[WHITEPAPER] Best-of-Breed vs. ERP for Field Service

3/21/2019 / Field Service / Integrations / Katia Loboda

See how best-of-breed software solutions help modern field service organizations differentiate and gain a competitive edge.

Field service is no longer just a cost center but rather a competitive differentiator. Today’s consumers aren’t just interested in a sales transaction but seek personalized and consistent experiences from their service providers. This increasing demand along with constant technological updates, delivering that experience has gotten much more complicated and use of traditional functions like work order management alone, simply doesn’t suffice. Service leaders are dedicating significant amount of resources into field service management (FSM) software in order provide compelling experiences and drive efficiency.

But when it comes to selecting the right FSM solution for your organization, you must ask yourself: Service bolt-on software from an ERP vendor or Best-of-Breed?

Astea is happy to offer you our new whitepaper “Best-of-Breed vs. ERP for Field Service” which exhibits unique challenges faced by modern field service organizations (FSO) and how best-of-breed software solutions can help you gain a competitive edge.

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The Changing Face of Service

Modern FSOs have unique requirements that are not well-addressed by software vendors primarily focused on specific sectors like accounting, manufacturing, sales or human resources activities. This is driving many organizations to comprehensive, all-in-one solutions that fully understand the nuances of the service industry and are better equipped to meet the functional needs of FSOs and help them meet their customer demands and revenue goals.

According to Aberdeen Group’s most recent State of Service 2019 report, improving customer satisfaction is a top priority among 53% of service executives

To gain a competitive edge, service organizations increasingly have to incorporate a mix of traditional functions like work order management with new solutions that include business analytics, remote monitoring, Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity and inventory management.

ERP / Bolt-on Solution

When you think about all of the different processes it takes to run a business, such as HR, finance and customer service, it’s clear to see the importance of automation. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) integrates all of these pieces into a single system, to automate efforts and create efficiency. When it comes to implementing an FSM solution, many organizations turn to their already existing ERP vendors to purchase a field service module or add-on solution. From a price point perspective, you may think that these solutions offer a low-cost option which should be simpler to integrate with your existing infrastructure than implementing a best-of-breed FSM solution from a third-party vendor.

The limited functionality of ERP-based tools can put the FSOs who rely on them at a competitive disadvantage.

The truth is that many of the larger ERP vendors have purchased existing FSM software from smaller vendors. By rebranding these solutions as their own, they then add field service functionality to their product line. Primarily focused on mainstream ERP functionality or sales-centric or call center-based CRM solutions, field service is often an afterthought for these vendors. Companies that adhere to a customer-oriented strategy, may find that add-on modules often cause informational gaps among teams, making it difficult to provide compelling customer experiences for their customers.

Best-of-Breed

Although an ERP-based solution can support field service management, can it supersede a robust best-of-breed solution? Best-of-breed solutions are developed to serve a variety of industries and perform an array of specialized tasks through one platform.

Field service market leaders are turning to fully featured, specialized service solutions to deliver the customer experience their clients expect.

Best-of-breed providers are in accord with the current and emerging needs of FSOs and constantly adopt new advanced functionalities such as allowing technicians to identify additional opportunities on-site, create quotes and accept customer signatures and payments using their mobile devices. By seamlessly connecting and transmitting data in real-time, organizations decrease the billing cycle, increasing revenue and creating a better customer experience. Astea’s comprehensive field service management solution, Alliance Enterprise, provides real-time, holistic view of the organization’s infrastructure by connecting multiple data points such as inventory management, warranty management and alerts. By creating real-time data transparency and access, service leaders empower employees to better understand customer behavior and create customized and effective experiences.

If you’re still on the fence about which solution would be the best fit for you, download the Astea whitepaper now to learn:

  • The myths of ERP integration
  • Integration of ERP vs. Best-of-Breed FSM software with your existing infrastructure
  • Limited functionality capabilities of ERP-based tools
  • Best-of-Breed advantages

Download Whitepaper

Request a demo today to see how Astea can help you become an adaptable and dynamic service delivery organization.

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