The field service industry may cover the installation of software, maintenance of systems, repair of hardware, and other related equipment at a customer’s site. It presents exciting experiences to meet customers, solve different problems, and watch your company grow.
However, for growth to happen, you must keep pace with the technological trends in the industry. Your success depends on how well you complete tasks on time, monitor progress in the field, and update your customers on the progress of their orders. However, this can be hectic if you lack the necessary tools. Therefore, it’d be proactive to invest in suitable systems to help you grow your business. If you’re aiming for strategic sustainability, you must make that gradual shift by aligning your company and adapting to emerging trends and demands.
That said, here’s how technology is shaping the field service industry:
Technological innovations such as performance management software are becoming indispensable tools in the field service industry. You must be in multiple places, taking orders from customers, talking to new customers, sending quotes, dispatching materials to sites, taking inquiries from customers, and balancing your inventory. You may lose valuable customers without proper operational management software. If you’re an electrical contractor, you could use the estimating and management software developed by companies like Jobber to streamline your field operations.
Prompt payments are crucial in any business to foster proper cash flow. Technology has revolutionized the speed and manner by which you receive payments from clients for completed jobs.
For instance, you can use a free customizable contractor invoice template to follow best practice and prepare accurate and professional payment requests. You can also use related invoicing software to set automatic reminders to clients to ensure they stay in the know regarding payment deadlines. Moreover, your customers can pay through instant means like e-payments or mobile payments. You receive cash promptly instead of waiting for several days, as with bank transfers or credit card payments.
A digital twin in the field service industry refers to the simulation of physical devices. It integrates artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and data analytics tools. The digital twin model creates a virtual model of the physical devices in the digital space used to analyze the cost of projects, opportunities, and predictions and to communicate with customers.
Route optimization is transforming the field service industry through accurate cost-determination before dispatch. Dispatch and delivery of materials to a customer’s site can be hectic in the event of unforeseen costs or delays. However, a route optimization tool will choose the appropriate route for you based on the traffic on the way, shortest direction, and dispatch times to avoid inconveniences.
Technology is helping to complement the existing gap in human abilities. For example, field service projects tend to have a limited timeframe. However, you can’t work continuously. Luckily, smart project management tools can run 24/7, creating and sharing your company resources across multiple departments. The system ensures smooth transition and continuity between project milestones.
Technology has made it easier for the field service industry to recruit, train, and deploy freelance employees remotely. Freelance employees are a source of readily available affordable labor. Therefore, technology is helping to cut down the payroll and office costs for hosting team members.
You don’t have to schedule and dispatch equipment to the customer’s site manually. Schedule optimization tools do everything for you. Such tools auto-select and assign tasks to your field service agents. They also provide the necessary information to your agents through the most effective communication channels.
Gone are the days when you had to travel physically to the customer’s site to diagnose a problem. Self-service portals allow customers miles away to communicate with you in real-time.
These systems allow customers with access to the internet to upload equipment information through photos or videos of the problem. You can communicate with the customer about the next course of action without causing unnecessary delays.
If you’re a software vendor, you don’t have to wait for a call from your customer to inform you the system is down. Predictive maintenance tools help you plan for the future, such as when a software upgrade would be necessary.
These technological tools will predict the right time to upgrade your customer’s system without causing interference and automate the process in your absence.
Assistive technologies refer to a combination of emerging tools such as IoT, AI, augmented reality, and voice identification to help businesses connect experts in the office and dispatchers on-site. The system allows experts and dispatchers to accomplish tasks under remote supervision, saving time and resources. Aside from that, there are advanced diagnostic tools to help field service technicians access information related to system problems, your customers, and services or products from any location in real-time.
The field service industry is evolving more rapidly than ever before. The technological revolution continues to shape the dispatch of technicians and delivery of services to customers. Therefore, conduct in-depth research on what technologies are most suitable for your field service business and adopt them. Ultimately, you’ll improve service delivery efficiency, cut business operating costs, and make enough profit.