November 14, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Salesforce Field Service Lightning (FSL)

Discover the definition, benefits, and use cases of Salesforce FSL curated by Noltic's professional Salesforce engineer.

I. Field Service Lightning (FSL) overview

1.1. What is Field Service Lightning (FSL):

Field Service Lightning (FSL) is a system made by Salesforce that helps companies that provide on-site services to better organize their work. It is used to create employee records, assign tasks, and monitor their location.

The main features of Field Service Lightning include scheduling work orders, creating standard service procedures, and generating reports to notify customers of the work progress. This system simplifies the team workflow, facilitates interaction with customers, and helps to save time and effort.

For example, if you have a plumbing services company, FSL will be a great solution for organizing work calls, managing which employees go to a particular call, monitoring the progress of calls, and providing reports on the work performed.

1.2. The main components of FSL

Salesforce Field Service Lightning (FSL) consists of various components that work together to create an integrated system that optimizes service management and improves customer communication. The main components of FSL are:

  1. Core Features: The core of Field Service Lightning includes standard objects and capabilities for managing all aspects of work orders and service scheduling. These features allow companies to efficiently assign tasks, schedule services, and monitor their progress.
  1. Managed Package: The Field Service Lightning package extends the core capabilities by providing tools for deeper customization and process optimization. It includes a step-by-step setup tool, dynamic scheduling console, scheduling optimizer, and other features to make service management easier.
  1. Mobile App: The Field Service mobile app for iOS and Android allows mobile workers to work more efficiently. It allows you to update work tasks, track status, and collect information from customers, which improves communication and responsiveness to customer needs.
  1. Field Service APIs and Developer Resources: This component provides developers with the tools and resources to build their applications and integrations with Field Service Lightning. It includes object diagrams, API links, and code samples to help developers create extensions and integrations that meet their unique needs.

Core Features:

To work with FSL, Salesforce adds additional standard objects that are only available if Field Service is enabled, which can be done in the Field Service menu in the Setup section of your organization.

The main objects you will encounter while working with FSL are:

  1. Work Orders: Work orders are a core component of FSL. They allow you to create and track tasks that need to be completed at the job site. Each work order contains information about the type of work, required skills and resources, and deadlines.
  1. Service Appointments: Service Appointments are used to plan and create work orders for a specific day and time. They allow you to accurately assign tasks to employees and dispatchers.
  1. Assets: This object allows you to keep track of assets or equipment that need to be maintained. You can track asset location, status, and maintenance history.
  1. Inventory: Inventory allows you to keep track of the stock and materials you need to complete your work. You can manage inventory quantities and use them in work orders.
  1. Service Territories: You can set up different service territories that define geographical areas where your team can provide services. This makes it easier to distribute work and plan routes.
  1. Service Contracts: Service Contracts allow you to enter into agreements with customers to provide services over a specified time. They contain terms, conditions, obligations and rates for the provision of services.
  1. Work Order Line Items: This feature allows you to add detailed information to work orders, including work requirements, skills, costs, and other details.

Managed Package:

The FSL package unlocks applications to effectively manage work, plan trips, and customize FSL functionality to suit your needs.

  • Guided Setup Tool: This tool provides users with a step-by-step setup process that makes it easy to create Field Service records and configure settings to meet specific company needs.
  • Dynamic Scheduling Console: This console allows you to keep track of all team members, as well as scheduled meetings and work tasks. Dispatchers can see the location of their team and distribute work based on up-to-date information.
  • Scheduling Optimization: This feature is used to automatically allocate resources to scheduled meetings in the most efficient way. The optimizer takes into account workers' skill levels, travel time, location, and other factors to ensure optimal resource utilization.
  • Scheduling Policies and Triggers: You can create rules that define how work tasks are distributed and assigned to employees.

Mobile App:

The Field Service Mobile App is a mobile application designed to optimize the work of mobile workers who go out on calls to perform work tasks and serve customers. The app allows you to increase productivity and improve communication between mobile workers and dispatchers.

