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How IoT is Changing the World of Field Service Management Across Industries

Field Service Management and IOT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is bound to create endless opportunities for every aspect of life and business. Currently, it is anticipated that over 20 billion connected devices will be in use globally by 2020. This provides a wealth of new opportunities for many different industries including field service.

 

Field Service Management and IOT

 

Field Service Management and IOT

IoT provides the ability to generate huge amounts of data from an equipment, which can mean a whole service operation remake. Devices equipped with sensors are connected through the internet, wherein they can communicate and send notifications machine-to-machine without any human intervention. Although IoT is not just for M2M, any longer, it has the potential to make any services smart, if applied effectively. Below are a few ways in which IoT is revolutionizing the field service management industry across varied industries:

 

1. Home Healthcare: Medical and healthcare professionals need access to critical patient data to deliver the best care possible. With the help of wireless connections linked to medical devices and with a single database for all the relevant information, doctors and healthcare professionals can provide proper and immediate care to their patients. Field service management software integrated with IoT enabled devices can automatically use data to take predictive actions that can drive major improvements in delivering better remote services to patients at their home and saving costs.

 

2. Government: IoT sensors strategically placed across sewer plants, valves, and pumps can greatly improve the productivity level of field technicians. Moreover, it removes the need for them to work in hazardous conditions. IoT sensors can also alert the operator to what needs to be checked and identify the exact area of damage, thereby reducing the need to constantly monitor the condition of the equipment. Similarly, a number of operations governments undertake can be easily transformed with the introduction of IoT in the field service management space.

 

3. Oil and Gas Industry: In the oil and gas industry, the IoT sensors can reduce the risk of field technicians being exposed to hazardous environments regularly. The field service management software integrated with IoT can help petroleum plants, chemical refiners, and natural gas processing plants kick in digital transformation and aim for streamlined processes and intelligent decisions.

 

The Internet of Things is going to change everything about how we lead our daily lives in the near future. By leveraging its power, technicians can have an unprecedented amount of feedback, and this data can lead to even more insights which can help improve innovation in and across various industries.

 

A Field Service Management Software for All Leading Industries

 

FieldEZ’s offerings in the field service management space can help businesses achieve better operational efficiency and streamline their processes for productivity. Here are some additional industries where FieldEZ’s field service management software are being widely used

 

 

Field force management is often a challenge for businesses. FieldEZ helps these businesses manage their remote workforce in a better way.

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Technology to drive the service sector towards a data-driven 2018

Artificial Intelligence - Field Force Management

This enormous growth in new technologies that are used to collect and use data to improve the delivery of services is driving the service industry in 2018.

Digital Twins and Internet of Things

A Digital twin is the digital representation of a real-world system. In the perspective of IoT, digital twins are particularly promising over the next five years. It is also predicted that 25% of asset-intensive companies will adopt IoT and digital twins to optimize service by 2020.

 

Earlier, if there was a problem with a device, the customer would have to call a service engineer or technician. This approach is highly inefficient, as the technician may have no idea about what is actually wrong with the equipment thus leading to a disappointed customer. The IoT and digital twin technology can help in this prospect immensely.

Internet of things

IoT and sensors enabled by field service management software can let the service center know if a device is broken and automatically route it to the technician who has the expertise to go on-site and fix it. In addition to this, IoT sensors when integrated into the machine will send data back to the service center enabling an effective diagnosis to determine issues that might arise in the future. This predictive maintenance is where the immense benefits were first realized by IoT.

 

Previously, a manufacturer’s knowledge about a product stopped once it left the factory. Now with the integration of IoT, it is possible to learn the usage, behavior, and performance of these products in the real world and even make changes to improve them over time. This will lead to a smarter product design, more efficient service, and better-performing products. Moreover, combining IoT with delivery tracking software will enable the manufacturers to make vehicle-tracking solutions a lot more efficient, economical, automated, and reliable.

