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Top 3 Field Service Management Software: Salesforce Field Service Lightning, Prontoforms and Freshdesk

What is the best field service management software?

The best field service management software is Salesforce Field Service Lightning. This solution provides you with both standard and advanced features that a reliable FSM platform should have. It offers a complete suite of tools that field workers need for enhanced efficiency and productivity.

Managing a team of field service technicians is never an easy feat. With so many moving parts to pay attention to all at the same time, it can be very challenging. Thanks to technological advancements like field service management software, things have changed for the better.

With today’s field service management (FSM) tools at your disposal, you have something to rely on when it comes to field management. As more companies shift to operating with a mobile workforce, field service management software has become an essential business tool.

To address this increasing demand, we’ve compared today’s top 3 field service management software. With this expert comparison, it will be easier to gain that actionable insight for a sound purchase decision.

Top 3 Field Service Management Software

Recent technological advancements have practically transformed the way field service management is done. From streamline scheduling to robust mobile apps, technology has helped elevate the quality of field service operations. However, despite these developments in the FSM space, considerable challenges remain.

Gaps between user expectations and actual technology use still persist. For instance, one study found that half of FSM operators continue to use manual techniques for most of their activities. Likewise, 45% of technicians say that their tools aren’t fast enough to keep up with their work.

Whole Adoption of Emerging FSM Technology infographic

Excellent Field Service = Customer Satisfaction

Field service has ceased being reactive to successfully address rising customer expectations. Responding to complaints or requests won’t cut it anymore. To survive and thrive, field service must become proactive.

Field services can be a powerful channel for generating revenues for your business. You need to improve your systems, empower your technicians, and boost customer engagement. And to ensure its earning potential is optimized, it’s best to deploy a reliable FSM solution.

We’ll help you easily search for the right platform. The best place to start is with an expert comparison of the top 3 field service management software in the market. These are Salesforce Field Service Lightning, ProntoForms, and Freshdesk.

This comparison of the top 3 field service management software offers actionable insights. If you want more options, you can browse our 10 best field service management software systems list.

1. Salesforce Field Service Lightning

Salesforce Field Service Lightning dashboard

Salesforce Field Service Lightning is a field service platform that helps enhance field service efficiency and agility. This AI-powered solution enables business users to achieve better first-visit resolution. It provides extensive tools that mobile workers, dispatchers, and other staff need for better job performance.

Its scheduling function enables you to manage in-house and field workers easily. It also allows you to resolve even unseen problems more effectively. You can deploy this FSM tool to boost your mobile teams’ efficiency as well as to build relationships with customers.

A comprehensive FSM platform

This comprehensive solution enables users to easily have quick snapshots of their operations in real-time. It can be used as a standalone tool or together with other top Salesforce apps. Because job orders are linked with cases, contacts, assets, accounts, and other objects, you can pull in data across Salesforce.

Salesforce Field Service Lightning helps businesses provide more intelligent and agile phone-to-field processes. It allows field service teams to offer personalized, mobile-optimized experience.

You can use its native apps for Android and iOS online and offline. The vendor offers four subscription options. The Essential plan is $25/user per month, while the Enterprise plan is $75/user per month. The more premium plans are $150 (Enterprise) and $300 (Unlimited) per user per month.

Salesforce Field Service Lightning Key Features

  • Optimizes schedules and smartly assign jobs.
  • Uses AI to increase the first-time fix rate.
  • Helps in managing jobs from any mobile device.

2. ProntoForms

ProntoForms dashboardProntoForms is another popular name in many field service management software listings. This smart platform provides an easily scalable solution that suits your varying field service needs. It is used by over 3,500 enterprises to enhance their field service operations in a secure, affordable way.

This solution helps to optimize and automate your mobile workflows. With ProntoForms, your remote workforce can easily collect, access, and share data using any mobile device. Its mobile features enhance team collaboration as data can be shared anytime, anywhere.

You can actually try its full features for free. You only need to sign up for ProntoForms free trial here.

ProntoForms

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The power of business forms unleashed

Businesses can use this program to monitor, analyze, and improve their processes. This allows managers and teams to derive actionable insights for smart decision making. It has extensive integrations with popular productivity apps, including Amazon Cloud, Zendesk, and Google Drive.

