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Over the past 12 months, COVID-19 has created uncertainty in the business community, some businesses have been severely impacted while others have continued to grow. The economy has been seen Its first major downturn in over 30 years.

How does a business owner navigate the unique challenges created by the economic conditions we now face? How can small businesses increase their efficiency while streamlining costs?

We have good news! Despite the current economic environment, there are real opportunities to increase productivity and profits.

Cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are already transforming businesses around the world. By providing complete single-platform solutions that can adapt to a variety of industry needs, organisations are achieving goals that were once unattainable.

What you’ll discover as you keep reading is that a unique cloud-based ERP system has been developed specifically for field service management.

But first, let’s look at the difference between ERP systems.

What’s the difference between on-premises ERP and cloud-based ERP?

An on-premises ERP system is installed locally on the company’s computers and servers – or those of their service provider. It is managed by the company and stored and maintained in-house.

Extra costs for an on-premises ERP system may include additional software that’s required for security, antivirus, backup, storage and customisations.

Whitepaper field service metrics

Free whitepaper: Essential field service metrics to improve performance

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A cloud-based ERP system, on the other hand, is hosted off-site. It’s on the ERP vendor’s servers and provided as a service that is accessed through a web browser. The vendor is responsible for everything including the operating system and servers, data centre infrastructure, data storage, and security and feature updates.

As all systems, software and data are online in a cloud-based ERP system, the only thing you need to access any part of your organisation is a browser and a password. You can do this via any browser-enabled device at any time.

What are the benefits of a cloud-based ERP system?

Can you imagine drawing all your business information from one source – even if some employees work remotely or are interstate? You’re looking at a 360-degree view of your organisation instead of silos of information that need to be collected, analysed and consolidated. There’s no longer any need to jump between different software packages that don’t communicate with each other.

But it doesn’t end there. You can also draw on real-time reports about your company’s’ health, its best practices and most popular services. You can identify trends and areas where there’s room for improvement.

You can even automate functions to provide your sales team with real-time visibility into inventory, sales and orders.

Your employees can access relevant information from wherever they’re working. You can issue contracts and invoices in record time, connect teams, share knowledge and provide better project management.

Cloud ERP systems provide these innovations, and their transformative features help to make businesses more competitive and robust.

The list of cloud ERP packages is extensive, along with the capacity to expand and extend processes and functions as your business grows.

Ultimate NetSuite Buyers Guide

Find in this guide all the modules and technologies integrated into NetSuite, the cloud-based ERP that can support your business adaptability strategies.

You might be wondering whether you can customise a cloud ERP package to suite your individual business? The answer is yes. If you adopt new business models, your cloud ERP system will embrace them too. And with every cloud ERP upgrade, your configurations and customisation will migrate as well.

Build a strong field services organisation with a cloud ERP system

Building a strong field services organisation is a keystone goal, and a gold standard cloud ERP system can play a major role towards that end.

It doesn’t take a global pandemic to challenge the stability of an organisation. Factors such as political unrest, adverse weather events and stock market volatility can also affect field service organisations.

If you don’t have functional procedures based on real-time data, your business in Ipswich will suffer unduly when floods wreak havoc in Queensland. If your solar panel manufacturing unit in the Philippines has diminished output due to a shortage of silicon, and you don’t have access to comprehensive data about your factory protocols, you’re already struggling to predict the financial cost of the shortage.

NextService - scheduling tasks

Your current field services management software could cost you both reputational damage and profit. On-premises ERP systems can experience these types of issues because their software and processes haven’t been updated, multiple versions have been installed or its processes have become siloed.

By contrast, a cloud ERP system with its integrated database can draw on reports that provide visibility of weak spots in your organisational processes before an adverse event occurs. This allows you to make decisions based on the most up-to-date information available.

A single solution: a field services solution built on the NetSuite platform

The big news is that we are NetSuite partners.

Klugo partnered with NextTechnik and the world’s leading cloud ERP, NetSuite, to offer cutting-edge complete end to end solutions for business that have field service teams. This collaboration enables field service operators to manage their businesses with first-class expertise.

You can schedule installation, repair and preventative maintenance using drop and drag functionality. As a field service operator, you can consume and manage inventory from anywhere, and automate invoicing, service report generation or job sign-off. Along with this, you can utilise the NextService Google maps integration, which displays all scheduled tasks as well as the technician’s current location.

You can record key asset, job and compliance data from a mobile user interface, and you can report and configure key performance indicators and alerts in real time.

NextService can adjust currency and exchange rates at a local level, as well as taxation and legal compliance differences. It can even generate your BAS Statement automatically.

Any changes made in NetSuite are immediately visible in NextService, and this powerful unified platform allows the field services operator to make informed decisions in real time.

The powerful functionality of the NetSuite field service solution eliminates time-wasting, redundant tasks and enables you to make real-time decisions that grow your business.

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Case study: NetSuite and NextService – a single source of truth

To understand how NetSuite and NextService work together to deliver unparalleled field service management, let’s step into the shoes of a customer.

You’re looking for solar panels for your house. So, you speak with a salesperson and negotiate the sale. The salesperson generates a quote, which is broken down into different components – solar panels, delivery and installation. This part of the sales process is conducted in NetSuite.

Once you accept the quote and the sale is made, NetSuite creates a sales order.

Next you schedule an installation date with the salesperson. The vendor’s scheduler then schedules a job in NextService for a qualified technician.

The technician sees the job they’ve been assigned in their NextService mobile app. They check the history and any other information that’s relevant, then travel onsite and install the solar panels. They may record a serial number, take a photo of the completed job, and complete one or more checklists, all on their NextService mobile app.

When you, as the customer, sign off on the job, the vendor’s billing office is automatically notified, and the system will initiate an invoice that’s sent to you. Or, alternatively, when you sign off the job (depending on what tasks have been built into the installation process) it might trigger an additional workflow within NetSuite requiring maintenance tasks to be scheduled as part of a product warranty. This is then conveyed to the technician via their NextService mobile app.

*The technician in the field only has access to all the tools and information they need to complete the job. In NextService, there are no application programming interfaces or file transfer protocols, all the data entered is captured in NetSuite.

If you’d like to learn more about NetSuite solutions or the value NextService can bring to your business, contact us today.

We’re here to help your field service operation cut costs and grow.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in Field Service Enterprise Resource Planning Systems today. Find out how cloud-based technology can support and quickly adapt to your strategies in field service.

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