 

Adding digital twins technology to this will create a hugely important shift that will complete the feedback loop. The digital twins are connected to their real-world equals and will significantly improve enterprise decision making. Moreover, they are used to understand the state of the system, respond to change, improve operations, and add value.

 

The IoT and digital twin technologies are certain to have a massive effect on the service sector in terms of cost reduction, increased data analytics, and prolonging the lifetime of products. Combining these technologies with field data collection software will result in increased visibility, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. A similar approach is already being used in the automobile sector, where connected cars send back huge amounts of data to be analyzed and used to make better designs.

Artificial Intelligence

Producing systems that learn, adapt, and possibly act independently will be a major arena for technology sellers through 2020, predicts Gartner. AI-powered voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Cortana, represent another great opportunity for the service organization to improve its efficiency. Several calls to the helpdesk are simple queries like inquiring about opening hours or asking when the engineer is due to arrive, which means they are simple enough to be answered by a robot. This enables the potential for companies to connect AI-powered voice assistants behind the scenes to make business more efficient and reduce the load of the contact center agent.

Artificial Intelligence - Field Force Management

Amazon is one of the leading companies that is employing this technology in organizations across the globe with its recently launched Alexa for Business. Recently Salesforce also launched Salesforce Einstein that has combined AI with Salesforce automation software with an aim to bring AI technology to everyone. This AI-powered approach is going to be increasingly important given today shortage of skill in the industry. Moreover, AI-powered voice assistant technology could also provide a step-by-step maintenance procedure in the near future.

 

Self-servicing

 

Apart from the above-mentioned technology, Augmented Reality experiences will also be put to use by customers wanting to operate or service their own products. Recently, companies like Nespresso and Dyson vacuum cleaner have invested a lot in helping their customers via smartphones and QR codes to access the visually overlaid systematic procedures of usage and repair. Similar models can be applied to more complex systems providing a detailed procedure for users to follow. AR will help in maximizing the time of a limited number of service technicians and create a better customer experience. Moreover, an added benefit is that AR does not require language translation.

 

Ultimately, there are plenty of opportunities to drive a better customer experience but first, a few things need to happen. Initially, it is important to make a value-based business plan for any new approach. The next step is to break down traditional organizational silos among engineering, design, and service. Remember that an AI-assistant or AR experience is only as good as the data that can be collected with it. The good news is that it works both ways; the feedback from the product sensors will help the R&D team to analyze the data and build better products.

 

Moreover, to securely allow digital business plans in today’s world of security attacks, embracing a Continuous Adaptive Risk and Trust Approach will allow for real-time risk assessment and trust-based decision-making. Conclusively, an organization needs people, processes, data, and systems to be optimized accordingly to capitalize on these emerging technologies.

 

Data-Driven Field Service Management Solution from FieldEZ

 

FieldEZ simplifies remote workforce management for businesses in various leading industries through its field service management software and other offerings. FieldEZ is a pioneer in bridging the gap between the service industry and leading technologies such as Augmented Reality, the Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, and so on.

 

Our all-inclusive field service management offerings help businesses manage their remote workforce in a hassle-free and efficient manner.

 

Work Order Management Software

Has your field service manager ever faced a situation of understaffing or have had problems in deploying resources or keeping a track of the invoices raised? Do you think it has increased their work pressure and has overburdened them? You must be analyzing and thinking about ways in which you could help your employees sorting these issues at the same time focus on increasing productivity at work. With our web application, your field staff manager will now have the power to see and manage everything from raising a ticket, live tracking field staff to invoicing the customer for payments at one place and can access and manage work anytime, anywhere.

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10 Ways Service and Support Will Change by 2020

field service management support services

The past years have proved to be an exciting and transformative period for the service and support industry. Similar to every other industry, customer experience has prevailed and will continue to in the future as the ultimate differentiator that will drive innovation at a rapid speed. Service providing organizations, globally, are increasingly using field services as a means to please customers.

field service management support services

The Internet of Things, Augmented Reality, and Wearables are said to be altering every industry for quite some time now. The integration of these technologies into the field service domain will lead to revolutionary innovations. It has been predicted that the number of connected devices or things will reach 50 billion by 2020.

