For your service & installation technicians: How to use Intuit Field Service Management mobile app on Apple iphone/ipad or Android phone/tablets to access appointments, update work order status, access service history, capture photos, capture customer signatures, create invoices, and take payments in the field that integrate with QuickBooks back in your office.
We’ve updated our Intuit Field Service Management app today to provide additional GPS data regarding your field technicians. To take advantage of the new features, your techs will need to click on the “App Store” icon on their mobile device and then click “Update” on the Intuit Field Service Management app.
The latest version of 6.x iPhone (220.127.116.11) contains two GPS settings; active and passive.
Passive is the default. This mode allows our application to sleep when not in use which results in less reliable GPS fixes. When the phone is in motion passive mode fixes are as accurate as active mode. However when stationary the phone will sometimes stop getting fixes and when the phone starts moving again it may fail to get fixes. For example, if you drive home at night the fixes will likely stop at some point in time after you arrive home and will probably only start again when you leave the next morning 50% of the time.
Active mode prevents our application from sleeping most of the time. This tends to solve the issues described above but at a cost of much higher battery drain. When using active mode we have seen on an iPhone 4 as much as 10% battery drain per hour. When using active mode you will definitely have to charge your phone at least once a day.
We recommend to start using passive mode and then only switch to active mode if the gaps in fixes are not tolerable. These settings are accessed inside the mobile device itself by clicking the Settings App and scrolling down to and click the Intuit Field Svc listing, then click on “Use location data” and select the desired option.
To learn more about GPS tracking of Field Service Technicians, check out our article “Where are my Field Technicians?“
Which mobile device platforms are the most popular for field service technicians?
Updated research from Corrigo Incorporated shows service technicians using the Intuit Field Service Management app on their mobile device prefer Apple devices. That said, Android is gaining market share with our customers, mostly at the expense of Blackberry devices. Click here to view a listing of mobile platforms and available features.
The following data compares the period Oct 16-Oct 23, 2013, to late December 2012.
|Device Platform||2013 data
|Windows Mobile OS||0%||1%|
Since the holidays are coming and you might want to buy some new devices for your field service techs, let’s look at the details for the Apple and Android platforms.
Apple platform details:
Android platform details:
For the Android platform (combined smart phones and tablets), we see over 250 different device models! Only 5 models were used my more than 50 users during the date range. Samsung is the most popular manufacturer for our users, with a variety of smart phones and tablets. However, the “ruggedized” Casio G’zOne Commando C771 is the most popular Android device overall, with 120 users during the date range, followed by the Samsung Galaxy SIII and Motorola Droid RAZR with 100+ devices each.
Disclaimer: these are based on users who logged into the system during the date range. Those who did not log in via their mobile app were not counted.
Learn more about Intuit Field Service Management for QuickBooks by calling 877-408-3356 or visit www.Apps.com
When you dispatch a work order with Intuit Field Service Management, your field technicians access the work order out in the field via either our app on their mobile smart devices (Apple or Android) or on a laptop via browser. While at the customer location your techs can create invoices, capture signatures, and take payment via our app running on the mobile device. Invoices that are “Approved” within Field Service Management itself will sync into QuickBooks.
Follow this process in the field when customers want to “see an estimate” before they can make a decision to move forward with the repair or installation work. In the office, the Manager role creates a custom Invoice Status inside the Field Service Management, such as “Estimate”. This status is not seen by QuickBooks at all, and becomes an ideal way for field techs to prepare estimates or quotes in the field that don’t belong in QuickBooks. In the Field, your Techs can use the Invoice screen on the mobile app and on the laptop with browser to prepare the Invoice in Field Service Management, and then save the Invoice into the desired custom status (such as “Estimate”).
Once the Estimate/Quote is created the customer can see it on-screen, or you can email Estimate to the customer for review. You can leave the work order itself in a Pause or Hold status (such as “waiting for customer approval”) for tracking purposes, or you can mark the work order complete.
Quick response to service and repair calls is critical for customer satisfaction. Using Intuit Field Service Management you have the ability to see where your techs are and use that information to dispatch work orders in real-time to the “best” technician. Depending on the scenario, “best” may be determined simply as the closest technician to the customer address. As well, “FSM” lets you view only those techs with the necessary skills, and to see which techs are already busy and which are available for a service/repair/installation call.
Inside your Field Service Management there are two different ways for the office to know where the technicians are located. In both scenarios, the technician is a “login user” with the Field Service Management mobile app installed on a supported smart phone or tablet device.
- Action based GPS location of field tech – When a tech makes changes to a Work Order their location is displayed on both the Dispatch Board as well as the map tab of our Smart Scheduling Screen. This is the most common usage scenario and shows you where your techs were when Actions occur on a Work Order (pick up, en-route, start, complete, pause, on hold). In premise, the GPS dots should be on top of the customer address on the map (if not, the tech was somewhere other than the customer site when the action occurred).
- Time based GPS tracking – The FSM mobile app tracks techs throughout the day based on an interval you define back in headquarters (#3, below).
- On Android smart phones and tablets this will always work whether the app is up, device is locked, etc.
- On Apple devices, there are Settings on the mobile device itself that control how the GPS is updated. Settings Help for Apple Devices
- To change the setting on how often the FSM software will reach out to the mobile device to determine its location:
- Settings / Mobile Settings / Device Settings
- GPS Settings = The time set here is how often the phone will attempt to report its location to FSM
The screenshot below shows a “time based GPS with 5 minute intervals” on a Blackberry 8830 (click to see larger view of image) that is available when clicking on the People tab.