The main features of the Field Service Mobile App include:

  1. Update Work Orders: Mobile workers can view and update their work order information from their smartphone or tablet. They can mark tasks as completed, update statuses, and add comments or attachments.
  1. Inventory Tracking: The app allows workers to keep track of inventory and materials. They can check the availability of goods, execute replenishment orders, and update information about the use of materials at the service site.
  1. Collecting Customer Signatures: Workers can collect customer signatures as proof of completion or order approval. This allows you to confirm the fact of service and avoid misunderstandings.
  1. Dispatcher Communication: Using the app, workers can easily communicate with dispatchers or managers. They can send messages, notifications, and requests for advice from their mobile devices.
  1. Route and Navigation: The application allows workers to build the best route to the task and use navigation to maximize efficiency and reduce travel time.
  1. Offline Mode: The application supports offline mode, which means that employees can continue working even when there is no internet connection. Data is synchronized as soon as network access is available.
  1. User-Friendly Interface: The application has an intuitive and easy-to-use interface that helps workers quickly learn it and work efficiently.

The Field Service Mobile App simplifies the workflow of mobile workers, improves collaboration, and ensures the accuracy of tasks at the service site, making it an indispensable tool for service teams.

Field Service APIs and Developer Resources:

Field Service APIs and Developer Resources is a set of tools, resources, and application programming interfaces (APIs) that developers can use to extend, customize, and integrate Field Service Lightning (FSL) with other systems and applications. These resources make FSL more flexible and usable in a variety of business scenarios. Key aspects of the Field Service APIs and developer resources include:

  1. API for data exchange: FSL provides APIs for exchanging data between other systems and applications. Developers can use these APIs to import and export data, create extensions, and integrate with other solutions.
  1. Documentation for developers: Field Service has extensive documentation that includes API descriptions, use cases, and developer tips. This documentation helps developers understand how to use the API and other resources.
  1. Object relationships: Field Service Lightning implements object relationships that allow developers to set up relationships between different objects and create complex data for use in the system.
  1. Code samples: Field Service APIs and Developer Resources provide sample code for various programming languages to help developers get up and running with the system quickly and use its functionality.
  1. Support for integrations: Field Service is designed to integrate with other popular platforms and systems, such as Salesforce CRM, IoT platforms, accounting systems, electronic cards, etc. This allows developers to easily implement and configure integrations with existing infrastructures.
  1. Extension support: Field Service allows developers to create their extensions, applications, and connections, which helps companies adapt FSL to their needs and extend its functionality.

Field Service APIs and Developer Resources provide developers with the tools and resources to creatively use Field Service Lightning in their projects, create integrations and extensions to optimize service operations, and improve the user experience.

1.3. Functions and capabilities of FSL

FSL has a wide range of tools to organize work to ensure effective management of work tasks, schedules, and personnel. To do this, FSL uses the following features and capabilities:

  • Personnel management: You can create records for service representatives, dispatchers, and agents and add detailed information about their skills, location, and availability.
  • Creation of service territories: Field Service Lightning allows you to set up multi-level service territories that reflect the areas in which mobile workers can provide services.
  • Tracking of the location and status of resources: You can track the location and status of your inventory, warehouses, company vehicles, and customer sites.
  • Scheduling work orders: You can create one-time or regular work orders for customers and add detailed information about worker requirements, skills, and parts needed.
  • Creation of service plans and templates: You can create service plans and templates to standardize your service operations.
  • Generation of service reports: You can generate service reports to keep your customers informed about the progress of their services.

These features allow companies to effectively handle service calls, standardize processes, and improve customer service.

II. The benefits of using FSL

The benefits of using Field Service Lightning (FSL) for service and maintenance businesses go beyond the minimal advantages. Below is a detailed overview of these benefits that can significantly improve the efficiency and competitiveness of your business:

Increased productivity and efficiency

FSL helps to optimize the planning and distribution of tasks among mobile workers, reducing travel time and increasing the number of tasks that can be completed in a day.

Example: A repair service uses FSL to efficiently distribute work orders to its technicians. As a result, technicians can visit more customers in a day.