Such rapid rise in the IoT Technology will only lead to businesses increasing their adoption rate and leveraging technology in all possible aspects of the business.

 

Field Service Transformation Predictions

Below are 10 ways the service and support industry is bound to change by 2020:

Artificial Intelligence: Siri, Alexa, and Cortana are examples of digital assistants that are available today. By 2020, 40% of business transactions will be enabled by cognitive/AI personal shoppers reported a recent survey. Face-to-face conversations and telephonic conversations will become the least-used channels in the next five years. Nevertheless, humans will always be needed. However, their role will change. AI will take care of the basic customer care, while humans will remain indispensable for more advanced forms of advice. 

 

 Autonomous Vehicles: Although GPS, collision avoidance and related technologies are already available in the latest vehicles, self-driving cars could spend travel time more productively. According to a latest prediction, around 20 million autonomous cars will be on the road by 2025. Prominent organizations like Tesla are leading the way in making autonomous cars a reality.

 

Drones: Leveraging the drone technology will take the human component out of dangerous service scenarios. It can create a paradigm shift in the field service delivered to areas like construction sites, oil and gas management, telecom industry, etc. Drones can help get an aerial view of sites, plants, pipelines, and disaster areas, etc. Also surveying the land for thermal activity will become easy. Moreover, drones can be used to convey parts and tools from service site whenever needed.

 

Internet of Things: IoT is having a profound impact on not just every technology-driven industry, but also the daily lives of people across the globe. IoT and the real-time connectivity it offers has led to a massive increase in customer expectations for instant support. This, in turn, has elevated customer demands impacting the field service industry greatly.

 

Smart Uniforms: Recently Google in association with Levi’s created a smart jacket, which allows the user to connect to and control their smartphones by using the cuff like a touchscreen. This technology, when implemented in the field service industry is bound to be revolutionary. These smart uniforms feature conductive fibers and embedded sensors that can already monitor heart rate, breathing rate, sleeping patterns, calories burned, the intensity of activity, temperature, posture, and muscle movement. A technician wearing these uniforms can read temperature and other environmental factors and easily gauge what might be causing a system problem. Smart hats are already being used in trucking and mining industries. Some can detect signs of fatigue and send alerts to those in risky situations or operate sensitive machinery, while others can detect when the user isn’t moving optimally. Also, Smart gloves could provide feedback to technicians as they make repairs.

 

Augmented Reality-enabled Wearables: The era of augmented reality is not just a fad anymore as organizations are increasingly implementing AR into their services. A recent report by ABI Research predicts that 21 million AR units will be shipped by 2020. The field service industry stands to benefit greatly from AR. AR-enabled wearables like headsets will help technicians to gather all the information they need for an installation or repair. In addition, clubbing AR with field service management software would connect on-site technicians with more experienced engineers who can supervise and troubleshoot more difficult technical issues.

 

Robots: A recent report by Gartner predicted that by 2020, an average person will have had more conversations with robots than with their family. In the service and support industry, robots can replace humans to perform jobs efficiently and productively at a faster rate. Integrating field data collection software into robots will make things easier and efficient for the support and service industry as it will offer accurate data.

 

3D Printing: With this technology now available at a reasonable price, field service organizations can use them to streamline repairs in the field. Rather than order and wait for a part to arrive, the technician could print the parts on demand using a 3D printer installed in the service fan.

 

Social Media: In today’s mobile-first economy, customers are more connected than ever. They are quick to post reviews about poor experiences or complain directly via messaging apps. The future promises to reduce the barriers to enter a complaint as the functionality of social media evolves. Additionally, increased connectivity translates to greater volumes of inquiries and a growing burden on the customer service teams. How brands address this challenge will be critical in determining the success of their services.