If you’re a start-up, you can subscribe to its Essential plan, which is only $15 per user a month. For expanding SMBs that require more advanced features, they can choose its Advanced plan $45 per user a month. The vendor also offers an Enterprise quote-based plan.

ProntoForms Key Features

  • Offers an offline work mode so you can continue your work even without an internet connection.
  • ProntoForms has robust auditing features for standards and regulations inspections.
  • Powerful mobile apps to sustain field teams’ productivity.

3. Freshdesk

Freshdesk dashboard

Freshdesk is considered as one of the top cloud-based omnichannel help desk solutions today. Its FSM function can enable your helpdesk reps and field technicians to collaborate more to provide better customer service. Because it’s omnichannel, all your teams can better collaborate in a single hub.

This solution can empower helpdesk agents with the information they need to make the right decisions. Likewise, it also provides field technicians with the right tools for faster issue resolution. Further, the software comes with an intuitive gamification tool to boost field personnel performance.

You can test-drive all its free and premium plans. You only need to sign up for Freshdesk free trial here.

Delivering an Omnichannel FSM

Freshdesk Field Service Management offers a wide array of automation tools to streamline most of your field service tasks. It has a built-in self-service portal to enhance customer support. What’s more, its analytics features include quick system snapshots and support for planning. You can generate and analyze the data you need to derive actionable insights.

Lastly, this FSM platform has extensive integration, such as those with MicrosoftTeams, LogMeIn, MailChimp, and Facebook. It offers a free-forever plan, Sprout, that’s perfect for startups. It has four subscription schemes. Its Blossom plan, at $15/agent/month, is among the most affordable in the market, already packed with powerful features. Its Forest plan, at $109/agent/month, is designed for enterprises.

Freshdesk Key Features

  • Uses an omnichannel approach to boost field teams and helpdesk efficiency
  • Easily create service tasks, appointments, and schedule from anywhere
  • Comes with a smart user interface and a Customer 360 function

Comparison of Key Features

Job Scheduling and Dispatching

A business must be on top of its schedule at all times to run efficient field service operations. Incurring even some slight delays could result in a protracted series of catching-up. And when teams get too preoccupied with catching-up, the real work will never get done.

For example, a technician just called in sick early one morning. This means rescheduling the affected jobs at the last minute. Addressing this manually would be very stressful. Thanks to a field service app’s scheduling tool, adjustments can be easily made.

A good FSM solution should offer job scheduling and dispatching capabilities.

Some key considerations

  • An optimized mobile design that allows complete functionality in the field.
  • A real-time updating of work information for excellent collaboration.
  • Improved system integration for incomparable compatibility.
  • Real-time tracking for total transparency.
Salesforce FSL Job Scheduling screenshot

A Salesforce Field Service Lightning dashboard showing its job scheduling functionalities.

Job scheduling and dispatching features

Salesforce Field Service Lightning is a hyperconnected field service platform. Some of its notable strengths are its support for on-demand data, optimization, integration, and compatibility. These strengths provide users easy access to real-time information to constantly offer great customer experience. If an assigned technician gets sick, dispatchers can easily notify available technicians to ensure schedules are met.

ProntoForms uses its best-in-class low code app solution and extensive integrations to deliver efficient scheduling and dispatching functionalities. This solution has out-of-the-box integrations with scheduling apps like Dispatch, G Suite, and others. You can easily embed your schedule data into the mobile forms app. This provides your field teams with real-time access to relevant work data.

Freshdesk is designed to facilitate better helpdesk-field workforce collaboration. It can be used to easily assign and schedule tasks and to spot and react to problems quickly. It also allows fast scaling of field personnel, including providing live updates of work information.

Which offers the best in job scheduling and dispatching?

Field scheduling tools should primarily function well in the scheduling and dispatching arena. If an FSM tool lacks or is poor in this aspect, it’s best to choose another platform.

On the aspect of scheduling and dispatching, Salesforce Field Service Lightning is the best choice from these three options. This is because of its Smart Scheduling feature. It allows users to automatically assign appointments to the right technician per skill, location, availability, etc. You can easily book service appointments and other things in real-time using a single dashboard.

Both ProntoForms and Freshdesk also have good scheduling and dispatching functionalities. On the one hand, ProntoForms relies on its robust integration with widely-used apps for this function. On the other hand, Freshdesk offers built-in work scheduling and dispatching functionalities. These are designed from the vantage point of dispatchers (helpdesk) and technicians (field workers).

