Field service businesses are working to stay competitive and to provide better customer experiences — hours-long appointment windows and long customer wait times are becoming a thing of the past. Field service organizations are also looking for ways to minimize the number of on-site service calls with a higher degree of automation, and, to balance the budget as fuel and labor costs increase, they’re upgrading to processes that allow them to dispatch and route more efficiently.
Mobility has become integral to field service operations, giving field technicians the ability to stay connected and communicate more reliably. Mobility also provides field workers with the ability to streamline processes, such as accepting payments and completing paperwork on-site.
The industry is facing the challenge of an aging workforce, taking knowledge with them when they retire, and it is developing new training programs that transfer that knowledge to new hires.
How Technology Can Address Field Service Needs
Remote capabilities and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions can enable field service organizations to monitor systems and equipment so it can be maintained proactively. What once meant dispatching a technician can now, in some cases, be handled without sending an employee to the site. When a service call is required, artificial intelligence (AI) solutions can determine which technicians with the right skill sets are available and nearby, and chatbots can arrange the appointment with the customer — all saving time and increasing efficiency.
IT solutions also give field service organizations the mobility they need, reliable communications, efficient inventory management, and real-time locationing and visibility into their operations. Augmented reality (AR) is an option for training, providing “hands-on” experience guided by an experienced employee or mentor.
Why the Field Service Market is an Ideal Fit for Services
Field service organizations may have bring-your-own-device environments, which can mean employees use a wide variety of operating systems and devices. Software as a Service (SaaS) allows technicians to use their personal devices to access solutions via the internet. Device management services help field service businesses protect their networks by keeping personal data and apps separate from corporate files, as well as ensuring devices are up to date and minimizing downtime. As-a-Service solutions can provide these organizations with the capabilities they need without requiring them to make a major capital expenditure or to maintain servers and infrastructure on-site.