 

The Gig Economy: The gig economy is a movement that could revolutionize the whole field service management industry. The digital technologies underpinning the gig economy like IoT can help workers become entrepreneurs who will have the freedom to dictate their work on their terms with the help of mobile workforce management software. Skilled workers who have experience in certain sectors can either make extra money in their free time or they can use gig economy as their sole source of income. Leading companies like Uber and Airbnb have laid the blueprint for the other industries to follow. By leveraging independent workers in the gig economy, organizations can help deliver the real-time service that customers now demand.

 

FieldEZ Embraces All Things Latest

FieldEz offers a field service management software that leverages all latest technologies and introduces automation to your field service management operations. With our software and platform, you automate location, tracking, attendance recording, service dispatch, training, and all other aspects of field service management necessary for you to execute critical service operations.

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Field Service Management  Software

Field Sales Management Software

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Wearable Tech In Work Attire – Staring Not Far In The Future!

Wearable tech in Field Service Management

According to Wearable Technologies, a pioneering platform in the wearable tech space, the value of the wearable tech market will boost from a little over $10 billion in 2017 to about $17 billion by 2021. As the customers’ spending limit stretch and the wearable tech adoption increases, the market will see a surge in growth and sales like never before. A report by i-scoop released a year back predicted that by 2026, wearable technologies would shift to new markets and there will be innovation concerning where it can be used on the human body.

Wearable tech in Field Service Management

Industries like healthcare and fitness, retail, etc., are already focusing on wrist wearables- the wearable technology aspect that is expected to see the highest boom by 2019. But, wearables have immense potential to transform other industries, too.

 

  • Field Service – One of the most significant advantages of leveraging wearable technologies and gadgets in the field service management space is an increase in productivity. The value proposition of wearable gadgets in the space is high, owing to the following ways the technology will impact the way field services are delivered and managed-
    • Hands-free activities and operations – Hands-free calling facility, information access from a smartwatch, AR-enabled resolution through smart glasses, etc., are a few ways that impart efficiency to the jobs of field service agents. With productivity enhancement, customer service improves drastically, and the customers perceive the company to be tech-savvy.
    • Reduction in errors – With a wearable technology backing up field service operations and a comprehensive knowledge base being available on-the-go, a radical reduction in errors in the field service jobs can be expected. Smart Glasses can be leveraged to display the steps of particular field service support tasks clearly so that service agents get enough direction and data to complete tasks with ease and accuracy.
    • Capturing biometrics for better safety – Wearable tech gadgets can capture field service agents’ biometrics such as their pulse rates, heartbeats, and temperatures. This data can be continually channeled to the field service management organization, where managers can track the data concerning their agents. The aim here is to provide a safe work atmosphere while monitoring biometric parameters to predict illnesses or health issues at the earliest.

 

  • Banking and Insurance – About 22% of insurers are developing business strategies for wearable technologies in the insurance space and companies are trying to get on the move with their ideas of how wearable tech can transform the industry. Filling out a form that asks whether or not you smoke and how physically active you are is another thing, but getting the information from a wearable device that leverages advanced technologies is a whole other aspect. This data collected from an integrated insurance sales software is way more crucial and accurate than that collected from the former process. The process of data and information collection through a wearable device is beneficial for the insurer and the insured. A better health picture will help your insurer in keeping the aspects that are important for you under the radar. Besides health insurance, smart glasses can help companies get the audio or the video recordings of the insured person’s whereabouts, his driving, and can help better understand an accident scene for vehicular or life insurance. Apart from this, in the Banking sector, special care needs to be taken regarding the security of the trucks that transit cash from one location to another. A field service management software that has GPS enabled wearable device will help banking institutions track the location of these vehicles continuously.

