Exploring the Impact of Digitization in Field Service by@liji

Exploring the Impact of Digitization in Field Service

Digitization will be the key differentiator in the field service industry or indeed in any company that hires field service experts. It will drive profit and efficiency, encourage agility and future-proof your business. Most importantly, it can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. Here’s how digitizing your field service management will unlock incredible benefits for your company.

Field service management refers to that part of the organization that is tasked with handling in-person services for customers or operations conducted outside of the office. Field service runs the gamut from customer and repair service to consultations, inspections, maintenance, and sales. It is integral to industries like construction, oil and gas, utilities, property maintenance, construction, and even healthcare. Simply put, it is any part of the organization that employs a worker out on the field.

While the pandemic changed the work landscape with a massive shift towards remote working, direct interactions do play a role in customer retention and loyalty. In fact, digitization further helps companies that have important field service management operations.

Field service operations were undergoing huge changes even before the pandemic, with digital transformation ensuring that technicians had more tools at their disposal to repair equipment far from offices and long hours of work away from headquarters.

Investment in technology is important but thoughtful planning is needed - otherwise field service organizations grapple with disparate systems that do not have an easy flow of information across departments.

How Digitization is Creating An Impact

The field service industry was slowly but surely moving towards new technologies but the pandemic truly accelerated this shift. Unlike a few years ago, companies are moving toward digitizing operations in the field. With digitization, field service agents are not bogged down by tedious manual processes.

Investments in digitizing field service operations can prove to be a huge differentiator for a company, leading to improved customer service, reduced billing errors, quick customer service upgrades, and a more streamlined organization.

With digitization, there is a more seamless flow of data between processes and systems. Organizations can let go of outdated business structures and give their field service workers cutting-edge tools like tracking, data, and maintaining assets.

Digitalizing field service management improves the safety of the employees and customers. It helps the organization become agile and adapt to swift changes, leading to customer satisfaction and an increase in revenue. It also integrates different processes on modern platforms specially designed for field service management.

Top Trends in Digitization

According to the 2019 Field Service USA report, technologies like IoT, on-site wearables, augmented reality, and field service management software will transform the field service delivery industry beyond recognition. There is no doubt that today, field service management needs digitization to increase its bottom line and this extends to integrating field service operations into the organization’s overall business platform.

An example would be to connect service calls to the company’s CRM platform, thereby delivering a connected field service solution. Visual remote assistance, through live videos and augmented reality, is another important technology that is used by field service personnel to collaborate effectively and solve problems quickly.

Collaborative technologies also extend to software that can give field service agents access to information and direct messaging channels that can enable them to ask their colleagues for help. Companies can go one step further and set up new workflows that can integrate with their financial and sales processes in-house.

Digitization of field service management is a lot more than just going paperless. It enables decision-making and maintenance that is backed by data, helping companies react quickly, collaborate at short notice, and get the right information to make the right decisions.

How to Plan to Deploy Digitization for the Best Field Service Outcome

If you are a company that wants to digitize its field service management, upgrade and scale new technologies at a steady pace and at a price you can afford. Focus on modernizing your business and helping your field service agents with simpler yet essential technologies like video training, geolocation for real-time tracking, efficient reporting, and self-scheduling options.

Digitization positively impacts any industry but field service organizations can benefit the most from this change. Field service businesses don’t need a complete revamping of their digital ecosystems. Adopting the right field service management software makes all the difference. When you optimize the flow of information across different business and service arms of the company can produce astonishing results.

The primary driver of this transformation is field service management software. Unlike those in other industries, a field service business doesn’t have to go over a complete overhaul but instead needs to focus on easing field technicians and other stakeholders into the field service management software.

When you have established a robust digital platform and defined your outcomes, use IoT and SMAC (social, mobility, analytics, and cloud) to get real-time information from your machines out on the field and use geolocation to match services with the right technician. Create the right digital ecosystem with these technologies with a steady information flow across it, all synced to supply chain, inventory, and backend functions.

Digitizing end-to-end field operations can unlock data trapped in the system, raise productivity, and enable a unified view of open work orders to match the right technician with the right job.

With 80% of key decision-makers in companies saying that field service is a crucial part of their overall strategy, digitization of field service will be the key differentiator for any organization. Field service is often the only direct interaction a customer has with a company and this makes these interactions important and critical to customer retention and loyalty.

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