With so many sophisticated tools now available to optimize field service operations, organizations have reached an unprecedented stage in their evolution. By leveraging developments in technology such as smartphone and tablet integration and advanced analytics, these businesses are reinventing themselves as predictive, rather than reactive, operations.
As the changes continue, field service organizations will assess how much they’ve evolved in the industry and set goals for the decade and beyond. This means equipping technicians with intelligent tools to deliver real-time data and deploy analytics capabilities to make strategic decisions, enhance security and optimize the IT infrastructure.
Here are 6 developments impacting the future of field service:
- Enhanced Integration
As telematics and workforce management solutions become more integrated with mobile devices, the opportunities to increase efficiency and productivity are growing exponentially. Field service managers can make real-time decisions remotely by accessing vehicle tracking and routing on their mobile devices. This allows organizations to mitigate reckless driving incidents, control wear and tear on their fleet and decrease maintenance costs, all from a handheld.
Mobile apps will continue to provide critical information such as daily tasks, customer histories, billing and the locations of nearby teammates on demand for field service technicians. This access to real-time information empowers the technician to make strategic decisions, recruit help from teammates, and complete jobs on-time the first time, resulting in lower operational costs and higher customer satisfaction.
- Platforms as a Worldwide Strategy
With technology moving so quickly, organizations are looking to solution providers to deliver platforms globally as the foundation for innovation. Providers have to be ready to quickly add, extend and integrate technologies, giving them the agility to adapt and innovate. What this means is field service companies require much more advanced platforms that they can leverage to manage and improve their operations. Organizations with global reach are looking to make the platform a key part of their worldwide strategy. These platforms need to be cloud-based and flexible, allowing them to configure and manipulate modules and functionality as they see fit. Customers want a single provider to deliver all the functionality and modularity they require. They want to focus on empowering field workers and driving service excellence. To achieve that, they need robust, flexible platforms backed by a reliable provider.
- Demand for Security
The increase in security breaches, such as the recent hacks on the White House, is a critical reminder of how important it is to protect organizational data. As more companies add everything from power-grids to the Internet of Things, we’ll see a greater demand for advanced security applications and a corresponding increase in monetary commitment to protect against future cyber-attacks. Security involves not only safeguarding networks but also ensuring that every mobile device is protected. That means equipping every tablet, smartphone and laptop with the pertinent tools and protocols, and educating users on the importance of adhering to security policies.
- Evolution of Analytics
While most field service organizations have already deployed GPS and fleet management technologies, many are now challenged by the vast amount of data they’re collecting in the field. The ability to analyze and act on this data continues to trend in the evolution of field services technology. Advanced analytics capabilities will allow organizations to execute on information generated from the field to become more efficient and productive. Deploying workforce management solutions with sophisticated analytics tools will enable managers to improve operations with real-time visibility into their operations. Data gathered from smarter mobile apps and equipment sensors will provide insights on performance, tasks, service quality, and new products that will enable field service managers to not only keep up with the competition but to step ahead. Analytics will be embedded and pervasive. After all, the value of analytics is in the answers, not the data.
- The Techie Tech
A major trend has been the emergence of young, tech-savvy workers. According to Aberdeen Group, approximately one-fifth of the current workforce is under 30 with the average age of a field service technician at 32 years. the As the industry evolves, organizations must manage the way in which this new generation leverages, processes and engages with technology in order to keep them. This emerging worker has grown up fully connected and will empower service organizations to continue their evolution in mobility and help them transform service and the relationship with customers. In fact, 43 percent of top performing organizations are more likely to give technicians access to social media and collaborative tools to facilitate knowledge transfer.
- Mobility as a Key Enabler
Mobility will continue as a key enabler in addressing the competitive issues faced by field service organizations today. The right mobile architecture can solve many of the tactical challenges of these organizations: latent customer needs, increased competition, unmitigated churn and worker productivity. However, simply investing in mobile technology does not ensure improvement in key performance. To be successful with any deployment, organizations must choose the best field service solution and adopt the implementation best suited for their operation.