 

  • Remote Home Healthcare A home healthcare software can largely benefit from wearable devices. Remote healthcare has become a priority for the differently abled and older patients who prefer to stay in the confines of their homes and get healthcare services delivered to their doorstep. A mobile healthcare software that is integrated with a patient portal will help healthcare providers to manage the care and services they offer to their remote patients. Moreover, self-care also becomes easy when there is a technologically-advanced system that provides assistance to patients who are on their own. In moments of a health emergency, a home healthcare software can help healthcare providers attend to remote patients for their SOS calls and urgent needs. In the healthcare sector, it is crucial to be efficient, and with the right mobile healthcare software, companies can become highly productive and quick in delivering services.

 

  • The Oil & Gas Industry – In the Oil and Gas industry, there are many instances where wearable technology would be immensely beneficial. When an oil well needs to be dug, the security and safety of the technicians are vital, and there is a need for the field service manager to keep track of the happenings at the service site. With the right wearable tech, not only can the field service manager keep track of the health and safety of the technicians, but can also get timely reports on the status of the job. Oil and gas remote maintenance and oil & gas remote monitoring are two of the most crucial aspects of leveraging wearable tech in the industry. A field service management software integrated with wearable devices can also allow managers to set timely alerts for inspection and routine checks, thereby streamlining the processes and making operations manageable and clean.

 

  • Landscaping Services – Landscaping services are offered by the companies who help people build attractive lawns and gardens in their residential premises or commercial settings. With the best landscaping software solutions, companies can provide standout services to their customers, detailing the look of their house with an added lawn/garden, without even having to pick up a spade! As landscaping services happen to be part of field services, managing them with efficiency is tricky. A field service management software is the key to effective landscaping services, and to monitor the technicians’ location, the health parameters, and several other factors, wearables can prove to be significantly crucial. Injuries and health risks can be monitored in real-time and alerts can be sent to the managers through wearable devices.

 

  • Maid Services – Cleaning and other services involving household chores can be made 10x more efficient and productive to manage with the right maid services software. This field service management software can take help from wearable devices to track the maids as they leave houses and are in transit. Improved maid security and safety can be made possible when a maid services software leverages wearables. With an in-built alert alarm, a maid worker can inform her manager about any anomaly in their service site. These may include a health emergency, harassment, etc. With wearable devices, several applications can be made possible in the maid services industry. The right field service management software, integrated with wearables can change the landscape of the maid service providing businesses.

 

  • Medical Equipment Manufacturing – In this space, it is important to regard the maintenance of equipment throughout their lifecycle as an essential piece. Medical equipment needs regular care and can only be serviced through efficiency and technical expertise. The use of wearable devices in this space can improve parts management and inventory management, as technicians are able to initiate requests for parts through their wearables on-the-go. Timely services are another crucial part of the medical equipment manufacturer’s processes. With wearable devices enabled with GPS technology, technicians can reach their destinations faster. Medical equipment maintenance consists of the need to regularly perform quality checks at the site, even when a fault has not occurred.

 

  • Telecommunications – In the Telecom sector, there is a dire need to ensure the security of technicians performing their duties on service sites. A telecom field service management software should be well-equipped with wearable integration so that Telecom companies can keep an eye out for their technician’s security and whereabouts. When a Telecom business witnesses a boom, the need of the hour is to install more towers. This leads to field service jobs which need to be managed efficiently. The use of wearables in this space can lead to enhanced productivity, security, and accountability of technicians.

 

According to a report by Statista, the number of connected and active wearable devices will reach a whopping 929 million by 2021. The exponential growth in the number of connected devices from just 453 million in 2017 is itself a proof that wearable technology is here to stay and expand.

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The Future of Field Service: Internet of Things

IOT Field Service Management

According to studies conducted recently, about 52 percent of field service companies still rely on manual coordination. For these companies, a field service management software is either in its primary stages or does not exist at all., the future looks promising with the rapid shifts in the field service management space, thanks to technology.

