Field Nation Introduces a ‘Complete,’ Comprehensive Field Workforce Management Solution

independent workforce

Field Nation, a work intermediation platform (WIP) that enables businesses to engage and orchestrate various types of technical field services workers, has announced a new platform extension called Field Nation Complete. Complete allows businesses to now seamlessly manage not just directly engaged independent contractors, but also employee workers and the field services workers of third-party service delivery providers, giving businesses and service delivery providers the capability to plan and manage an entire field workforce comprehensively.

Complete is the latest in a series of new capability releases by Field Nation, which raised $30 million of private equity funding in September. Field Nation is clearly deepening its position in the technical field services workforce space, where it competes with Onforce and Work Market. Field Nation started out by providing an online marketplace platform that allows businesses to engage and dispatch field services independent contractors for specific, limited field service projects. It has progressively extended its platform, giving businesses more capabilities to plan and manage their field workforce programs and projects.

Where and How Does Complete Fit in?

In the field services world, businesses that produce or resell devices or equipment must service those products that are distributed across a wide geography. Often, having their own employee field workforce is not economical or practical. Consequently, these businesses outsource their field service requirements to third-party service delivery providers (called managed service providers or MSPs in this segment) and/or engage independent contractors with a platform like Field Nation. The so-called MSP may also have its own employed field workforce and engage independent contractors as needed. In either case, independent contractors can be sourced through Field Nation either from an open, online spot market or from vetted groups of contractors that businesses or MSPs may engage repeatedly (so-called “captive contractors”).

Complete is built over other capabilities that support business managers in their planning and management of field service programs and projects (note: a program is a major establishment of field services capacity, which may occur around a product launch, for example; a project is a specific dispatch of a technician to service call). Earlier in October, Field Nation introduced a set of management-enabling capabilities called Elevate. The Elevate capabilities, said Field Nation CMO Billy Cripe, allow business users to manage activities at a program as well as project level (i.e., not just manage individual work orders/projects) in an integrated way, using various tools including Project Management Workbench, Marketplace Insights (data analytics), and Geo-Mapping Capabilities. Elevate, Cripe said, allows business managers to now do program planning — previously done offline with spreadsheets, etc. — using online tools, and program plans can be moved to program implementation all within the platform.

Complete (as perhaps the name implies) is kind of like the icing on the cake. Complete allows managers to now plan and execute programs that include their business’ employee field force along with its independent contractor workforce, in a comprehensively unified manner. Field Nation refers to this combined workforce as a hybrid workforce. Not only does Complete encompass directly engaged field workers, it also encompasses MSPs to which a business might be outsourcing part of its programs. MSPs can also use Field Nation and Complete for entire programs that have been completely outsourced to them.

Conclusion

Field Nation’s introduction of Complete, along with other prior platform extensions, demonstrates the company’s laser-sharp focus and commitment to serving the field services space and the many sub-segments of it (from network equipment servicing to servicing of commercial large-panel TVs, for example). Competitors in the space seem to be moving toward more horizontal strategies, potentially setting up conditions for Field Nation to become the dominant platform player in the field services workforce management space.

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