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Join us for the webinar
on Thu, Feb 15, 12:30 PM ET:‚Ä®
‚ÄúRevolutionizing Utility Field Service Management with New Technology‚ÄĚ
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Join us for the webinar
on Thu, Feb 15, 12:30 PM ET:‚Ä®
‚ÄúRevolutionizing Utility Field Service Management with New Technology‚ÄĚ
Register
Join us for the webinar
on Thu, Feb 15, 12:30 PM ET:‚Ä®
‚ÄúRevolutionizing Utility Field Service Management with New Technology‚ÄĚ
Register
11 Oct 2023
4 min
Technology

Field Service Software and Usage-based Pricing: the Perfect Match for Contractors

Deploying AMI project on the budget

Field service projects require work management software. Smart devices like smart water meters have to be tracked, activated, and recorded in a database. Technicians' work should be scheduled and organized, ideally in the most efficient way. All this is managed by field service software that can be expensive. Are there ways to minimize these costs?

There are different names for this type of software, field service  or mobile workforce management, but they all have two elements: 

a portal for project managers to track the progress and dispatch jobs and a field service app for technicians to follow workflows and collect data. 

However,  field service software providers offer different pricing models. The rapid development of the IT industry and new business models have been pushing software providers to explore new ways of charging for their solutions. 

Well-established field service software providers traditionally charge a license per user and often require a year-long contract. Costs can start from $25,000, not including support and system configuration.

A new generation of software providers relies on a usage-based or pay-as-you-go pricing model. For many field projects, especially small ones that are conducted in a few months, this one can be a better fit. 

What is Usage-Based Pricing?

Usage-based pricing (UBP) is a pricing model where customers pay for a field service management software based on how much they use it. This is in contrast to traditional subscription-based pricing models, where organizations pay a fixed fee regardless of how much they use the work management software solution.

How can usage-based pricing help contractors save money?

Usage-based pricing, also known as pay-as-you-go pricing, is becoming increasingly popular, especially for SaaS products. It allows users to start using the product for a low cost and then scale up their usage as needed.

For utility contractors or other businesses, this means starting with a basic configuration of a field service management platform and getting a fast ROI. This adoption means that contractors can avoid overpaying for features they don't need upfront, and they can add new features as their business grows or projects become more complex.

In addition, this flexible and cost-effective pricing model is ideal for utility contractors who perform field service projects that typically take a few weeks or months to complete. To illustrate it let's take a smart meter deployment project that takes anywhere from 3-4 weeks to 2-3 years, depending on the number of meters that need to be replaced.

Usage-based pricing is a great way for vendors' procurement teams to accurately estimate IT spending, which can help them win bids for field projects.

Some of the benefits of using a pay-as-you-go work management software solution:

  • Affordability:¬†Pay-as-you-go software is typically much more affordable than traditional work management software, contractors only pay for the features and functionality that you need, and you can scale up or down as needed.
  • Flexibility:¬†Pay-as-you-go software is also more flexible than traditional work management software. Contractors can typically start using the software immediately, and there is no need to sign a long-term contract.¬†
  • Scalability:¬†Pay-as-you-go software is also very scalable. You can easily add or remove users as needed, and you can scale up or down as your project needs change. This is ideal for projects of all sizes, from small deployments to large-scale rollouts.
  • Ease of use:¬†Pay-as-you-go work management software is typically very easy to use. Most providers offer a user-friendly interface and comprehensive training and support. This makes it easy for your team to get started quickly and efficiently.

A case for using this approach at a smart meter deployment project 

Fieldman's Mass Meter Deployment software costs around $1.50 per transaction, depending on the total number of installations. For example, contractors or municipalities would only pay for AMI meter installations, and the price would depend on the number of meters installed, not on the calendar or the number of field and office employees who need licenses. For small projects in rural communities with 5 thousand installations, the portal can be simple and very affordable.

In cases when a project requires data integration processes, there is a Fieldman platform set-up fee ($ 3500 - 5000). It is beneficial for small organizations that don't have their own IT department or even an IT manager.

In addition to the core features, contractors may want to add add-on features, such as a stakeholder dynamic dashboard or KPI metrics for technicians' performance, for complex field service projects.

Field Service Management platform afterlife 

After deployment, assets typically will require maintenance. This can be performed on the same IT platform with the same field service applications. It would be cheaper than setting up and integrating a new asset and work management solution from scratch.

Why do we think so?

The most expansive and time-consuming for any IT solution is collecting data. In the AMI deployment case, the data is the number of meters, the serial number of each meter, photos, GIS data, and meter readings. All this valuable information has been accumulated and stored in field service software during deployment.

This database can become the foundation of a future asset management platform. Municipalities can utilize this as a basis and slowly add data about other infrastructures they own, including vehicles and equipment. Over time the FSM platform can be used to schedule and track preventive maintenance tasks. This can help organizations to avoid costly breakdowns and to extend the lifespan of their assets.

Conclusion

Usage-based pricing for field service software is a perfect match for contractors, especially for small projects or projects with variable workloads. It offers a number of benefits, including affordability, flexibility, scalability, and ease of use.

In the case of smart meter deployment projects, usage-based pricing can help contractors to save money by only paying for the features and functionality that they need. It can also help to improve efficiency and productivity by providing contractors with a single platform to manage all aspects of their deployment projects.

In addition to the benefits listed above, usage-based pricing can also help contractors to:

  • Improve their cash flow.¬†By only paying for the software that they use, contractors can reduce their upfront costs and improve their cash flow.
  • Reduce their risk.¬†Usage-based pricing offers a no-commitment pricing model, which means that contractors can try the software before they commit to a long-term contract.
  • Scale their business more easily.¬†As contractors grow their business, they can easily scale up their usage of the software without having to worry about signing a new contract or paying additional fees.

Overall, usage-based pricing is a cost-effective and efficient way for contractors to use field service software. It is particularly well-suited for projects with variable workloads or projects that are of a limited duration.

If you are looking for a field service software solution, consider usage-based pricing.

Fieldman offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model for its Asset Deployment software that is specifically designed for contractors to manage field service projects.