5 min read
What’s new at Field Nation? Glad you asked! We sat down with EVP of Product Wael Mohammed to talk about why innovation is critical (even during a pandemic), the four customer drivers we align our roadmap to, and the latest product updates that are delivering value for our users.
To start, can you talk about why a global pandemic is a perfect time to innovate?
“COVID-19 significantly affected every sector of the economy, including the field service industry. The businesses and technicians who depend on our marketplace saw their world change overnight. In response, we reallocated some of our resources to ensure we were giving customers what they needed. At the same time, we intentionally chose to continue developing new products and services to ensure we stayed aligned with their strategic, long-term needs.
As the leading field service marketplace, we have a responsibility to relentlessly pursue ways to make it faster, easier, and more cost-effective to get high-volume, highly skilled on-site work done safely. The pandemic didn’t change that; in fact, it made us even more committed.”
How do you determine where to invest from a product development perspective?
“At Field Nation, product innovation starts and ends with customers. Because we serve both businesses and technicians, we want to make sure what we develop for one side of the marketplace benefits the other.
The businesses that use our platform are trying to do three key things: find the right technician for the job, manage those jobs efficiently, and grow their top and bottom line. The technicians who use our platform want to find the right job for their skillset on their terms, with the opportunity to grow and prosper.
With those key drivers in mind, we then work with customers to innovate, and often co-create, new features and enhancements. There’s also a rigorous process in place to evaluate the viability of a concept before we invest any resources. For an idea to make it to the next stage, it has to meet a very high bar of scrutiny.”
Can you speak to some recent innovations and the value they’ll help drive for customers?
The first driver I mentioned was finding the right technician for the job. But more specifically, it’s about finding the right technician for the right job in the right location at the right time. And that’s easier said than done, especially at scale.
A more nuanced part of finding the right technician involves trust. It takes time to establish trust between two parties, especially in a marketplace. Our goal is to give businesses information about a technician that can help them build trust faster. This information includes ratings, reviews, and endorsements from other businesses.
One capability we added recently is technician qualification compliance monitoring. For work orders that need specialized skills or qualifications, we can now continually monitor when a technician’s qualifications change and proactively alert the business to help them avoid a potential compliance issue.
We also know that some projects require specialized, hard-to-find skills. This makes these projects challenging to staff. Based on customer feedback, we developed a full-service offering that hand-selects and vets talent based on specific criteria, like required skills and certifications. Our team functions like the recruiting arm of the businesses we partner with. This helps them source talent for complex projects quickly and reliably.
The second driver, managing jobs efficiently, encompasses everything that happens from the moment a work order is created until it’s paid and off the books. There’s a ton of opportunity to streamline this process and, in doing so, help businesses improve profitability. One recent update we made was to the pay card section of a work order. Businesses can now see exactly what they’re spending and why, saving them from tracking down that information elsewhere.
The third driver for businesses who use our platform is growing the top and bottom line. Companies think of Field Nation as a way to staff and manage their high-volume, highly skilled on-site work, but it’s so much more than that.
For example, we’ve significantly matured our analytics capabilities in the last six months. For businesses who want to grow their top line, we can now provide market insights like coverage assessments. These provide a snapshot of how many technicians are available in certain geographies, and pricing data like market rates for a certain type of work in a certain area. With this kind of intelligence, companies can respond to RFPs faster and more competitively – without sacrificing margin.
Improving the bottom line is all about efficiency. Thanks to recent updates like the ones I mentioned earlier, customers are spending less time sourcing quality talent and minimizing the number of clicks it takes to create, review, and approve a work order. This allows them to say yes to more work without adding headcount.
Additionally, we’re always improving the experience for the technicians who use our platform to find work. Independent technicians have to wear many hats; sales, marketing, accounting, compliance, and more – in addition to the technician hat they’re already wearing.
Field Nation helps ease the burden of managing all those functions with reliable payments, mediation help, and back-office management. We recently added better sorting and filtering capabilities in the mobile app. This helps technicians find and schedule work that matches their skill set faster. Users can also customize their profiles with the information we know businesses look for, like specialized skills, soft skills, and work experience.”
Can you give us a sneak peek at what’s coming in the next few months?
“I don’t want to give away too much, but I can say we have a lot of exciting things in the works. We have an effective suite of tools and services that help businesses find talent, work efficiently, and grow their top and bottom line, and we’re going to continue to add to it.
For technicians, we know marketplaces are competitive. Not only are we working to bring more businesses with more projects to the platform, but we’re developing features that will make it easier and faster for technicians to request work.”
Where can people go to learn about the latest updates from Field Nation?
“For a high-level overview, there’s the Product Updates page on our website. And we have a lot of great information on our blog, including industry insights, tips for optimizing your Field Nation account, and more. I would also encourage folks to sign up for our emails. We only send a couple of emails per month, and work hard to make sure they’re valuable for customers.”