Another year of field service management has come and gone and it’s time to look ahead. Over the years, the new year has brought new trends, such as the breakthroughs in the Internet of Things, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. We’ve seen subcontractor and third-party vendors become cornerstone pieces to some organizations. Mobility is still and will continue to be, one of the largest influencers in field service. And getting an all-in-one field service management software is more important than ever.

Heading into the new year, it’s a good time to take stock of some of the current statistics that are jumping out. Field service organizations are still dealing with plenty of challenges. But with continued growth in the industry, many are aiming to find solutions and meet those challenges head-on. Let’s look at some statistics coming out of the field and how they apply heading into 2020.

Field Service Management Market Growth

Perhaps the most important statistic in field service management is the growth expected in the market. In 2019, the estimated value of the industry was $2.8 billion. And that is expected to reach $5.9 billion by 2024. For anyone in the field service management field, that is music to your ears. Growth is what you want to see in the field. While the industry has definitely become more competitive over the years, it also continues to open new opportunities. Preventative maintenance contracts have taken a big foothold in many industries, as businesses look for recurring revenue.

Sticking To Manual Methods

Despite field service software being on many businesses shortlist for 2020, a large segment of the industry does not use software still. 52% of companies are sticking with their manual methods for most of their field service tasks. That includes work order creation, scheduling and dispatching and invoicing. The fast pace demands of the field service industry, however, are starting to catch up to these businesses. It’s becoming costly to continue using manual methods when there are better solutions available, such as field service management software. And customers are now expecting better technology from their service providers. That includes mobile field service apps, better scheduling tools and faster-invoicing processing.

Room To Grow For Field Service Management Software

Many companies stick to manual processes. Only 48% of businesses are using field service management software. When you consider how large the industry is and continues to grow, there is going to be a significant demand for software in the industry. The benefits of using such software can be seen throughout the industry, such as scheduling and dispatch tools, work order management and things like IoT, AR and VR. It also means those with field service software have an early advantage over those who don’t. And they can continue to utilize it moving forward as the industry grows.

The Internet of Things Movement

As we’ve touched on, the Internet of Things (IoT) is moving forward and according to Mordor Intelligence, 42% of field service management businesses have deployed it already. And more are looking to deploy it in the coming years. This has seen a large uptake in the amount of remote work being completed. As well, the industry is slowly moving away from the preventative maintenance structure of contracts. Instead, they are being replaced with predictive maintenance contracts. This is being led by advancements in IoT that notify field service software when equipment is working outside of nominal conditions. Then a work order is created for the issue to be resolved before downtime occurs.

Mobile Is Growing Everywhere

If you haven’t heard, mobility is growing and it’s not slowing down. There are expected to be more than 50 billion internet-connected devices by 2020. This allows for a lot more remote working, computer learning and AI. Mobile phones are obviously one of the most connected devices. Mobile field service apps are being used widely for all kinds of situations because of their ability to connect to a field service software. With connected devices growing, it’s changing how field service works, as these devices are being connected to IoT and helping with the diagnosis of problems.

Top Challenge for Technicians

Technicians have plenty of challenges in the field. Their job can be extremely stressful, especially when they don’t know where to get the information they need. According to Finances Online, 54% of technicians say a pre-visit review of service history is their toughest challenge. Often, technicians are going in blind, or have minimal information available. They are playing catch-up the moment they get to the customer. However, with field service management software, service history is readily available. With mobile field service apps, technicians are able to see all the service history they need before going to the job. That saves plenty of time repairing if they have a good idea of where to look, to begin with. Knowledge is powerful in field service management and giving it to the front-line workers in the field is a must.

Field Service Management is Booming

What you should take from these stats is that field service management and the industries they serve are booming. There are over 20 million field technicians operating worldwide according to Mordor Intelligence, and that number continues to rise. Competition is growing, and field service businesses have to find any means possible to edge out their own competition. That means looking at the parts of their job that can be made more efficient to gain a competitive edge.

In 2020, the world of field service management is going to become even more automated, more mobile and more competitive. You can sit and wait another year before looking into field service management software, or you can take the step forward. That’s because, by 2021, there will be an entirely new set of stats to look at. And it’s going to see jumps in mobile use, more automation tools and more competition. And your competition is going to be using field service management software, growing the number of businesses that do. Do you want to be on the side of those who don’t? Make 2020 the new start to your new business.