Improved customer service

FSL allows you to accurately schedule visits to customers and provide them with information about the time of arrival, which increases customer satisfaction.

Example: A home appliance service company uses FSL to provide its customers with accurate information about when a technician will arrive for repairs.

Efficient routing

FSL helps to build optimal routes for mobile workers, avoid congestion, and save time and fuel costs.

Example: A courier service uses FSL to optimize deliveries, reduce fuel costs and arrive to customers on time.

Facilitated cooperation

FSL facilitates communication between mobile workers and dispatchers, enabling them to share information and complete tasks in real-time.

Example: An installation company uses FSL to send instructions to workers and receive progress reports on mobile devices.

Asset and inventory tracking

FSL allows you to track and manage assets and inventory at the field service locations.

Example: An equipment manufacturer uses FSL to track the condition of equipment at service points and perform scheduled maintenance on time.

III. FSL Configuration Options

To configure FLS correctly and use its resources to the fullest, you need to enable it in your setup and install the FSL package.

  1. Enabling the Field Service option

To enable Field Service, you need to go to Setup.

In the search menu, enter Field Service.

Go to the Field Service Settings menu.

Switch Field Service to the Enabled position and wait for the download and notification of successful activation.

After that, you will have basic objects to work with FLS, such as Work Orders, Service Appointment, and others.

  1. Installing the Field Service package  

Follow the link https://fsl.secure.force.com/install. Select the type of organization in which you want to install the package.

Select "Install for Admins Only" and agree to the terms and conditions, then click Install.

Agree to Third-Party Access, and complete the installation.

When the package is installed, you will receive an email notification about the installation status, and will be able to use the Field Service applications.

  1. Permission sets

When the package is installed, you can create permalinks to work with FSL.

To do this, go to the Field Service Admin application in the App Launcher.

Go to the Field Service Settings tab, and then open the Permission Sets tab in the Get Started section.

Now you just need to click Create Permission Set on each set and wait for them to be created.

Once you have created Permission Sets, you can go to Permission Sets in the Setup menu and assign the appropriate networks to corresponding users.

The table below contains information on what each permissions set is responsible for and to whom it is assigned.

Permission Set Responsible for For whom it is intended
Field Service Dispatcher Access to the dispatcher console to plan and track work. Dispatchers are responsible for planning and tracking work.
Field Service Dispatcher Plus Login-Based Access to the dispatcher console for users with a Contractor Plus license. Contractor dispatchers who use the Contractor Plus license.
Field Service Scheduling Display in the schedule of the dispatcher console and participation in planning and optimization of work. Mobile workers (field technicians) who perform tasks in the field.
Field Service Scheduling Login-Based Access to Field Service planning functions for users with a Contractor license. Mobile workers of contractors using the Contractor license.
Field Service Scheduling Plus Login-Based Access to Field Service planning functions for users with a Contractor Plus license. Mobile workers of contractors with a Contractor Plus license.
Field Service Mobile Access to the Field Service mobile application for field technicians. Mobile users (field technicians) to perform work in the field.
Field Service Mobile Login-Based Access to the Field Service mobile application for users with a Contractor license. Mobile users and contractor administrators using the Contractor license.
Field Service Mobile Plus Login-Based Access to the Field Service mobile application for users with a Contractor Plus license. Mobile users of contractors with a Contractor Plus license.
Field Service Self-Service Access to the Experience Builder for clients, where they can view global activities and objects, create, book, and schedule their entries. Customers who use self-service.
Field Service Guest User Limited access to view and create records. Unidentified users or customers who are granted limited access.

Basic settings (Guided Setup)

Now that we have the accesses set up, we can proceed to the basic settings.

To do this, go to Field Service Settings as in the previous section. Click Go to Guided Setup.

The following steps will be presented to you:

  1. Create Service Territories. This defines the geographical areas where services are provided. The boundaries and parameters of each territory are set.

To create a new territory, specify its name and click Add. By clicking on the appropriate territory, you can change the name, specify the geographical address, and determine the hours of service. For more detailed settings, you can go to Open Service Territory Record.

