The new year is right around the corner, so it’s never too early to start thinking of what 2018 will bring for field service management, and what will be the hot topics moving forward. With the field service industry expected to see continuous growth through 2020, 2018 offers field service organizations plenty of time to still get in on the latest technology and innovations to take advantage of the increase in service calls.
Field service management software obviously plays a significant role in any trends moving forward, as automation and mobility will continue to lead the way in terms of new innovations being designed. With mobile apps getting more advanced, field technicians are now having access to more information than ever before, from service level agreements to repair history, it’s all at their fingertips.
Moving forward, that level of on-site information will continue to improve, as an older workforce begins to retire and a younger group comes in to take their place. New technicians will still rely on the historical data their former journeymen have put into the system, giving them valuable training and expertise, even when the baby boomer generation has moved on.
Field Service Management and the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) isn’t new by any stretch, but heading into 2018, more and more companies will rely on it. HVAC organizations are turning from preventative maintenance contracts to predictive maintenance contracts, as IoT sensors that can predict when a machine or piece of equipment will break down are becoming more common in the industry.
It’s still a radical change for many, as no longer are you waiting for the equipment to break down or fail, but instead correcting an issue before there is even one, ensuring the level of downtime is at a bare minimum.
Automation Will Dominate Field Service Management Software
Automation, like IoT, isn’t new to those who use field service management software, but it will become a larger part of the organization moving forward. Everything from work order creation to scheduling and dispatch, to billing, will be automated. With the increase in service calls expected to continue well beyond 2020, field service management companies are either having to go a more automated approach or hire more administrative staff to handle the influx of calls.
With automation, however, those employees can be put to other users on other tasks, and your organization can still run smoothly with a smaller dispatch group than you may thought was needed. You can’t automate the hands-on work the technicians do in the field, but making it easier for the hands in the office to get work orders and invoices processed quickly will increase revenues and speed up billing times.