As you are reading this article, you may find yourself on
the precipice of a significant change to your business’s service processes including
the way you manage service resources and connect with your customers. Whether
you’re on the search for a suitable successor to your current field service
solution or looking to build out your Salesforce Field Service environment, the
amount of planning and research put into arranging a well-conceived implementation
will pay out dividends on the backend.
For all the same reasons your business requires a field service-oriented
platform with the flexibility and tools to meet your various needs, there is a
significant amount of consideration to make about how your interdependent processes
are best translated and configured into the system that touches everything important
to an optimized service business. This guide provides you with a comprehensive
overview of how to effectively leverage the powerful management tools in
Salesforce Field Service.
1. Outline Your Processes
Does your business currently utilize service territories to
schedule and manage field techs?
Do you plan to automatically create and
schedule service appointments?
How do you prioritize which appointments are
scheduled when, and how do you create the optimal appointment schedule for your
Just thinking about some of these questions can cause your head to spin a
little, which is why it’s so important to create a detailed outline of your
current business processes. Even those with an intimate understanding of how
their business works may be confronted with questions they have never
considered before when implementing Salesforce Field Service. And the answers to some of those
questions may affect efficiency or customer satisfaction down the road. Having
a well-documented resource to reference when developing solutions will help ensure
your org is aligned with your goals.
Here are some of the most important questions to ask
yourself when creating this outline:
- Are you moving from an existing field service
management platform? What business processes are developed around the existing
platform and need to be retained?
- How do you currently organize and manage service
techs? What is the mobile platform you use? How many team members do you have?
What is the nature of the work they do, and how complex is it? Do you have
service crews that work on services together?
- Do you plan to integrate Salesforce Field Service with ERPs or other
external systems? Do connectors already exist, and do they meet the needs of
the integration? Are there processes that are currently performed in an
external system that could better be served by Salesforce (ex. inventory
- What are the biggest pain points with your
current process? What are the most important enhancements you are looking to
implement? What metrics are most important to track and improve with the
2. Territories, Operating Hours, & Shifts
Designed to facilitate the requirements of teams of any size
and configuration, Salesforce Field Service allows users to configure territories, operating hours,
and shifts that mirror your existing team organization profile.
- Service territories allow you to define where your service
team completes work. They typically represent geographical areas and can be
defined using Map Polygons to determine exact boundaries between territories. Add
service territory members to enable field resources (technicians) to be
eligible for service appointment assignments. Service Resources may even have membership
to multiple territories.
- Operating hours indicate when work can be scheduled. They
can be defined on accounts, service territories, and service territory members.
Along with Service Appointment scheduling windows, operating hours aim to schedule
appointments that meet time constraints on several levels.
- Shifts can be created to schedule ad hoc appointments outside
of regular operating hours or for workers who don’t have a set schedule. They let
you set up work intervals that vary from day to day or week to week and can be
used in conjunction with or instead of operating hours.
these three tools enable your business to schedule work whenever you need the right people to perform the job. They also act as the foundation for building
your work order management system and schedule optimization.
3. Work Order Management
The term “Work Order Management” represents the interaction
behavior and hierarchy of several objects in Salesforce Field Service.
Here are a few terms to
familiarize yourself with when configuring this section:
- Work order – Represents work to be performed on your
- Work order line item (WOLI) – The detailed explanation of a
task to be performed by the technician.
- Service appointment – Represents an appointment to complete
work for a customer. Service appointments can be child records of Work Orders
or WOLIs and will be the record that interacts with the scheduling tools.
- Work type – Templates that save you time and make it easier
to standardize your field service work. They represent predefined pieces of
information that are unique to a particular service task, such as estimated duration,
skill requirements, or product requirements. Work types can be defined on a
Work Order or WOLI and those requirements will be inherited by the record.
- Asset – Represents a specific purchased or installed
- Maintenance plans – Let you define the maintenance schedule
for one or more assets and generate a batch of Work Orders for future maintenance
visits. Work types can also be defined on maintenance plans and Work Orders or WOLIs
will inherit the work type.
- Statuses – Statuses represent where a Work Order, WOLI, or
Service Appointment is in regard to a predefined work process. They are used
by a variety of processes and triggers in Salesforce Field Service, and accurate configuration is important
to ensuring these processes work with your records as expected.
4. Your Workforce
Service resources and service crews represent your field service
team and can be assigned to complete service appointments. After you create
these records, you may assign permission sets to members of your team who work
as dispatchers or support agents.