Work Order Management

Like everything else these days, work orders have gone digital. Besides, who wants to work with paperwork orders that are very cumbersome to use? Another standard FSM feature, work order management, streamlines the field service process, and eliminates confusion.

After a job is received and assigned, the work order is updated to inform all stakeholders. This automated feature enables technicians to efficiently document all their work transactions.

With every job details updated and available, every project or activity can run smoothly. Likewise, office personnel and other technicians are assured that they can access the correct data in real-time.

If you employ project-based techs, it’s good practice to integrate your FSM tool with a project management program.

Work order management offerings

ProntoForms’s field mobile app makes it easy for field service personnel to complete work orders and estimates from anywhere. It allows technicians to easily create customized new and existing work order forms. Like all its documents, work order forms are enterprise-grade mobile forms that use up-to-date data and other relevant information.

Once a field service ticket is created, Freshdesk allows users to create, assign, and monitor service tasks. Businesses also have the option of using third-party integrations to expand this capability to address their specific needs.

Salesforce Field Service Lightning also has an integrated work order management function. It allows users to easily customize work order settings and create “work types,” or time-saving templates.

Which offers the best for work order management?

A crucial function of FSM tools is the tracking of field service work orders. This is critical to deriving essential customer data to support field service workers’ activities. An FSM platform’s work order management should be capable of managing, monitoring, and automating any customer service request.

All these three FSM solutions offer efficient work order management capabilities. Each has its own unique strengths. Salesforce Field Service Lightning and Freshdesk both allow work order customization and automation.

But where the quality of the work order forms is concerned, ProntoForms excels. Aside from the convenience of creating work order forms, this solution allows bulk editing of volumes of documents.

Parts Inventory Management

Another core FSM tool function is facilitating asset management efforts. This feature helps field service operations by tracking the inventory of the parts that technicians use. This is done on a daily basis to provide real-time status of parts and ensure service continuity.

Field technicians making varying use of similar and different parts for their task. Thus, managers must ensure that those parts are always well-stocked, especially the most used ones. An FSM solution with parts inventory management functionalities is indispensable in closely monitoring inventory levels.

Freshdesk Parts Inventory example

Freshdesk Parts Inventory example (by a professional third-party integrator, Qualer).

Parts inventory management offerings

Freshdesk provides a single place to efficiently monitor all company resources. It helps businesses generate and maintain comprehensive data about all parts and resources in stock or in use. This offers the needed visibility into all resource data, including their histories.

Salesforce Field Service Lightning can track and manage all inventory items. This solution covers every stage, from parts storage and request to transfer and consumption. It also helps ensure that your mobile workforce has the correct parts in stock to be able to do their jobs.

ProntoForms offers a mobile-optimized enterprise asset management solution. This cloud-based feature helps service operators enhance their asset tracking and recording. It also helps them shift to a 100% digital asset management workflow.

Which offers the best in parts inventory management?

An FSM system records every part’s usage, which includes details such as the technician info, date, time, inventory levels, etc. This is because maintaining an updated and accessible parts inventory is essential to field service success.

Freshdesk helps businesses anticipate likely issues and ensure all assets are secure and maintained at proper inventory levels. It helps eliminate potential threats and keeps inventories audit-ready at all times. It also offers an integrated analytics function for more efficient forecasting and asset-related decision-making. Further, it provides a single source of truth. All of these make Freshdesk offer the best features in this function.

This doesn’t mean that the parts inventory management functions of Salesforce Field Service Lightning and ProntoForms are mediocre. In fact, their features are also considered among the best-in-class.

Mobile Sharing and Collaboration

Like in other business activities, the name of the game in field service is mobile efficiency. If a business wants to optimize its FSM operations, it should embrace a mobile-first approach.

Going mobile is actually inevitable since most FSM tools already use a mobile-first interface. And with the continued advancements in cloud technology, mobile FSM capabilities had truly elevated field service efficiency. It offers the same advantages as IT service management software.

With an FSM mobile app, technicians can easily work on their assignments. It helps a lot in viewing and responding to dispatches on their phones. Even marking work orders as complete becomes easier with mobile technology.

Salesforce Field Service Lightning App for Android

Salesforce Field Service Lightning App for Android showing syncing functionality even when offline.

