How Salesforce transforms field work for the public sector


Presented by Salesforce Salesforce's logo

As organizations recognize the important role of field services such as repairs and maintenance in delivering exceptional service, there's an increasing demand for solutions that efficiently streamline operations and improve customer experiences.

Field service teams play a crucial role in enhancing customer experiences by promptly addressing issues on-site with mobile workers, enabling them to directly address customer concerns at the location requiring service, whether it be installations, repairs or maintenance tasks. However, for public sector field service providers, navigating through fragmented solutions and ever-evolving compliance demands has been a formidable challenge. 

In response, Salesforce integrates technologies such as real-time asset monitoring with proactive notifications, efficient scheduling and advanced analytics with Field Service Management. These technological advancements not only optimize field service processes but also pave the way for enhanced customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. Having recently obtained the FedRAMP High and DoD Impact Level 5-authorization, this tool provides public sector organizations with the chance to confidently enhance service delivery, knowing it strictly adheres to the highest compliance standards. 

In a recent conversation with General Manager and Senior Vice President of Field Service Management at Salesforce, Paul Whitelam and Vice President of Salesforce’s Business Development Strategy, Jamison Braun, the two experts shared insights into some of the biggest challenges facing public sector field service, the gaps they have observed, and how agencies can close those gaps with Salesforce’s Field Service Management platform.   

Eliminate siloed field operations with a unified platform

Fragmented solutions persistently challenge the public sector as organizations often initiate technology adoption in specific departments, leading to different solutions that do not work cohesively.

“What we see in the public sector is that there are lots of different fragmented solutions that help organizations work with their constituents," said Whitelam. “But with a consolidated platform that brings information together, we get a full picture of that constituency and when you have that full picture, you’re able to provide a best-in-class capability.” 

As technology evolved, various vendors and changing requirements further contribute to the disjointed landscape. The result is a patchwork of systems that fail to communicate effectively. This lack of cohesion means that often it’s difficult for teams and agencies to obtain a comprehensive view of all constituent aspects, hindering the ability to provide efficient and targeted services.

Salesforce’s Field Service Management platform now offers a consolidated solution, providing a single, comprehensive view of operations, so public sector entities can better understand the needs, wants and requirements of their constituents for more effective and efficient service delivery. Salesforce's innovative platform is reshaping how the public sector approaches field service, addressing long standing challenges and prioritizing efficiency, accountability and customer experience. As public entities strive to meet evolving constituent needs, this platform emerges as a government digital transformation  force, ushering in a new era of streamlined and effective field service.

One noteworthy success story Braun discussed involves a European municipality grappling with utility and infrastructure challenges. The town adopted Field Service Management, gaining full visibility into costs and value propositions. Within a mere five weeks, the implementation proved highly successful, placing essential services under the town's control.

Enhance constituent experiences with efficiency and accessibility

In the realm of the public sector, a focus on modern user interfaces is crucial, especially for residents and mobile workers in government who have grown accustomed to intuitive experiences in their daily consumer applications. 

Constituents desire a readily accessible and intuitive user experience even in areas with no connectivity like basements, remote areas and even oil rigs, meaning government organizations must look to enable seamless execution of tasks like inspections and form filling in offline mode.

By providing offline capabilities in mobile applications, Salesforce offers a highly adaptable mobile experience. For Braun, one such capability is Salesforce’s summary function, which not only streamlines processes but promises to transform customer experience completely. 

The Field Service Management platform can automatically generate plain language summaries of tasks for mobile workers based on customer and asset information, so they have all the information they need when they arrive at a job. Additionally, it can summarize completed work and generate service reports using data from the mobile application.

By using the conversational interface within the platform, field service technicians can ask questions about customers and tasks, further streamlining work processes and enhancing communication in field service operations.

According to Managing Deputy Chief Information Officer for the City of Chicago, Derrick Brownlee, the city’s 311 system leveraged Field Service Management to enhance their service delivery by answering frequently asked questions and providing status updates to customers via email or text message automatically. 

“We can do this all via mobile, enabling folks in the field or office with the same accessibility,” said Brownlee. “For example, we layered on Salesforce Field Service. We use this to schedule and dispatch work orders while people are on-the-go, eliminating the time it takes to come back to the office, get the next assignment and head back out.”

Utilize AI for precision, predictions and summarization

In the realm of field service, artificial intelligence (AI) plays a pivotal role in enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of systems and processes. Leveraging predictive models, Salesforce uses AI to precisely estimate travel times, ensuring optimal scheduling and navigation, particularly during rush hours. 

For example, Salesforce developed a scheduling system that optimizes workforce management to prioritize essential tasks and improve customer satisfaction. According to Whitelam, Salesforce’s scheduling capabilities take into account all aspects of the work in question, from specific tools, skill sets and clearances, to minimize frustration and enhance overall service delivery.

“We've developed a very sophisticated way of scheduling that considers all aspects of the work,” said Whitelam. “By being able to look at all of the possible resources, we can run an algorithm that comes up with the perfect schedule for your workforce so we get the right person to the right place at the right time with the right tools to get [the job] done right the first time.”

The AI-driven schedule optimization addresses the perennial challenge of whitespace or periods of unutilized time in the schedules of field workers or technicians, allowing for precise time allocations as short as 30-minute segments and boosting overall efficiency. 

Fortify security for critical data

In the ever-evolving landscape of field service, where operations handle critical, personal and highly sensitive information, robust security measures are paramount. For Salesforce, trust isn't just a value; it's the cornerstone guiding principle. 

Salesforce’s Field Service platform meets FedRAMP High, IRS 1075, and DoD Impact Level 4 & Level 5 compliance requirements, ensuring complete control over information leaving the application perimeter, addressing federal requirements and providing a highly secure environment.

The crux of Salesforce's approach lies in meticulous control over the information within its systems. This control extends to FedRAMP High authorized tools, where users gain ultimate command over what information traverses the application's perimeter.

Consider, for instance, the need to share specific details, like the geolocation of a field worker. Salesforce's design allows users to exercise precise control, crucial for adhering to federal requirements. If there's a need to restrict location data sharing, users have the tools at their disposal to ensure compliance and data protection.

"Field Service Management came out of the desire to do good, which was much bigger than the desire to just make a dollar," said Braun. "I think we've done that and we're going to continue to do that for the next several generations."

Learn more about how Salesforce is transforming field service for public sector organizations with a webinar featuring the American Automobile Association.

This content is made possible by our sponsor. The editorial staff was not involved in its preparation.

NEXT STORY: Making the Case for Compliance