Field service apps in the workplace are not “frills” but instead necessary tools that help you manage your employees, their assignments, and streamline daily functions. The possibilities of field service apps are endless, but not immediate – a company must first choose either a generic packaged solution, or to have one custom built from the ground up.

The differences between the two are numerous, and important to recognize.

Custom Field Service App: These apps are made directly to your specifications. They match your needs to the letter because they’re built from the ground up with the unique needs of your business as the focus. A custom field service app is designed, structured, and built entirely to serve you as effectively as possible. Everything as major as the available features, to as minor as the branding, works for you rather than against you.

Generic Field Service App: Generic prebuilt apps are much less tailored. They’re marketed to an audience so large, it may impossible to find one that checks every box on your list. They might get close, but they’re broad solutions that attempt to meet the needs of as many service enterprises as possible. Companies such as ServiceMax and Click Software sell generic field service apps.

Generic SAAS solutions have the benefit of being readily available and appealing to a wide audience. However, they aren’t necessarily the best way to go. Their custom counterparts have an allure that extends beyond personalized features or niche appeal, demonstrated by the following 7 points.


Differences Between Custom & Generic Field Service Apps

1. You Own the Intellectual Property (IP)

When your field service app is custom made, you own the IP. The rights are entirely yours, and this means that you’ve inadvertently increased your company value.

Having your own base for operations rather than relying on one made by a third party provides an unprecedented avenue for business growth. After all, you won’t be held back by missing or generic features, tiered subscription plans or your software provider’s business model. Instead, you’re free to expand your platform as rapidly as needed.

Investors will find owning a custom app attractive and a smart move for any modern business.

2. You Own the Data

Data is a valuable commodity. It allows us to make decisions, plan for the long term, and determine how effective your choices are.

When you use a generic, prebuilt field service app, the data your team inputs and uses may not belong to you. Additionally, app providers could be sharing it with other services, refuse to release it if you switch platforms, or not adequately protect it – but you would never know.

On the other hand, a custom field service app puts everything directly into your hands. Every line of collected data belongs solely to your company, providing greater flexibility and security for every possible scenario.

3. Reduce Training Time

Technology is supposed to work for you, not against you. So why would you spend extra hours teaching your employees how to avoid unwanted features, digging through the interface to find helpful ones, or explaining complicated procedures when you could be handing them something custom built instead?

Custom built field service apps avoid unnecessary and unwanted features, and are therefore, more intuitive and easier to use. Your employees will get on their feet faster and with less of the frustration that comes with generic feature bloat.

4. Get Exactly What You Need

Many businesses find themselves trying to work around the features of generic apps rather than with them. Whether it’s manhandling two separate features until they work as one or using separate apps to cover everything you need. A custom field service application will completely eliminate these workarounds. You’ll have exactly what you need at your fingertips.

5. Be Innovative

Innovating means introducing something new or different. It sets you apart in the industry, helps to brand your business, and appeals to investors.

Custom apps let you create entirely new processes and concepts that aren’t available on the mass market for your competitors. This means you’ll have a much stronger bid on important projects, where you’ll be more than capable of setting yourself apart with new and unique technology.

6. Long-Term Investment

Signing up with a popular SAAS service means you’ll be re-investing in your field service application every month. If you ever decide to switch software, you’ll lose that investment. Custom field service apps offer an alternative. They grow and involve with you, and as previously mentioned, you’re directly reinvesting in your company since you own the IP and all of the data.

7. New Features When You Need Them

Generic software serve hundreds of businesses, and they keep these businesses on a tight lease. The app makers decide when new features are released. They patch bugs at their own pace, and they listen to the voice of the majority, even if it doesn’t reflect your individual needs.

By comparison, custom apps focus only on you. The app development company you hire will start creating the features you need immediately, rather than waiting for months on end for inadequate solutions to be rolled out. From little changes to a complete overhaul, a custom field service app is built for your needs from day one.


Final Thoughts

For field service companies with complex needs and a specific niche, a custom developed field service app has many benefits. By owning the IP to your technology you’ll increase your organization’s value and have a unique appeal to investors. You get exactly the features you need when you need them and set your company apart as an innovator in your industry.

If your needs are simple and generic, and your budget does not afford custom software, a prebuilt SAAS solution may be the right choice.

You don’t have to accept the “one size fits all” model that large field service software companies offer. If a custom field service app is the better fit for your company, please contact Big Fish and request a consultation today.