Mobile sharing and collaboration features

The Field Service Lightning mobile app brings the full power of an on-site job management tool to your mobile workforce. It helps improve first-visit resolutions with its best-in-class mobile suite. These mobile features include a robust AI assistant, stock and inventory visibility, knowledge articles, and real-time collaboration.

ProntoForms enables field service teams to complete complex tasks using a mobile device. Its smart forms support collaboration among dispersed technicians as they have reliable support throughout the service cycle.

Freshdesk mobile helps dispatchers and technicians monitor all pending service tasks, and receive updates via push notifications. It helps in managing daily schedules to ensure tasks are addressed by the correct technician. It allows various collaborative functions between helpdesks and field reps.

Which offers the best for mobile sharing/collaboration?

With industry-leading AI and an emerging IoT enhancement capability, Salesforce Field Service Lightning mobile app stands-out in this comparison. This mobile app can be tailored to provide your mobile workforce with exactly what it needs, wherever they are.

ProtoForms and Freshdesk also offer top-of-the-line mobile app functionalities so you won’t be short-changed using it. ProntoForms’ mobile allows you to easily configure data workflows that help field service teams to collaborate better. 

Freshdesk’s mobile app makes it easy for field service teams to select service tasks, locate customers, and navigate appointments.

Reporting and Analytics

In this digital world, field service operations must be data-driven to achieve operational success. This is the only way to make field service a revenue-generating unit for the company.

In this regard, the FSM tool that you’ll use must have built-in reporting features. With an analytics tool at your disposal, you can identify important trends to help you gain actionable insights. And these strategic insights will help a lot in improving your field service operations.

Reporting and analytics facilitate data analysis. It helps you analyze operational data, be it the efficiency of your scheduling system, technician productivity, etc.

Overall, these analytics tools provide businesses with the chance to continuously improve their field service operations. You can also integrate FSM reports into a business intelligence solution to extend your analytics coverage.

ProntoForms Analytics use case

A sample ProntoForms analytics use case for health and safety evaluation.

Reporting and analytics capabilities

ProntoForms offers a scalable cloud infrastructure that can quickly combine and present field data into actionable reports and comprehensive dashboards. Its Field Service Analytics tool offers coordinating personnel easy, live access into KPIs, and other operational metrics.

Freshdesk’s advanced reporting suite provides business users with crucial real-time data. These live information, in turn, support continuous process improvement that is easily accessible.

With Salesforce Field Service Lightning, dispatchers and technicians can generate customizable reports for internal and customer use. These reports include service appointments, work order line items, and work orders.

Which offers the best for reporting and analytics?

Our tests indicate that ProntoForms is the better choice for reporting and analytics. It offers the convenience of building and delivering custom reports and real-time field service dashboards. 

This smart mobile forms solution empowers users in discovering root causes, hidden patterns, and connections of important issues. Reports and actionable insights are then generated and sent automatically to stakeholders.

Freshdesk’s omnichannel capability enables users to draw field and customer data from various channels using a single interface.

Salesforce Field Service Lightning can help elevate the customer experience through the service reports sent straight into their inboxes.

Considerations When Buying an FSM Solution

There are many things that any business should consider when shopping around for an FSM solution. Here are some of the best features that will help provide value to your field operations.

  • Suitability: The ultimate consideration is determining whether it can provide an end-to-end solution to your field operations.
  • Managerial outlook: Search for a platform with a centralized management dashboard, robust analytics, and improved visibility into field service activities.
  • Rapid deployment: Look for an FSM that doesn’t require any formal programming. It should allow customizations through simple configurations. The solution should be deployable in most environments using the same software code for on-premise and online/cloud systems.
  • Short learning curve: Search for a system with functionalities like drag and drop scheduling and top-tier workflows. It should have a dialog engine to support a short learning curve.
  • Self-service portals and native apps: Look for essential tools for enhanced customer satisfaction and shortened response time. It must offer access to customer histories, services manuals, and inventory data in real-time.
Allan Jay

By Allan Jay

Allan Jay is FinancesOnline’s resident B2B expert with over a decade of experience in the SaaS space. He has worked with vendors primarily as a consultant in the UX analysis and design stages, lending to his reviews a strong user-centric angle. A management professional by training, he adds the business perspective to software development. He likes validating a product against workflows and business goals, two metrics, he believes, by which software is ultimately measured.

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