As mentioned above, Service Resources are assigned to one or
more Service Territories to add them as a candidate for service appointment assignment.
If your business requires proficiency in certain skills to complete some tasks,
you can add those skills to service resources and they will be respected in
scheduling optimization, as well as Service Territory membership.
If some of your service work requires a team of service
resources whose combined skills and experience make them a good fit to work together
on appointments, you may create a Service Crew and assign them as a unit. Implementing
service crews requires an extra bit of consideration in areas including
absences, geolocation tracking, membership requirements, crew size, and more.
If this is a feature you intend to utilize, please review Salesforce Field Service documentation to
verify your requirements can be met.
5. Your Inventory
Salesforce Field Service has a robust set of tools to effectively track and
manage every item in your inventory. From storage to requests and transfers to
consumption, you can make sure your field techs have the right parts to complete
These are some of the objects to know about:
- Locations – Physical places in the world where inventory is
kept, such as a warehouse or service vehicle.
- Product items – A representation of an item in your
inventory stored in a location. For products that are stored in more than one
location, a product item record should be created for each location.
- Products required – As described earlier in the guide,
represent products that are needed to complete a particular Work Order or WOLI.
- Products consumed – Products used during the course of the
Work Order that no longer exist in your inventory.
- Product item transactions – Auto-generated records that describe
actions performed on the product item (replenished, consumed, or adjusted.)
- Product requests – Orders placed for products (ex. for replenishment
when low in stock.)
- Product transfers – Enable you to track product transfers
- Return order – Enable you to track the return or repair of
- Shipments – Represents a shipment of items between inventory
6. Scheduling Optimization
The Schedule Optimization tool offers one the biggest time-savers and opportunities for value extraction in the entire Field Service platform.
If you have ever had to construct a weekly appointment schedule, you may be
aware of how difficult it can be to coordinate availability, time constraints, technician
ability, and scheduling priorities. And then, attempting to find the most efficient
configuration and utilization percentages or to navigate a cancellation or
schedule change, one might cite this as a reason to find another line of work.
with Salesforce Field Service, this is no longer a dreadful task, but rather offers businesses peace of
mind that their resources are being utilized as efficiently as possible.
- Scheduling policy – Represents a collection of
objectives and rules to help guide the optimizer. When using the optimizer, either
through a scheduled run or manually, users may select which scheduling policy
- Work rule – A rule that filters the list of potential
candidates to be assigned to a particular appointment. One example of this is
the Match Skill rule which, as its name suggests, filters out service resources
who do not possess the skills required to complete a job.
- Service Objective – A goal or target of a
particular policy. By assigning weights to these objectives, users can promote
or de-emphasize the relative importance of factors such as customer
preferences, travel time, or business priorities.
- Relevance group – Represent a subgroup of service
appointments or service resources. These groups can be used to apply targeted
work rules or service objectives.
7. Mobile Configuration & Flows
For a mobile workforce that uses their mobile devices to perform
a variety of essential tasks including record updates to accessing knowledge
articles and more, an application tailored to their needs can be the difference
between a happy and engaged team and a disconnected one. Luckily, the Field
Service app (available for iOS and Android) offers an easy-to-navigate user interface
with offline access capability and the potential for complex mobile flows.
Combined with your business’s unique needs for customization, the
nature of a mobile app like this will require special consideration. When developing
the desired end-product for this section, please review the app specifications
and consult with a certified partner such as DB Services to ensure your requirements
can be met.
As with many businesses who use Salesforce, it may not be the only system that is a part of your service process. Should you require integration with an existing ERP or service platform, there are a number of solutions you can leverage to connect them to Salesforce Field Service. This provides you the ability to share records between systems and perform useful automation, which can help streamline your resolution process and improve customer experience.
Salesforce AppExchange boasts a robust library of premade integration packages that you can easily install in your org. Alternatively, if an out-of-the-box option won’t cut it, a consultancy such as DB Services can help you build a bespoke integration solution to fit your needs.
Unleash the True Potential of Your Organization
The possibilities for building a custom field service
implementation are nearly endless when considering all the offerings in
Salesforce Field Service. And with a comprehensive understanding of your
business and service processes, a tailored Field Service implementation can
provide incredible value to you and your customers to build relationships that
reach beyond the context of customer service. Contact DB Services for any
questions you have or if you need assistance building your best service
platform in Salesforce Field Service!