Over the last year, field service management has changed more than it has over the last decade. And with the advancement of field service dispatch software, more companies are moving forward with modern technology. And as we continue to advance with technology, new themes begin to emerge at a faster rate than they did before. We are truly in an advancement era in field service management. And many field service companies are benefiting from getting in on the ground floor of those advancements.
However, the eyes of field service are always on the future and what the industry will look like tomorrow. After all, when using modern technology, you should continue to look for advancements that edge on your competition. With field service dispatch software, new themes are emerging that will change the foundation of the field service industry. Some will force many companies to rethink their entire delivery situation. The question is, what side of these themes are you on? Are you ready to take the next step in field service advancement? Or, are you already behind because you aren’t benefiting from a field service dispatch software? Here is what the future holds for field service management.
Embracing New Field Service Management Technology
It could almost be said that what is old is new again. But that is exactly what we are looking at when thinking of artificial intelligence. This concept is not new, and AI has been around for generations. However, field service hasn’t adapted it in full force just yet. But that could all change very quickly, as modern field service dispatch software is working hand in hand with AI and machine learning to change how field service is completed.
The problem with these new technologies in field service management is selling them to customers. That’s because customers today want value out of their service. So, if you are going to sell them on new technology, they want to know the value they are getting from it.
What value does new technology bring?
- Faster service requests
- More accurate diagnosis of problems resulting in faster repairs
- Predict when equipment will fail to eliminate downtimes
- Will it be more cost-effective to have these technologies added?
- How much of a difference in service will it really make?
From a business standpoint, things like AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) have struggled to get a hold in field service management because managers are asking questions as well. Mainly, what is the return on investment for adding these new technologies to the team? With the industry moving forever, however, those questions are demanding answers today, so field service teams can be ready for tomorrow.
Changing How You Do Business
One challenge not often talked about is the increasing difficulty in pricing service work. Delivering and pricing traditional break/fix repairs is a challenge. That type of work is becoming extinct, as field service management companies aim for more recurring revenue in contracts. It’s all about predictive maintenance agreements that keep service companies busy, and revenues steady. There is still always a need for on-site service, as emergency situations can pop up at any time. However, the transition is happening to contract work to stabilize revenues and scheduling.
Part of the change in business is due to the lack of skilled technicians in the field. With a shortfall in labor, field service companies are aiming towards revenue and contracts that can be more predictive themselves. Gone are the days where you are hoping the phone lines are ringing off the hook with new service calls. Now, with a short staff, sales teams are more important to get customers under a preventative maintenance contract. Then using field service dispatch software, automate the work order process and have recurring work orders appearing every day.
While that has left a gap in break/fix repairs, now field service companies are turning to subcontractors for those minor repairs. No longer are they send their top technicians out for minor service requests. That’s because it’s cheaper to send a subcontractor and save your in-house technicians for customers who have signed contracts with you. This ensures your best workers are working with your most important customers and keeping your standards high.
Rethinking How You Measure KPI Metrics
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are valuable in field service management. But which KPIs are valuable are changing in today’s new technology-filled environment. Some of the most important KPIs field service dispatch software tracks include mean time between failures and mean time to repair. But our service delivery is changing to reflect a more remote working service. In fact, what we are seeing is, is that field service management is moving away from the individual technician. Instead, it’s moving towards the entire productivity of the service department.
Why would you measure mean time to failure when you have installed IoT and AI technology to remove any downtime? The point of those modern technologies is to eliminate downtime and catch problems before they happen. Field service companies are less focused on the individual technician’s productivity and more concerned about their overall system of service delivery. So, be ready to toss out the old KPIs you hold close to your heart. That’s because, in a short time, they could be obsolete.
Being the Field Service Management Transformation
The time is now to start thinking about how you are going to transform your field service management. Are you going to stick to the break/fix system of repairs, or aim towards a contract-based, preventative and predictive maintenance delivery system? With modern technology always advancing, the field service of today is nowhere near what we will have tomorrow. Rapid changes have happened in just the last 12 months and to expect a slowdown would be foolish of any leader in the industry.
All signs are pointing towards more usage of AI, IoT and field service dispatch software. It’s time to start tracking how successful automation is in your service delivery and less about what your individual technician is completing. And it’s time to embrace change and the themes that will reign supreme in the near future.