If it feels like it’s been years since field service companies have been able to breathe a bit and look forward. For about two-and-a-half years, COVID-19 has undeniably impacted field service operations and processes. The good news is that it appears we’ve reached our new normal, and businesses like yours can finally plan ahead.
As you do so, it’s a good idea to get the lay of the land on what’s trending (or expecting to trend) throughout the back half of 2022 and beyond. To help with that quest, we’ve compiled a list of five field service trends to keep an eye on. We’ve also provided nuggets of information on how you can incorporate these trends into your business.
We know what you’re thinking, “Automation isn’t new.” You’re right, it’s not. But the ways to use automation and the influence behind it are more powerful than ever before. Think about the most mundane and time-consuming tasks you and your employees do on a daily basis—things like scheduling, dispatching, timesheet or expense submission, timesheet or expense approval, and much more. All these things can be automated through technology like field service management software. This automation frees up time for your employees to take on more meaningful work and reduces the risk of costly errors.
This trend is all about giving consumers decision-making power. For now, take off your field service leader hat and put your customer hat on. When you’re interacting with a brand, wouldn’t you love more transparency in calendars? Or the ability to seamlessly inform the brand that something has gone awry? That’s exactly what self-service functionality does for field service companies. Some self-service examples that make sense to implement include service requests (the consumer tells you what’s wrong through an online portal without having to call), scheduling (the consumer peruses an online calendar to find an open day/time for an appointment), and online troubleshooting documentation (the consumer can sort through online material with details on rectifying the most common problems).
At this point, we’re all used to having a mobile phone with powerful computing ability on our person at all times. So, it only makes sense to deploy them in the field with your workers. Remember that field service management software we mentioned earlier? Many of these platforms are based in the cloud. This means field technicians have real-time access to pertinent information from anywhere. That could include everything from work orders to customer contact details, access instructions like gate codes, historical documentation of past service calls, safety reminders, and more. It’s incredibly easy to see how the evolution of mobile technology represents a significant upgrade over yesteryear’s paper-based work order system.
Since the ability to see into the future simply isn’t a possibility, your field service business will have to settle for the next best thing: Predictive analysis. This skill is also greatly boosted by the use of field service management software, specifically through preventive maintenance and inventory management. Regular maintenance performed on fleet vehicles or essential tools and equipment can provide some interesting insights. For instance, if your preventive maintenance shows that the tires on your fleet need replacement, that information can inform budgeting. The same goes for inventory management modules that help field service businesses better track how, when, and where supplies are used.
Unlike virtual reality, which immerses the user in a digitally-rendered world, augmented reality adds digital elements to what someone sees in the real world. For example, think of a field technician working on a repair. Through the use of a mobile device and an augmented reality application, technicians can visualize on-screen diagrams or directions. It helps to enhance what they’re viewing and make the work easier to complete. Additionally, it’s possible for technicians and consumers to collaborate in an augmented reality environment. With both parties having the same view, it’s a helpful tool when trying to diagnose a problem remotely.
These are the most impactful trends we see on tap for 2022 and beyond, but they aren’t the only ones. As you probably noticed, field service management software can act as a conduit for the implementation of several of these trends. That’s where EnSight+ can help. EnSight+ is a cloud-based field service management software solution that can be up and running in four weeks or less. To learn more, book your demo today.
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