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Top 3 Technology Trends for Field Service in 2016

1st December, 2015

With so many advanced tools and technologies now available to improve operations, field service organizations are taking this as an opportunity to reform their business and how they deliver service to their customers. By leveraging technology trends such as the Internet of Things and smartphone and tablet integration, organisations are taking customer service to the next level.

No matter what the goal, the time is now to modernize operations that put you ahead of the competition. In 2015, the field service industry saw the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the boom of Big Data. In 2016, mplsystems predicts we will see a continuation of those trends alongside the growth of mobile devices and the importance of integration to achieve an end to end field service management solution. mplsystems have highlighted what they believe will be the top 3 technology trends for field service in 2016.

Mobile Apps to boost field workers capability

 In 2015 we have seen mobile apps extend far beyond basic job notification technology and become a dynamic tool that is becoming essential for field based workers. Mobile apps are now not only helping businesses deliver a better customer service but also increasing revenues by providing the field based team with the ability to produce quotes for further activities, order parts and generate invoices for customers whilst out in the field. However in a survey carried out by FMJ and mplsystems it was found that only 10% of organisations provide their field workers with mobile applications that allowed them to grow revenue with functionality such as quoting and ordering. In 2016 this will become essential for a business to differentiate themselves from their growing competition and help grow the business through new, more efficient channels.

Integration, integration and more integration

In 2016, businesses will realise they can no longer operate their help desk, scheduling and mobile workers in disparate siloes and therefore integration will become key to successfully creating an end-to-end service management solution in 2016. For service delivery organisations it is essential that they have a seamless flow of information across all departments in the business and a visibility of the workforce to help improve response times and first time fix rates.

In the 2014 Software in Field Service Benchmarking report, well over a third of companies reported that they were facing issues with integration stating “We have a number of different systems across different divisions and it makes communications between departments tricky”. Although in 2015 we saw a step towards integrating the different elements of service delivery, in 2016 we will observe a significant shift in the move towards integration and achieving a complete end to end solution for service delivery.

 The Internet of Things (IoT)

 By 2020 Gartner predicts 26-billion devices, other than smartphones, tablets and computers, will be connected via the Internet of Things. There is no doubt that IoT will have a massive impact on the field service industry, transitioning service delivery from reactive maintenance to proactive preventative maintenance as household devices and business appliances become smart enough to be able to communicate when their own parts are beginning to deteriorate or faults are beginning to appear.

Paul White explains “The Internet of Things will bring with it a whole new explosion of data that, if managed correctly, can be of enormous value to improve service delivery. Businesses will be able to gain a deep understanding of machine/device failures and use this information to predict when similar failures are likely to occur and to schedule the preventative maintenance. This will not only dramatically reduce the amount of reactive scheduled work needed but also transform the customer experience by providing proactive maintenance. Preparing for IoT in the field service industry is not a question of when, as the early stages of adoption are already upon us, the question is how.”

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