Customers today want field service automation. They want machines to do the talking. Rather than waiting for something to break or someone to notice a faulty piece of equipment, the growing trend now is for machines, through sensors, to detect a defect and send a message that it needs to be repaired.
It’s predictive maintenance, as opposed to preventative, and through the concept of Internet of Things (IoT), it has changed the field service landscape, as customers are wanting that connection between their equipment and field service software.
But while IoT is about technology doing the work itself and automating the workflow process it is changing our behavior in how we now look at service calls. It’s not just creating a predictive maintenance schedule, but talking with the technicians about what the exact problem is, what parts they may need and what tools for the job are required.
To achieve complete field service automation, it’s a complex mixture of messages sending messages to get results. A sensor may detect a faulty air conditioning unit, or a temperature gauge in a CAT Scan machine, which then sends a message to the field service application that a service call is needed. Based on certain characteristics, that message would send another message to apply the appropriate checklists to the work order, or apply the right part from the inventory so an HVAC technician is heading to the job site with everything he needs to bring a resolution to the situation.
We can now select the right resource with the right skill set and the right location to deliver on a service commitment and solve that issue for a first-time fix. And that, with a predictive maintenance schedule, will almost eliminate any downtime, which is valuable in things such as medical devices and HVAC systems.
By receiving these messages proactively and generating a service call to then rectify that situation on an automated basis provides huge efficiency to both the client, the service provider, and of course, the manufacturer in that they, the manufacturer, has no downtime on their equipment.
The end user, without their knowledge, is receiving the maximum efficiency out of the equipment that they’ve purchased. The service provider is in most cases minimizing or eliminating their multi-visit service calls because they know exactly what’s wrong with the equipment prior to them going on-site and assessing what the problem is and then solving it in a subsequent visit.
The whole process of the cost of delivery of the service is decreased and the uptime of the equipment is increased, making it a win-win-win situation.