The field service industry, as we all know, is at the peak of its transformative stage now. The technological advancements in the industry have been coming on, one after the other for the past few years, and now the rate of the revolution has reached an all time high.
As new tools and technologies continue to take over the field service market, let’s take a look at some of the major trends for the year 2016 and beyond.
- Predictive Maintenance – Last year, we saw the expansion of the Internet of Things as well as a more widespread use of analytics tools to handle all the big data. From this year on, it is time to put those tools to real use, and enhance the predictive capabilities of all connected devices. That way, a more predictive or proactive approach to service can be taken up, along with automation. For example, sensors could be fixed on equipments, and devices, that can notify its users when it needs a repair or when it is due for its regular maintenance. Thus, the whole process becomes automated, as it provides enough insight to the service providers to serve customers, without having them make a service request or call.
- The Internet of Everything – The Internet of Things isn’t exactly a new trend to look out for in 2016, but we will definitely see an increase in its adoption by businesses in various industries, making it sort of an established industry best practice. According to Gartner, there are going to be about 26 billion devices, apart from smartphones, tablets, and computer systems, that are connected through the Internet of Things by 2020. Hence, the range of devices through which people are connected is getting bigger, which is exactly what the field service industry needs. The field service technicians need to be connected with the main office, with their colleagues, with the equipments used in the fields, as well as with their customers in real time. Information captured in the fields, with the help of such intelligent connected devices can then be used further, in predictive maintenance practices too.
- Better Integration – As an implication of the “Internet of Everything” phenomenon, there is going to be an exponential increase in productivity and efficiency over the next few years. As mobile devices, equipments, telematics, and the offices are connected and integrated with field service solutions, there can be more chances or opportunities to work closely and communicate more effectively. A custom field service software will be the right way to go about it.
With the help of vehicle tracking, scheduling and routing facilities on mobile devices, field service technicians can take decisions in real-time remotely. It also helps them avoid issues related to reckless driving, control maintenance costs etc., all from a handheld device. All this besides the regular utilities like access to customer history and billing information, location information of colleagues and the like.
- Mobility all the way – We will see most field service companies embracing mobility in the years to come. Field service solutions will take different mobile forms like tablets and smartphones, customized to suit the different business models of companies. Here are some of Gartner’s predictions for 2016 and beyond:
– About 40% of the field service workforce will be mobile
– More than 65% of the mobile workforce will have a smartphone
– Field service organizations will buy up to 53 million tablets in 2016
- A Single Provider – Along with modernization and further technological developments in the industry comes an increasing trend of relying on a single provider for all the functionalities required for work. Most companies entrust a single company to deliver the software and skills to manage their work, employees, and assets. This calls for comprehensive, robust as well as flexible platforms supported by strong providers.
What other trends do you think can be added to this list? Share with us in the comments below. Let’s discuss.