How Automation Will Alter The Field Service Industry Landscape

Cristina Maria
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We've discussed automation in the past. Yet we've hardly scratched the surface of its influence on the future of the field service industry. We've seen how smart devices are set to improve engineers' work environment and how software can make boring, repetitive tasks redundant. However, it's important to take a macro-level look and analyse how this tech trend will alter the whole landscape in which field service companies work.

For this purpose, we've enrolled the help of an expert. Sawailal Jangid is a Software Analyst at SoftwareSuggest, where he gets a glimpse of the software of the future on a daily basis. We asked him to give us his top 6 predictions for the future of the field service industry. This is what he's betting on:

1. Rise Of Artificial Intelligence Solutions
2. Mobile Apps Are Highly Commonplace
3. Augmented Reality Is Here To Stay
4. IoT Drives Proactive Service
5. Rapid Growth In Crowd Servicing
6. Drone Technology On The Increase

There is a giant field service industry out there – it’s huge in size, with 20 million engineers globally and it's growing at an unprecedented pace. It enables the delivery of fast, smart, and personalised service to clients across the globe. Like all other arenas, field service innovators are also constantly on the lookout for emerging technologies that they can use to their advantage.

Field service automation has led to a disruption in the industry and technology has changed how support representatives interact with customers on a daily, hourly, and minute-to-minute basis.

Considering that over 52% of field service companies still do major tasks manually, there is certainly a huge scope for tools such as field service management software. Companies need comprehensive automated systems to get a 360 degree view of what customers consider an exceptional service experience.

Field service automation opens up doors for data collection and agile task management, while enhancing resilience in the workforce. With the likes of artificial intelligence and crowd servicing, there is no doubt that these emerging trends are set to revolutionise the field service market space:

1. Rise Of Artificial Intelligence Solutions

With the advent of field service management software, there will be a heavier reliance on automation of routine processes. Dispatchers will rely on real-time information for accurate scheduling and data acquired from field service automation will lead to informed decision making. Since 10% of emergency field services will be classified and scheduled by artificial intelligence by 2020, we can definitely expect a mammoth increase in the overall adoption of automated technologies. 

2. Mobile Apps Are Highly Commonplace

Most modern field service management software systems have moved towards mobile apps – they are indeed a great help to engineers on the move! Work orders, task check lists and compliance reports can be easily checked while engineers are at a job location. Mobile field service automation enhances responsiveness, speed, and agility, thus leading to a high first-time fix rate and faster service ratios. Since often times staff does not have access to information they require to help clients, mobile apps are potent tools that empower them to satisfy customers to the best of their ability.

3. Augmented Reality Is Here To Stay

Virtual augmented reality is a buzzword that is promising to take field service automation to greater heights! Head mounted glasses, smart wristbands and watches are all trying to make sure that engineers can access information at the click of a button. The augmented reality market is predicted to reach $ 100 billion by 2020, hence it's no wonder that virtual reality features are a major component of field service management software. They provide an unprecedented visibility into the worksites and help engineers collaborate with offsite service experts. 

4. IoT Drives Proactive Service

Machines are taking over and the Internet of Things (IoT) is a connected technology that has added a new dimension to field service automation. Mobile devices and advanced sensors powered by real-time data will transform customer experiences – leading to less time spent on individual jobs and fewer engineer visits. Field service management software facilitates more predictive maintenance which will  lead to a larger number of service calls getting diagnosed and corrected remotely.

5. Rapid Growth In Crowd Servicing

The field service industry has witnessed a huge jump in crowd servicing in recent times. Field service management software has specialised technology which enables skilled engineers to come in contact with customers directly. Different sized organisations are also clubbing together to create a vast pool of talented workers with varying skill sets, in order to increase the agility of the workforce. Crowd servicing is a great medium to ensure that customers receive skilled field service engineers at their doorstep, in any place and at any time.

6. Drone Technology Is On The Horizon

Unmanned aerial vehicles or drones have entered the field service playing field in a big way. They enable field service workers to get a bird’s eye view of larger distances where terrain and elevation is a factor. Combining technologies such as drones and computer imagery processing provides powerful visuals eliminates the need for engineers to physically visit work sites prior to the job. Deploying drones can drive commercial value in technical projects, and reduce accidents by preventing exposure to hazardous work areas.

The Takeaway

Field service automaton is helping companies enhance their operational efficiency and task flow management. Radical tools such as specialised field service management software have triggered innovations and evolved the landscape of the industry. Since many engineers believe that their current tools are not efficient enough, cutting edge field service software can be harnessed to provide access to live training videos, manuals, and a unified knowledge base.

The first step in preparing your field service organisation for challenges and competition in the times to come is to be aware of these upcoming trends. Leverage field service automation technology to enhance bottom line results and forge a distinct identity on the market.

Implementing a comprehensive job management software and making the most out of features like intelligent scheduling and real-time vehicle tracking, is the first step towards being truly digital.

Click below to schedule a demo and see how Commusoft can take your field service business to the next level. 

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