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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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