ood field service management is more valuable today than ever before. More and more companies are relying on the automation of their work processes and thanks to state-of-the-art technologies, field service management is easier than ever. The constant integration of new developments and improvements in FSM solutions has made a significant contribution to simplifying communication between customers and companies and making work processes faster and more optimised.
But what will FSM look like in the future and how will it evolve? What are the trends in field service management? The Corona pandemic in particular shows how important good field service management is and how much all existing resources depend on good field service management. And that digital transformation is no longer just nice-to-have, but a basic prerequisite for any further development.
So where is the journey heading? What do companies need to know? What are current trends in field service management? How will they affect resource planning and order processing?
We have identified 8 trends for decision makers in maintenance, after sales and field service management and present them in the following blog post.
TREND 1: SIMPLE RESOURCE PLANNING THROUGH DATA ANALYSIS
Data analysis is the key to effective resource planning and order processing. Due to increasing digitalisation, companies today have a great deal of data from technical service and maintenance at their disposal. This data contains a lot of interesting and important information, including information on operations, spare parts, travel times, costs or the duration of repairs. But customer history and the condition of assets can also be read from this data. With the help of key figures and dashboards, the collected data is visualised and then evaluated. Thanks to this development, not only the response time is improved, but also the ability to provide information to the customer.
TREND 2: PROCESS AUTOMATION LEADS TO TIME SAVINGS
Digitisation of field service management also facilitates and improves everyday service processes. The automation of processes counteracts the increasing competition and the shortage of skilled workers. Here, it is important that the entire process, from order acceptance to billing, is automated and digitally recorded. In addition, dispatchers have to supervise more and more technicians and plan orders. This challenge can only be met with automated resource planning. It can schedule incoming orders fully automatically and optimally, leaving dispatchers more time for emergencies. In addition, digital route planning reduces travel times and schedules appointments in a cost- and mileage-saving manner.
TREND 3: CUSTOMER CENTRICITY
Another trend in field service management is customer centricity. The range of services and solutions in the field service management industry has increased significantly in recent years. To differentiate themselves from other companies, companies must focus on a unique customer experience. The solution itself takes a back seat. What is important is that the customer's needs are met and that they always feel well informed. Good communication between the service provider and the customer is particularly important here. In the future, the customer experience will increasingly replace the solution as a brand feature.
TREND 4: SUBCONTRACTOR INTEGRATION FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE
To cope with staff shortages or seasonal fluctuations, subcontractors can be hired to take over services. In this way, service availability can be ensured when demand is high and quality standards can be maintained when there is an acute shortage of skilled workers. It is important that there is transparency between all parties involved to enable seamless communication. Of course, the integration of subcontractors goes hand in hand with an increased number of requirements. The flow of information between the subcontractor's field staff and the scheduling and tour planning software must be guaranteed.
TREND 5: PREDICTIVE PLANNING THANKS TO PREDICTIVE MAINTENANCE
Predictive maintenance uses historical data to forecast future events. It checks where maintenance will be necessary in the near future and does not just react as soon as a malfunction occurs. This makes it possible to minimise downtimes and thus also the number of escalations. But the positive effect of predictive maintenance is not limited to emergencies. It also leads to service organisations being able to offer and also meet smaller SLAs. With this steady increase in service standards, customers quickly expect higher availability and reliability of services and products. To sustainably increase availability, uptime must be optimised and increased. In order to do this, companies need to integrate logistics, facilitate autonomous maintenance and enable communication between service providers and customers. With higher uptime, customer satisfaction is strengthened and the future is secured.
TREND 6: FACILITATION THROUGH VOICE CONTROL
Another trend is voice control for technicians. Whether it is to record protocols instead of writing them down or to have both hands free when working. Voice control facilitates the work processes of technicians in many areas. This saves time and improves the quality of order processing.
TREND 7: MOBILE APPS
Field service management providers will continue to expand their mobile apps for customers and technicians. As mobile phones have practically become mini-laptops, field service trends must include mobile apps and customer portals to facilitate the use of their solutions, as well as communication with service providers. Information in customer portals and mobile apps, provide customers with a better understanding of their devices and better access to support. This also benefits technicians. These enhancements provide deeper insights and the possibility to track their jobs more accurately.
TREND 8: NEW GENERATION WITH INNOVATIVE IDEAS
As in any other industry, it is important in field service management to keep up with the times and to recognise and implement new opportunities early on. This is where the next generation plays a major role. With young employees, innovative ideas and the ambition to break new ground grow. The so-called millennials will play an important role in the future of field service with their innovative way of thinking and their feel for technology.