Field service management is changing rapidly thanks to a regular influx of new technology designed to make life easier for professionals. But is it really making life easier if the speed of change is leaving you behind? We've asked our friends at Facilities Show and they came up with some advice on how to keep up.
Click on the title to jump to what matters most to you when it comes to staying up-to-date with field service industry trends:
We can’t give you all the information you need to know about the industry in this blog alone, but we can point you in the direction of the best ways to keep up-to-date with the sector as it changes.
1. Follow blogs
One of the best things about working field service management is that there are plenty of experienced professionals eager to share their expertise with the rest of the industry. Many companies already host blogs, news or ‘insights’ pages on their own website, featuring expert guidance, industry updates and free downloads. There are also dedicated industry news sites, and social networks such as LinkedIn (keep this one in mind!) also double up as blogging platforms. Some blogs might offer email newsletters or daily updates, too, which might be worth taking advantage of.
While blogs can often be vehicles for personal aggrandisement, it’s easy to filter them up and find the solid gold nuggets of industry wisdom. Blogs, therefore, can be your first port of call for the latest field service updates.
2. Be active on LinkedIn
In addition to hosting blog posts, you can use LinkedIn to tailor a professional network of top industry experts. Following topics, recognised influencers (look out for the blue tick icon) and relevant companies can help you create a social feed focused on field service management and related fields. This is a useful way of keeping track of what the industry is thinking, sharing, and talking about – although it’s often hidden behind a lot of so-called “inspirational messages”. In addition, you can join private industry-specific groups to help you engage specifically with field service professionals, then add them to your network.
3. Get industry accreditation
Accreditation has a number of benefits. Not only does it give you cachet, credibility and authority, but it also lets you continue learning and developing your skills, ensuring you’re always on top of industry trends and best practices. There are plenty services that can provide you with accreditation, so find the one that applies specifically to your job role. This way you’ll be able to access the latest industry thinking and be recognised as a serious professional. Not to mention that some accreditation programmes come with benefits like discounts.
4. Attend industry events
Industry trade shows are simply the best place to meet the rest of the field service industry, find new products, and – more importantly – stay in touch with industry trends and developments.
At the same time, product launches can offer a similar experience in a distilled manner. You can even organise your own if you're planning to include a new service or promote your business. G2 has a great list of expert tips (including one from Commusoft!) for every budget on how to approach a new product introduction.
But if you’re struggling to find one that meets your specific needs, you can look around for one that covers your industry in general. Events like Facilities Show, which takes place in June at ExCeL London, cater to service professionals, security experts, and many more. Last year it welcomed over 12,000 visitors and 300 suppliers, showcasing the latest products, thought-leadership, and networking opportunities. This makes it an opportunity for field service professionals to get at the heart of the industry, with seminars, presentations and keynote speakers providing industry insights, legislation updates and more.
5. Learn from your peers
One of the very best sources of information is your peers. Sometimes, taking time out to listen and learn from a colleague, boss or any other contact whose card you picked up at Facilities Show is more valuable than any tell, be it a blog or a LinkedIn update. People are all too happy to share their personal experiences, industry expertise, and those little hints they’ve picked up over their career, so take advantage of the people around you.
And when it comes to industry trends, the people you know and work with may actually have direct experience of some ongoing developments. You should try and get to know people developing new technologies or devising new ways of working, so you can go straight to source of these trends.
Staying in touch with industry developments can be difficult. But with these methods, you can equip yourself with the knowledge and expertise to stay on top of the changing field service landscape, and position yourself as a much more credible and trusted professional.
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