Field service management (FSM) operations are facing unprecedented pressure from competitors and increasingly demanding customers. At the same time advances in technology are set to have a profound effect on field service, such as the increasing adoption of enterprise mobility, schedule optimization tools and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
The much-hyped ‘BYOD’ – bring your own device – trend influencing mobile device choices and (nearly) ubiquitous access to network connectivity mean unparalleled visibility of what is happening right now. The availability of reliable, real-time data directly from assets/equipment as well as your field engineers gives you new strategic choices in managing the operation. But, only if you add the right software applications. Apps that can exploit this torrent of data and drive better quality, automated decision-making. This, in turn, improves the effectiveness of your delivery capability and customer satisfaction.
You may have seen ‘WWW’ jokingly defined as ‘Whatever Whenever Wherever’. It is no longer a joke, we are on the road to making that true. It is reasonable to assume access to some sort of network pretty much everywhere – whether that it 4G, 3G or WiFi. We are becoming an “always on” society. This increases the demand for access to corporate systems from everywhere, not just within the walls of the office. Whilst field engineers have used mobile data systems for a long time, needs and capabilities have moved way beyond the intermittent interchange of small amounts of data. Real-time collaboration between the field and back-office is mandatory for cost-effective service delivery.
This real-time aspect is critically important. Time is the one dimension of scheduling work and resources that is completely beyond our control. Poor systems and inefficient processes simply waste time. Unrecoverable, precious time. Using time better is all about rigorous attention to detail and automating everything you can. Automation leads to consistent and predictable performance – and optimal use of resources.
Market pressures, not least those increasing customer expectations, mean that you cannot ignore these trends. How do you think they will affect your service management operations in the years ahead?
- For a detailed consideration of these important trends, please read our 7-page white paper written by my colleague Tom Devroy (Vice President of Sales for the IFS Metrix Service Management product line). You can download it free of charge from <<here>>. Also, you can listen to this IFS Radio Network podcast featuring Tom talking about this subject.