There is a real push to automate the process, removing manual processes that take up plenty of time. That’s because, technicians, managers and back office support workers need more time for other jobs. It’s all about reducing expenses throughout the field service industry and increasing profit margins. And these new trends are helping to improve all aspects of field service operations. Here is what field service management will look like heading into the future.
Predictive Maintenance to be the Norm
For a while now, the Internet of Things (IoT) has been the talk of field service management. In 2019, it’s starting to walk the walk now, and not just be all chatter. The possibilities with IoT sensor technology have been understood and grasped upon. That’s because it is changing the fundamental vision of what field service is and turning the industry to what it will be. The days of preventative maintenance won’t see an end, but predictive maintenance will become the new norm. It won’t be enough to just show up to prevent equipment downtimes. Instead, your organization will have to predict when they come in order to remove the chance of them happening.
Many industries are adopting IoT as a way to make their business more, ‘smart’. For instance, with IoT, field service teams can monitor temperature changes and machines running outside of normal operations. When that happens, alerts will create work orders and a technician can be dispatched to address the issue. This means you are predicting when failure will come, as opposed to just trying to prevent it. That keeps equipment uptime higher, and repair times lower. It also takes the burden off your customer’s shoulders to monitor their own equipment. Your smart technology will be doing it for them.
The Growth of Automation in Field Service Management
It’s no secret that field service management software is automating many of the processes field service is built on. Everything from the work order creation, dispatching, field service mobile apps, quoting tools and integrations are speeding up processes. All while taking away the manual processes that can bring the entire service department to a grinding stop. If there isn’t something automated in the industry, you can bet good money that it will be very shortly.
AI is being described as one of the largest breakthroughs in 2019, helping push automation levels. Field service software with AI will help with intelligence scheduling and dispatching decisions. It’s more than just matching the right technician to the right job. AI is helping to self-diagnose equipment and assist in basic and routine maintenance, without involving technicians.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Taking Steps Forward
As we talk about future technology, we must touch upon Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). These applications are giving field service management teams another avenue to access information to help with repairs. That also includes performing and diagnosing problems. For new technicians entering the field, they are great training tools. They can learn with VR applications the skills they need to complete a job. AR tools can help them with step-by-step of repairs, with instructions imposed over the image of the device being repaired. With wearable technology also taking a step forward, these hands-free learning tools can help train the next wave of technicians.
AR and VR are also allowing service to spread remotely, giving technicians the ability to provide remote assistance. Customers can complete their own repairs with a technician walking them through the process with AR and VR applications. This self-service will become a reality of field service moving forward for minor repairs, refills and remote service.
The Dependence on Big Data
Field service management software is a house for a lot of data. But that data needs to be turned into useful information that can affect changes in the business operations. For that, Business Intelligence is a key component of any field service software. The analytical capabilities allow the system to take all the data entered and turn it into useful information. Because of this, people to make informed business decisions.
This analytical approach to field service is causing changes in all parts of the service delivery operation. It’s not just about tracking profit margins and revenue on contracts. It’s about drilling down into the depths of field service, to things such as figuring out your best technician, fluctuations in travel and repair times, you bestselling parts and when are your highs and lows. Big Data is all over field service and now. With Business Intelligence as part of field service management software, managers are getting real-time information, straight from the field. And they can act on that information immediately to make long-lasting change.
Field Service Mobility Gaining More Ground
Mobility is already on the top of the mountain when it comes to field service management software. Field service mobile apps are proving to be the lifeblood for many field service organizations. It’s the spoke in the wheel that if removed, would bring the entire wheel to a stop. Automation runs deep through the mobile app. Data is collected through it and many of the processes that field service software is changing are assisted by mobility.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that mobility is still a growing trend heading into 2019. And technology is focused around it. Real-time communication and access to vital information are growing. Mobile apps are becoming as powerful as the mobile devices themselves. They are travelling field service software with the ability to complete entire jobs from a single device. Quote, diagnose, repair, invoice, all from one mobile app. Today’s challenge in the field service industry is to convert as many processes as possible from manual to automated. Mobile apps are that device doing that work for technicians in the field.
Growing your business with a field service software with new technology will help establish yourself firmly in the automated world. Dig deep into analytics, make informed decisions and automate processes with a mobile field service software. And grow your business with new emerging and establishing technology.