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Investments in information technology for field service workers improve communications for more accurate dispatching and work order completion. Field service automation tracks each step of the service process, reporting it back to headquarters (often in real-time via a wireless connection) and even producing invoices and collecting for services rendered - at the front door.

Mobile workers who have access to customer records during a service call and dont have to rely on multiple phone calls to a dispatcher to get the information they need to complete a job are more productive. Many companies find that service personnel operating with these tools can complete an extra call or more per day.

In some applications, its realistic for companies to generate up to 30 to 40 percent of gross company revenues from service and support, a largely untapped and profitable source of income.

Systems for mobile service technicians that let them feed work orders, parts, time, labor, mileage, customer comments and other information back directly to enterprise resource planning (ERP) or CRM systems provide a competitive edge. Such information can be shared across the enterprise within minutes when transmitted over a wireless network, or within hours via dock or modem on a wired network.

In addition, it raises the customer relationship to another level. A good customer service experience can lead to improved loyalty and repeat purchases. Service like this, at the doorstep, extends customer relationship management to both the personal touch and electronic levels.

With wireless configurations, the reduced time it takes the system to react or respond to an event, offers a competitive advantage. The organization is aware of events occurring in real time and can make decisions to maximize resource utilization or proactively deal with potential issues.

Just compare an instant two-way flow of information between the field and dispatch to a pen and paper system. In the latter, information must be gathered, then manually entered into the system. This can often take days.

Which system would your customers prefer?

As the technology revolution delivers more powerful mobile computers at lower cost, along with the ability to run sophisticated field service software that integrates with ERP or CRM systems, even small organizations can see significant benefits.

Today rugged and non-rugged, Windows and Android mobile computers are widely used for service applications because of their flexibility, open architecture, inherent wireless capabilities and the host of software applications developed for vertical markets.

The success of mobile devices, Tablets and smartphones in the enterprise has lead to a great demand in vertical business automation applications. This standardization and increase in development promises increased growth and adoption of mobile work force solutions.