This is the third in our series of reviews of Salesforce Field Service Lightning and Service Cloud vs ServiceMax, the two leading service management software solutions built 100% natively on the Salesforce.com platform.

We are comparing Salesforce and ServiceMax products in major functional areas. Salesforce and ServiceMax both have great scheduling and dispatch management capabilities and are similar in functionality. The biggest difference between the two of them is the User Interface (“UI”). The Salesforce UI is more fluid and resembles the native UI for Salesforce while ServiceMax’s UI has its own unique look and feel.

[Our first two reviews in this series compared Salesforce vs. ServiceMax call center management features and asset/install base management and preventative maintenance. Stay tuned for our next review on ServiceMax and Salesforce functionality for Service Contracts, Warranties, and SLAs. Follow us on LinkedIn for updates on all our field service and call center service management tips and expertise.]

Comparison of Schedule/Dispatch Management Solutions: Salesforce vs. ServiceMax

Let’s begin by looking at the way Salesforce and ServiceMax handle Schedule and Dispatch Management along several different dimensions:

  1. Optimization: One of the most important pieces of dispatch management is optimization of technicians for companies that have extremely complex scheduling rules. Service appointments need to be assigned to crews, technicians, equipment, rejected by the assigned party, reassigned, rescheduled, scheduled for multiple visits, extend across multiple days all while taking into consideration any customer SLAs, priorities, geolocation, skills and other policies Having a solution with the ability to configure these settings without needing to write code is a significant advantage.

a. FSL’s scheduling optimization engine is remarkable. It allows for logic based on shifts, absentees, SLAs, booking windows, and skills. You can layer additional policies for customer first, emergency, high intensity, and utilization. You can design your own policies based on predetermined policies while you control the weighting of the scheduling priorities. The optimization engine is very quick and complex. There is also capacity based scheduling.

b. ServiceMax also has an optimization engine but lacks several features of the Salesforce dispatch board. For example, ServiceMax does not allow you to configure the different policies that you would like for it to take into consideration.

c. Both solutions lack the out of the box ability to get real-time updates on technician location and extensive crew management. All tracking is based on data points like last known location.

  1. Dispatch Board: Scheduling work orders can be difficult if you are using a typical database interface, nearly impossible. Dispatchers must be able to plot all the work order records on a calendar view while being able to adjust along the way. Dragging and dropping open work orders is standard functionality for any service software, however, having the ability to see the WOs on a map or plot them based on distance from the technician’s last job can save precious minutes.

a. The FSL user interface is fluid and its design is so natural for Salesforce’s Lightning Experience it’s hard to tell that it’s a custom design. The Gantt view shows the WOs to your left where you can change your list view to show different custom list views and drag and drop the WOs onto the schedule. The setup allows you to zoom in and out of the calendar and shows you all the resources you have available inside of their schedules. There are rules that will not allow you to double book unless you override the settings. You can show the most relevant details on hover or just on screen and you are able to quickly click into any appointment and make adjustments seamlessly without leaving the screen.

b. ServiceMax’s dispatch console user interface is just as exceptional. It has all the same features as Salesforce’s user interface, but has a different flow. The WO views are at the top, the map is pinned on the side, but can be popped out, and the calendar is at the bottom. You can click and drag the WOs down to calendar at the bottom. There are several different options for your hover rules, highlights, and views. However, ServiceMax is not as strong in its ability to easily filter work orders, interact with the map shown on the main dispatch board (requires users to open the map into a separate window) and map-based dispatching capabilities.

  1. Dispatch Console Map: Maps tend to be a highlight of the dispatch board that businesses focus on. They want to be able to toggle between map and calendar views as easy as possible or even display the map and calendar view at the same time. Maps are typically used to schedule appointments and if you are trying to assign jobs to technicians while they are at a job it helps to see the distance between that job and the next to determine who is the closest to that location.

a. FLS’s map view uses Google maps, has features like search, and can filter based on different criteria such as live position (last known location, not actual real time), home base, and appointments. You can toggle into the traffic for an idea on how long it would take the technician to arrive onsite.

b. ServiceMax’s map view uses Google maps as well, therefore, traffic and terrain are part of the package. However, it will not allow you to perform searches or filter, but it does display technicians and appointments on the map.

The following chart gives an overview of the scheduling and dispatch management capabilities of Field Service Lightning and ServiceMax, showing whether different components are standard out of the box or require configuration or development work.

Schedule/Dispatch Management Components for Salesforce Field Service Lightning vs. ServiceMax

*More functionality

Standard: Standard out of the box functionality.
Config.: Standard functionality that can be configured.
Dev: Requires development and/or customization.
$$: Requires extra product and/or license.