We’re firmly in the second half of 2018, the fall season is nearly upon us and we’ve had a good six months to see where the field service industry is heading. By now, there is very little question that the future of the industry is firmly embedded in transforming every field service organization into a fully automated and mobile company with field service management software. And it’s no question that the days of manual procedures are going the way of the dinosaur.
So, what is the industry looking at heading forward? What trends are we keeping an eye on in the field service space? And what new ways are field service organization utilizing their field service software to be better prepare for a future that is going to see continued growth amongst all the sectors in the field service space, as well as increased competition across the board?
The Growth of Preventative Maintenance
Poor maintenance strategies are still of major concern in the field service space, as 20 percent of lost capacity is due to poor maintenance plans. Too often, the break/fix emergency repair strategy is still being deployed and is costing customers because of high maintenance costs, low customer service and plenty of headache with downtimes of important equipment.
Preventative maintenance contracts are not a new thing in the field service space, but the growing trend is that they are turning into the largest profit-generator of field service organizations who not only want to lock up clients with maintenance plans, but also customers want these plans to avoid unscheduled downtimes and to keep their equipment operation longer.
With field service software, preventative maintenance schedules are easily automated to ensure no call is missed. The schedule and maintenance plan are built into the software, along with any parts or checklists, and automatically create the work orders and request the parts needed for repairs. It’s a great way to ensure your customers are looked after and never missed, while also requiring less work from administrative staff in the creation of the work orders and requisitions for the repairs.
With new Internet of Things (IoT) sensor technology, maintenance strategies are also moving toward a predictive approach, as customers aren’t just wanting an estimate of when the manufacture thinks a piece of equipment should be repaired, but instead want their equipment monitored and fixed before a problem occurs. IoT technology is still growing and will be a hot trend moving into the future as maintenance strategies continue to evolve.
A Focus on Big Data
As field service becomes more advanced, so too are the metrics and information. Big Data in the field service space isn’t just some fancy reports and analytics that are used occasionally, but rather, are turning into critical numbers in the field service space. Data collection is critical to the success of a field service organization, who is collecting data on such a wide variety of criteria that it would be very difficult to do it manually and in a timely manner and have them turned into meaning information and reports.
Field service software is offering a solution to give up-to-the-minute reports and analytics, as the connected software is able to take data being collected straight from the field service mobile app and turn it into useful information that can be used immediately to make drastic changes to service delivery. It’s a ‘must have’ of any company moving forward, as with competition becoming a growing concern across much of the field service space, making changes at every level and having the data readily-available to make decisions is critical to remain competitive.
If you’re not utilizing Big Data in your service delivery, you’re missing out on the ability to track your Key Performance Indicators, keep your customers satisfied, ensure your technicians are working at their complete capacity, and your profit margins are remaining as high as possible, avoiding any revenue leakage.
Focus on the Customer Experience
Let’s be honest, the customer has always been the focus in field service delivery, as the customer is the most important part of the business. With no customers, you have no business, so keeping them happy is of upmost importance. But field service organizations are looking to change the customer’s experience with service delivery to better engage with their customers and to better serve them. And they’re using field service management software to power that engagement in order to deliver the best customer experience as possible.
Something as simple as removing the need for the customer to call into a call center to request service, instead replacing it with an email system, or a QR code that can be scanned that automatically creates a work order in the field service software to be schedule and dispatched.
Customers want results, they want fast service, they don’t want to be kept waiting and they want to reduce the amount of actions they have to take to get the service they demand. Field service software can aid in all those areas but providing the ability to offer more than a manual approach to field service work, including as we’ve talked about, IoT technology, automated and on-demand work order creation, and a great customer experience that doesn’t require your customer to spend their time trying to request your services.
The Future Looks Bright with Field Service Software
If you’re still looking for reasons to implement a field service management software, the reality is the industry is moving at such a fast rate forward that it’s not being a must-have on every field service organizations list. Manual processes are fading away quickly and by the end of the decade, plenty more new services and technology will be available that will change the industry, making it more critical than ever to get on board with a field service software to change how your company delivers service.