 

It is predicted that by 2020, a whopping 20.4 billion devices and gadgets will be linked to the Internet as part of the booming IoT industry. Internet of Things (IoT) has become a viable way of delivering customer-centric services. This customer-centricity leads to customer satisfaction and ultimately results in substantial boosts in sales and profits.

IOT Field Service Management

As customer retention becomes a challenge for businesses, they seek to take help from the IoT to improve their customer engagement and deliver customer-first services, products and experiences.

 

With the round-the-clock availability of IoT services, it becomes easier and feasible to deliver services around the globe, at any time of the day. The immense potential in the IoT is now being leveraged in the field service management industry.

Internet of Things Equals Outstanding Customer Experience

Most field service companies know that their customers want their operations to go on without any hassle. So, they focus on measuring parameters that ensure minimal disruption to customer’s operations.

 

With the Internet of Things, field service management companies are now measuring parameters like the availability of components, the up-time of parts, the amount of time spent on site, etc. This is a proactive approach to detect issues before they make a lasting impact and to correct faults by predicting them in advance.

 

Field Service Management is witnessing a paradigm shift in the way workmen manage their operations and communicate their progress back to their employer. Through IoT, all the information updating, retrieval, and creation is possible on-the-go. This is why the Internet of Things has become a huge hype among the top field service providers.

 

It is estimated that about 74 percent of the best Field Service providers consider serviceable assets and equipment as the focal of their customer satisfaction. These companies also employ IoT technology to ensure sustained customer satisfaction. They find out the key statistics of their jobs and facilitate predictive maintenance by foreseeing the damages that could happen in a device or an app. This step allows them to be on top of their game.

Field Service Management – The Rich IoT Experience

Experts in the field service management space believe that the Internet of Things is about to have an impact on the world larger than the Internet itself. People are of the opinion that the Internet of Things will drive devices and gadgets that will allow companies to deliver world-class field service at the click of a button.

 

When the device that a company delivers has a small chip that connects it to the Internet, the device will let them know when it needs to be serviced, even before a glitch is detected. This will help make sure that there is never any hitch in the customer’s experience.

 

If this is not a revolution, what is? The devices connected to the Internet are capable of streaming information to their manufacturers about their service history, when they were installed, the problems that were discovered, etc. This will help in the collection of first-hand information that can be used to deliver field service instantaneously.

Sophisticated Knowledge Exchange with The Internet of Things

Another aspect where IoT can prove to be revolutionizing is the matter of knowledge exchange between the field service providers within an organization. When a field service personnel comes across a challenge and addresses it, the information should be harnessed and communicated across to other men in the space so that they can leverage the knowledge when they come across a similar situation.

 

This intelligent system has to be in-the-moment to deliver quick information over the Internet to the various professionals who may need it. Through this application of IoT, the need to document and share information manually will disappear, with the added advantages of reduced manual errors and speed of communication.

 

Also, this knowledge-sharing system should be unique to field-service as the industry has a lot of quirkiness of its own and can derive huge benefits from such a system.

 

Routing Specialized Field Agents with IoT

When the cause and the fault in a device will be communicated beforehand, the managers in a field service management company will be able to route their workmen according to their specialized skill set. This will lead to proper routing of agents according to the tasks they are best at. We can only imagine the outcome of this provision – enhanced customer experience and satisfaction because when the best person for it will do the job, the service will undoubtedly be exceptional

The Flip Side of IoT in Field Services

While the applications of IoT in the field service industry are many, there are a few speed-breakers too. Companies will have to leverage best-in-class Big Data and Analytics platforms and exceptional technologies to achieve the accuracy and speed of service delivery with IoT.

 

Also, there are a few other aspects to consider, like the ownership of the data that will be the center of all IoT applications. Nonetheless, we are sure of one thing, the pen and paper era is gone forever, for the good.

SEE ALSO: FIELDEZ RANKS NO.1 IN CAPTERRA’S TOP 20 FIELD SERVICE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE