How to Simplify Complex Field Service Technology Environments
Field service leaders are often beset by complex technology environments, preventing them from operating at optimal levels of efficiency, productivity and competitiveness. A recent independent industry study showed that more than 60 percent of B2B field service organizations use up to seven enterprise systems to run their business — systems that may or may not be integrated. While that number may seem large, 15 percent of B2B field service organizations rely on more than eight systems to operate.
Nowhere are the effects of this complex field service technology environment more acutely felt than by technicians in the field. The Technology Services Industry Association’s report “The State of Field Services 2018” reveals that field service utilization remains among the top business challenges field service organizations face. And the trend is showing no signs of abating. The TSIA report states that “there is a relentless focus on cost reduction. This is familiar ground for field services organizations that are often one of the largest budgets in any service organization.” With people and parts being two of the largest expenses, both need to be optimized to the greatest extent possible, including the processes that support and enable them.
Each field service organization’s processes are unique. Standard mobile field service software usually requires field technicians to re-engineer how they work — a costly and time-consuming effort that few, if any, field service leaders want to consider. Developing a custom mobile solution also carries a high price, comes with a long development timeline, and leads to enduring maintenance headaches.
Best-in-class field service organizations need to enable technicians to manage work orders, perform preventative maintenance, conduct JSAs and address any other process, workflow or task that’s a part of everyday field operations, all right from a tech’s phone or tablet, no matter device type. To enable this sort of advanced field service technology, field service leaders should keep several functional and technical requirements in mind when shopping for a new mobile field service solution.
The software should:
- Integrate with existing business and field ops systems so techs have a single mobile interface for managing all work
- Simplify the user experience while supporting safety, quality and sales initiatives
- Provide a user experience that is intuitive, dynamic, and able to work in a variety of environmental conditions
- Enforce processes and keep technicians focused on their work and customer needs
- Enable apps that technicians like to use and that can be easily updated when systems or workflows change
Beyond the software itself, field service leaders should look for a vendor who functions as a partner to their business. This includes being able to analyze business objectives and pain points before field service technology is even considered. People and processes — which drive business and service goals — are always supported by technology.
Keeping these requirements in mind, field service leaders can simplify the complex and often disconnected technology environments technicians need to work in, making their day-to-day tasks easier to address.
If you’d like to see how Mobile Reach enables large field workforces to use a single mobile interface, ask us for a demo.