  1. Create Work Types and Skills. It defines different types of services and work with the skills and qualification requirements.

By entering a name and clicking Add, you will create a new Work Type. You can specify what skills are required to perform this type of work and how long it can take. You can also choose whether to automatically create a Service Appointment if a Work Order with the corresponding Work Type is created.

  1. Create Service Resources. This is where the employee data, their skills, work schedules, and other important parameters are defined.

To set up dispatchers and agents, you should first create appropriate users for them and assign them to the corresponding primary networks. After that, you can choose to select this user in this menu, select the territory for which they will perform work, and choose a scheduling license, a mobile license, or both.

  1. Create Dispatchers and Agents. This is where you set access rights and functional responsibilities.

Here, by analogy with the previous paragraph, you select a user who will be a dispatcher or agent, and create an account for them.

  1. Customize Appointment Booking. You can create a custom online booking system for customers with types of services, dates, and times for booking specified.

You can select the rules by which the booking will be made, choose which schedule to work on, and create a new schedule that can be assigned to the Service Territory.

  1. Customize Scheduling Policies. This is where you define the rules for distributing service requests, such as limiting the number of requests per service desk, setting the priorities and automatic selection of an employee based on availability and skills.

By entering a name and clicking Add, you will create new rules for the distribution of requests. You can choose which of the following rules will be responsible for request distribution, and you can also select a priority for each service goal.

IV. Custom scenarios

FSL is very well suited for use in many industries, the main feature of which is on-site work. Here are a couple of examples of how FSL can be applied in practice.

  1. Technical support services: Companies that provide technical support for electronics can use FSL to create work requests, assign technicians to specific customers, and track the status of work.
  1. Equipment maintenance: Companies responsible for servicing and repairing equipment (e.g., appliances, elevators, medical equipment) can use FSL to plan and execute on-site maintenance.
  1. Assembly and installation: Companies that assemble and install products (e.g. solar panels, kitchen appliances) can use FSL to optimize installation schedules and track the progress.
  1. Repair and construction services: Companies that provide building repair or construction services can use FSL to plan and execute work, manage resources, and control the quality of tasks.
  1. Household services: Businesses that provide household services (examples: waste disposal, gas heating service) can use FSL to optimize service schedules and routes.
  1. Customer service and maintenance for corporate clients: Businesses that provide customer service and maintenance for corporate clients can use FSL to schedule appointments, perform duties, and maintain service logs.

Having looked at the basic settings of FSL, we can now start to see how it can be used.

Work Order Creation

The entry point for working with FSL is Work Order. Therefore, everything starts with its creation. FSL provides the ability to automatically generate Work Orders using the Maintenance Plan. This allows you to carry out scheduled maintenance of equipment. We will look at how to create a Work Order manually.

Go to the Work Orders tab and click the New button.

In the pop-up window, specify the Service Territory, Work Type, Account, and Subject.

Now we can work with this order and set up an appointment on the spot.

Book Appointment

Go to the Feed tab and select Book Appointment.

Enter the address and click Get Appointment.

On this screen, select the slot in which you want the work to be performed. After that, an appointment will be created, and you'll be able to see it in the Work Order worklist.

Schedule Appointment

The next step is to assign an employee to perform a service call. You can do this by going to the Service Appointment object, specifying the time of execution, and adding Assigned Resources to the worklist. But it's easier and more convenient to do it through the Field Service App.

Go to the Field Service App.

Select the Appointment you want to work with and click Schedule to have it assigned.

After that, the employee will be able to see the appointment and fulfill it using the mobile application.

Work from App

Now that the employee has an appointment assigned to them, let's see how it works from the employee's point of view.

On the main screen of the application, after you log in, you see the current appointments for today, and you can use the calendar to view all of your appointments.

Your location and the appointment destination are also immediately indicated. You can view the details by clicking on the corresponding appointment.

The mobile app has a lot of flexibility in terms of customization. For example, you can set it up so that when you reach your destination, you are prompted to change the status to In Process and when you leave to Complete.

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