Sustainability in Field Service: How Digital Tools Can Help You Reach Your Goals
Taking initiatives for minimizing the environmental impact of human actions has become imperative more than ever before. The sustainability initiative may have started out with the sole focus of “doing good” for the environment, but it has now emerged as an important economic performance metric. The trend is no different in field service management either.
Today, little doubt remains about the correlation between improved sustainability practices and better financial results. Companies that are committed to sustainability are increasingly efficient, use fewer resources, create less waste to generate a unit of revenue, and produce higher returns on investment. Likewise, consumers have also shown they are more likely to buy or use the services of a company that supports sustainability. And if the economic performance metrics and customer acquisition weren’t reason enough, sustainability also enhances brand reputation, customer loyalty, retention, employee retention, and overall efficiency.
Given the importance of sustainability in economic operations, more and more service-related businesses are also focusing on developing a sound sustainable strategy. Companies with stronger Sustainability DNA are more likely to deliver financial value and a lasting positive impact on society and the environment. Recent research shows that the EBITDA margin of top-quartile companies on the index is 21% higher (+3.4 percentage points) compared with the bottom quartile. Their sustainability performance is also 21% higher (+9.2 index points).
In the light of the growing urgency and value attached to sustainability concerns, every business should contemplate its sustainability strategy and take action. The first step towards this goal, however, is to identify how your operations align with the goal of sustainability. So, do you have an effective strategy in place? Is your business sustainable? If the answer is yes, you are doing a commendable job.
But if you don’t have one, or are not sure whether your organization is going in the right direction, fret not. We are here to help you. While incorporating environmentally friendly practices across daily tasks is necessary to drive this goal, it is far more important to leverage the right tools and technologies to execute those practices. For service delivery businesses, field service software could be the ultimate weapon in this regard.
In this blog, we will explain how the traditional paper-based business model is insufficient to deliver the desired results for a sustainable business model and how, riding on the advantages of automation, software solutions have become the driving force to attain sustainability goals. At the same time, how this revolutionary digital tool helps small businesses grow in potential. So, are you ready to begin the next chapter of your business growth? Dive in!
Table of Contents
1. Limitations of Current Business Structures
The business landscape in today’s world is rapidly changing. Many traditional ways of running a company nowadays are seen as obsolete or even damaging to society and the environment. The business has to be ethical, sustainable, and socially responsible. And that’s not only a nice promise but a way to gain investments and future financing.
More than any abstract ethical issue in business, the one thing that has become the primary obstacle in the path of sustainability is the paper-based business model. Paper and paper waste account for more than a quarter of the space in landfills. Each year, paper consumption is growing exponentially, which causes mass deforestation and excessive energy consumption.
A field service business also needs a lot of paper for workforce management and administrative work, but that’s not always the best choice for a growing company that seeks to embrace more environmentally friendly practices. Rather, it potentially limits your business growth. Slow and ineffective processes, difficult paper distribution and logistics, information safety, and customer data privacy issues are only a few significant disadvantages of using paper. Besides, Traditional business administration tools increase the need for additional human resources, raising risks of human error, losing documents, and of course, extra costs. Often the quality of information filled in paper documents is so poor it becomes impossible to identify data. Furthermore, storing and archiving such documents takes a lot of storage space and requires special security measures.
The situation seems complex and daunting, However, the solution is fairly simple. All you need to do is automate your processes. And the easiest way to do that is to employ software for field service operations.
2. Field Service Management Software as a Tool to Build a Sustainable Business Model
As digitization matures across all industries, organizations will move away from a ‘take, make, consume, dispose’ mentality and move towards ‘extending asset life by reusing, refurbishing, and recycling resources. When this happens, sustainability will become second nature because it will be the de-facto side effect of mature, digitized service delivery.
In light of this assumption, let us take a quick look at how software solutions can accelerate green initiatives in field service.
3. Reducing the Use of Paper across the Field Service Lifecycle
Field service management (FSM) software provides the opportunity to service providers and their customers to completely eliminate the use of paper across the field service lifecycle. Any form of paper documentation such as invoices, work orders, or time schedules can be digitized and automated providing always-on access from any device while eliminating the use of paper. Customers stay up to speed with their request’s progress through live updates on the dedicated Customer Information Center apps regardless of their location. Through a field service management app, technicians are able to work completely paper-free while being independent as it provides all necessary task-related information such as date, place, contacts, description, additional documents, and report task completion by collecting all relevant documentation in one place.
4. Reducing Carbon Footprint through Cloud-based Software
This is probably one of the most unintentional ways of making the environment greener. By selecting a field service management software that is cloud-based vs on-premise, businesses profit from a multitude of benefits such as faster user capacity and cross-device accessibility, while saving the environment from unnecessary carbon emissions. On-premise infrastructures produce a much larger carbon footprint than a cloud-based setup, as cloud-based solutions can optimize the utilization of idle times. Shared cloud infrastructures do not need individual redundancies like dedicated data centres which lead to less hardware and ultimately less energy consumption.
Furthermore, you can cut down your carbon footprint to an extensive degree by using a simple dispatch software. With this tool, you can view all your technicians’ schedules in one place and assign them jobs as per their location, so that they need to travel the shortest routes to get to the job site.
When you decide to embrace more sustainable practices, it’s essential to know why and how you are doing this. Only when you have the foundation can you build an environmentally friendly business. So think about how sustainability could complement your practice, where you stand and how you practice it. When your business is built with a sustainable vision in mind, it’s easier to implement such practices along the way.
We need more sustainable businesses and entrepreneurs embracing restorative practices. But many, especially established companies, are afraid to make the transition. They are worried about losing money or customers. But you don’t need to transform your business in a night. When trying to achieve sustainability, even baby steps matter.
It is clear that field service can do more as the world grapples with environmental crises, from global warming to extreme weather events. And the right field service management software solutions could play a key role in shaping the future of the field service industry.
If you too want to be part of the next generation of green businesses, settle for nothing but the best. With Field Promax, join the movement of making the world a better place, all the while taking your business growth to the next level.