limitations of your software. If you do that, you could end up taking a step backwards, because you’re no longer putting the needs of your customer first. Instead, try to retain what works about the service you currently deliver, while still looking for the efficiencies which derive from effective automation.


So when looking for a Service Management solution, try asking yourself questions like these:


  • Will this parts management system, for example, work for the multiple tiers of service appointments that my business currently deals with? 
  • Does this crew management system allow me to manage workers the way that they actually work – or does it just add names to a list?
  • Does this optimization software help me manage the global appointments that my company may need to provide to clients?


These are just examples, but the important point is to assess the software in line with your unique needs. That way, you can ask the question “What is Service Management?” from the point of view of your own organization.


Of course, to do this effectively you’ll need input from end users in different parts of your business – from customer service staff to depot managers or from field engineers to the social media team. As ever, get an executive sponsor to bring it all together, helping make sure that funding is available and to help drive end user adoption.


When a Service Management solution is closely aligned with the way you want to serve your customers, now and in future, then it’s the right solution for you.

Learn more about how IFS FSM software is used:

back to top back to top haut de page