Field service software: End-to-End vs. Best-of-Breed

Are you considering investing in Field Service Software? If so, perhaps you’re trying to decide between an ‘end-to-end’ and a ‘best-of-breed’ solution. Read on to find out the difference between the two and decide which solution is best for you.

First of all, let’s define the difference between the two. An end-to-end solution is one which provides all (or at least the majority) of the required functionality in a single product, while a best-of-breed solution combines different pieces of specialist software for different functions.

Applied in field service, an example of the ‘best-of-breed’ approach would be to purchase one piece of software for scheduling, another for managing stock and parts, and another for analytics. While this approach has its merits, in recent years all-in-one solutions have become much more feature rich and as a result often offer the better option these days.

In fact, research from field service Software Advice found that 97% of buyers preferred integrated, all-in-one solutions to best-of-breed solutions. A  report from A.T. Kearney also suggests that there has been a preference shift in recent years from best-of-breed to best-of-suite (end-to-end) solutions. Here are just a few potential reasons for this:

  • It’s easier to support a single solution within your organisation.
  • Staff can just learn one system rather than having to learn many.
  • Working with a single vendor is generally more straightforward than having to work with multiple ones – for example, there’s just one company to go to for support.
  • Upgrades are generally easier to manage with an all-in-one solution.

Deploying an all-in-one solution is generally faster. In the same research from Software Advice, 74% of companies wanted new software in place within 3 months, which could be difficult to achieve with a best-of-breed solution.

Best-of-breed could still have a place

Despite everything said so far, the best-of-breed approach isn’t necessarily dead. In some situations it could still prove valuable – for example, when very specific functionality is required that can’t be found in an end-to-end solution.

In field service, an example could be an organisation that requires a solution with advanced CRM capabilities. Most field service solutions do not specialise in this area so here it makes sense to integrate with specialist CRM software.

When it comes to the core of field service, though – i.e. managing jobs from creation through to completion – it makes sense to use a single solution. This ensures consistency in your processes and makes it easier to manage the customer experience.

In summary, many organisations these days will find it advantageous to go for an end-to-end system rather than buying best-of-breed applications for individual functions. End-to-end solutions are generally quicker to implement, easier to manage and help to bring continuity and consistency to an organisation. Given the complexity of the field service life cycle, sometimes it makes sense to purchase individual applications for specific functions. However, if an end-to-end solution is able to meet the majority of your needs it will often represent the best choice overall.

Find out more about Oneserve’s end-to-end field service software by requesting a demo today.