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7 Main Challenges Faced by Field Service Leaders

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Field service leaders have the most challenging role in the service organization. They need to be on the lookout 24×7 for problems that can negatively impact their business growth and revenue generation.

But first,

Businesses should identify what these problems actually are and decide how to tackle them most efficiently. Start by asking the right questions:

  • What are the challenges that prevent service leaders from doing their job?
  • Where are these challenges coming from?
  • Is it an artifact of inefficiencies in the company, or due to external factors like the country’s economic outlook?

This article takes a closer look at these questions. Let’s find a solution to field service leaders’ challenges together.

What’s stopping service leaders from expanding?

Understanding your customers’ needs and staying informed about the economic outlook can be a pivotal factor in addressing the challenges field service leaders face.

Economic changes are unpredictable, but they can have a dramatic impact on the growth of a business. For instance, consider the money that is spent on equipment, replacement parts, and transportation during a given quarter or year. Depending on the current market value, you will notice an increase or decrease in associated costs.

Likewise, the absence of equipment, increased product pricing, prolonged manufacturing times, or delays in transportation, all impact the delivery of your product or service.

The economy plays a crucial role in running a successful business. But so does addressing customer needs. Being customer-centric is foundational if you are to grow your business. Many of your clients are digital natives at home in the digital world. They expect features that can granule down their service operations even better.

Adopting new technology can be a constant challenge for field service leaders, but necessary if they are to keep up with changing economic conditions.

7 challenges faced by field service leaders

The seven crucial challenges faced by field service leaders are:

  1. A shrinking labor pool
  2. Rising operational challenges
  3. Supply chain limitations
  4. Technological changes
  5. Declining profit margins
  6. Pricing
  7. Inflation.

1. Shrinking labor pool

The primary reason for a shrinking labor pool and increasing labor costs is the growing demand for field service technicians in the US market. For example, there was a substantial  demand for HVAC services during the COVID period. However, there were not enough workers to do the job. As the demand for a particular skill rises, individuals possessing that skill set find themselves in a favorable position to command higher compensation, leading to an increase in labor costs.

The rise in labor costs made businesses venture into the gig economy to address their labor shortages. Now, there is competition for talent between full-time employees and gig workers. Additionally, experienced field service workers are retiring, so it is becoming increasingly challenging for field service leaders to find the right replacement talent at the right price point.

2. Rising operational challenges

The administration of work orders and workforce management is at the heart of any field service business. For a company aiming to expand its operations, encountering any discrepancies in record keeping or facing challenges in assigning technicians appropriately can present substantial hurdles.

For example, failing to assign the right technician can impact your first-time fix rate, if the despatched technician has to make additional site visits to resolve what could have been handled the first time, had you assigned the correct technician. Mistakes like this cost money, both in lost time and in the additional fuel and maintenance necessary for fleet vehicles. If scheduling is not handled properly, you can encounter issues like double booking and overlapping projects or out-of-stock components or equipment. Taking a careful look at scheduling really is necessary if you are to streamline your field service operations.

3. Supply chain constraints

The service business requires a well-managed inventory to facilitate proper service delivery. If there are any supply line issues, it will affect product delivery. What are the possible supply chain constraints?

Delays in the manufacturing of discrete products, increase in the price of the parts, delayed transportation, unavailability of certain products, and seller increasing the charge are some typical supply chain constraints. It is challenging for field service leaders to see through the supply chain limitations and manage them.

4. Technological changes

Field service businesses must recognize the importance of adopting the latest technology in field service operations. As previously said, your potential customers live in the digital world.

They will be drawn to technological solutions that make their work simpler than other options in the market. Hence, finding a modest technology without affecting the revenue becomes a challenge for field service leaders.

5. Declining profit margins

It’s crucial to keep an eye on declining profit margins, as they can pose a significant threat to your business. You might be experiencing them due to various factors such as supply chain issues, inflation, technology implementation, and even a shrinking labor force. But that’s not all – don’t forget to keep an eye out for competition in the market. Let’s work together to avoid declining profits and keep your business thriving!

6. Pressure on pricing

Competition in the market can drive down product prices as businesses try to stay ahead of their rivals. However, transparency in pricing is key, and compromising on this principle to undercut competitors’ prices can be detrimental to long-term success. Achieving revenue goals while maintaining a transparent pricing policy can be difficult, but it is the best approach to ensure fair and sustainable pricing practices.

7. Inflation

As Michael Israel, one of the top 7 field service influencers, mentions in his article Inflation’s Impact On The Field Service Industry, inflation has seeped into every aspect of our lives and the field service industry. It is a continuing challenge for field service leaders to predict the market and take steps to mitigate the influence of inflation.

How to overcome the challenges?

We understand that these challenges can be discouraging and burdensome. As truthful as that, you cannot handle them single-handedly. Hiring a team may seem like a good idea, but there are more profitable solutions if you consider the time and money spent on them.

Finding a solution that will do your job seamlessly and effectively would be best.

The most effective approach to combat the challenges field service leaders face is investing in the right field service management software. The ideal FSM software will lessen laborers’ jobs and automate most functions, from field operations to supply chain management, using advanced technological features such as IoT and analytics. It should also support integrations with third-party tools and applications.


In summary, there is no need to worry. Challenges in field service may appear daunting for leaders, but rest assured, there are effective solutions available to overcome them. One of the key solutions lies in implementing a comprehensive field service management platform. By leveraging the capabilities of such software, you can tackle these challenges head-on and transform them into opportunities for growth. If you need help finding the right field service management software, click here.

Read more about the field services business and accelerate your business.

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