New Trends and Opportunities in the Field Service Sector
The field service industry has changed a lot in recent years, with new technologies, approaches, and market trends accelerated by COVID-19. Organizations face numerous challenges in this environment, but they’re also presented with exciting new opportunities. In a world of constant change, the ability to deliver quality field service depends on understanding these trends and offering innovative new solutions. From value-added options to brand-new services, from connectivity to relationship building, there are many ways to stand out and make yourself more valuable to your clients.
Key trends and opportunities
There are lots of issues currently affecting the field service sector, and these nine trends present challenges and opportunities in equal measure:
1) Reduced opportunities for relationship building
Field service businesses are dealing with fewer human connections and a reduced capacity for relationship building. Remote work has become the new normal in many industry sectors, and adjustments are needed to build and foster professional relationships. It’s important to pivot your resources in order to thrive in this environment, from collaborative software and hardware solutions to new operational processes and professional relationship strategies.
2) Maintenance prioritized over purchase
In the past, end-users were happy to invest in equipment and infrastructure solutions to deal with growing demand. As COVID-19 continues to reshape the economy, however, there is a renewed focus on maintenance packages and vendor service plans. Regardless of the industry sector, end-users are looking for creative ways to protect business continuity while reducing operational expenses. As a field service business, it’s important to offer a range of preventative and predictive maintenance services that work with existing infrastructure.
3) The rise of outcome-based service contracts
As end-users look to meet challenges posed by COVID-19, they are increasingly focusing on solutions instead of services. Organizations have fewer resources at their disposal, with less money and reduced demand leading to a renewed focus on problem-solving. While service-level agreements (SLAs) used to be focused on response times, there is an increasing demand for outcome-based SLAs focused more on resolution times.
4) Increased demand for value-added services
Due to the global economic downturn, many end-users are postponing new hardware purchases and upgrades. Instead of buying additional equipment and leasing new devices, they’re making the most of what they’ve got. Businesses are increasingly focused on maximizing uptime, improving resolution time, and integrating new related services. As a field service business working in the current environment, value-added services help to maximize existing systems and enhance market relevance.
5) Renewed focus on innovation and development
With fewer resources available and remote work arrangements accelerating across industry sectors, there is a renewed focus on innovation and development. While many organizations aren’t ready to purchase expensive new equipment, the demand for existing technology resources is growing all the time. This novel situation has ushered in a new era of hardware and software development in the service sector. From collaborative software solutions to creative field service mobile apps, businesses that offer something new are the ones that are likely to thrive.
6) Need for dynamic workforce models
In these challenging times, it is expensive to build and maintain a full-fledged field service network. With demand likely to fluctuate even more in the months and years ahead, businesses need to balance moments of quiet with periods of overutilization. Service delivery operations don’t stop in mission-critical environments, which leads to an increasing reliance on contractors and outsourced service partners. Field service businesses can work with organizations to reduce capital and operating expenses, and implement proactive solutions to help improve response and resolution times.
7) Growth of valuable partnerships
Businesses around the world are facing pressure due to COVID-19. From infrastructure demands to workforce costs, tried-and-tested operating models have become unrealistic for many organizations. While many of these challenges are being met through new dynamic workforce contracts, there is an additional need for sustainable long-term partnerships. Now more than ever, organizations are looking for companies with similar values. As an outsourced service provider, it’s important to focus on branding, company goals, and higher-value services that align with specific industry sectors.
8) New opportunities for connectivity
With the rise of the remote workforce, service organizations need to find new ways to resolve tickets, manage problems, and improve resolution times. Delivering services on-site is not always possible in the current environment, which means a renewed focus on mobile and software solutions. From improved connectivity and data collection services to better telemetry and reporting, technology can be used to anticipate, manage, and respond. Possible solutions include remote support, augmented reality, and predictive maintenance. While not necessarily new, connectivity plays an increasingly critical role in the current environment.
9) Move toward balanced support models
As COVID-19 continues to destabilize the global economy, organizations are looking for trusted counsel and expert support. When markets are opaque and investment opportunities are reduced, end-users need to maximize their current equipment and improve their existing business processes. Along with on-site repair, installation, and maintenance services, field service organizations can add new high-value services built on predictive support models. When you move to a balanced service model, you have the flexibility and agility to withstand changing market conditions.
In order to thrive as a field service organization, it’s important to identify trends early and pivot your stance to make the most of your resources. While the current environment does not always welcome new investment, it welcomes innovation, collaboration, and a vast range of value-added services. If you would like to learn more about our approach to field service, please contact our team today.