Technology is transforming the world all around us. Form the way we communicate and engage with customers and clients to tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) and reaching goals, technological advances have changed the fundamentals of what it means to conduct business well. Because mastering the use of integrated technology has become so critical to achieving success as a company, field service executives and leaders must stay up to date on technological advances and so they can’t find ways to leverage them to improve business.
Both customers and employees notice when companies are using outdated technology, and it can reflect poorly on the brand overall. As a customer who wants a video created would notice if a videographer were using a camera from the 1980s, field service customers are aware of whether or not a company is up to date when it comes to technology. This is also true for field service employees and technicians. As baby boomers are beginning to leave the workforce, more tech-savvy millennials are entering at a rapid pace and they expect strong, cutting-edge devices and systems in the workplace.
In the highly competitive field service industry, delivering on-time and within budget is important, and when you have technology that helps you optimize the way you schedule, track your field service technicians, keep everyone connected and manage job cost, you can run a leaner and more competitive enterprise. Here are some of the top technological characteristics that we at RazorSync believe will define the field service organization of the future.
Business Intelligence Tools Will be Essential
KPI-based planning is a key to making better decisions, and while many field service organizations have a general plan for the future, they may not actually know or have a way to know how good their plans actually are. That’s where analytics and reporting come in. When you have reliable data at your disposal, you can better understand important metrics such as total travel time, total overtime and whether or not you have the best technician working on each job.
Data provides the necessary insight to create a KPI-based plan. Insight into your business gives you answers to important questions that have a direct impact on your bottom line, such as whether or not signing a new customer and following the associated service level agreement will affect overtime costs. Sometimes it’s hard to know whether or not making certain investments will increase efficiency, or just costs. With data, analytics and reporting, you won’t have to guess and you can tie your planning tasks to your short and long-term business goals.
Wearables, Smart Devices, Drones and IoT
Wearables like smartwatches and augmented reality headsets are gaining a lot of steam across a wide range of industries right now, and it’s likely that field service companies will use them in the future as tools to help improve the way they do business. Smartwatches, already available to the public, are being used in some business scenarios and particularly by consumers to monitor vital signs. Field service companies may use smartwatches in the future to monitor environmental safety metrics such as temperature, air quality, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide levels.
Drones are also becoming very popular and we will see the user base grow significantly in the next few years. The field service business of the future may use drones in a variety of different ways, including to check on equipment or machines in locations that are far away or difficult to get to. Additionally, they may use thermal imaging to detect overheating equipment or malfunctioning equipment.
We’re already seeing the impact Internet-of-Things (IoT) on both a commercial and retail level. Arguably, the promise of unlimited and interconnected devices is already here. Think of your internet connected thermostat, alarm system, low voltage lighting and audio components, garage door, refrigerator and more. Service companies will not only need to be aware of how to install IoT components but also provide proper break-fix when these devices go awry. Fortunately, IoT allows devices to automatically send alerts when they are in need of service.
Mobile Technology and the Future of Field Service
Mobile technology is beginning to permeate the industry due to the proliferation of smartphones and the widespread availability of Wi-Fi access. This has already changed the way field service managers and technicians are able to complete their assignments by allowing them to conduct operations from the field.
When it comes to mobile field technology solutions, RazorSync is leading the way. With RazorSync’s robust features, field service companies can manage customers and field workers, schedule and dispatch workers, invoice, track inventory and more. All of this can be done from a tablet, smartphone or desktop computer. RazorSync is a key tool field service organizations can use right now to prepare for the future while increasing productivity, efficiency and reducing errors. Additionally they can shorten the billing cycle, improve cash flow and eliminate excessive paperwork.
RazorSync’s route optimization feature allows you to better control drive time and mileage. When you have recurring service calls, such as commercial maintenance or landscaping, you can achieve a high ROI on a relatively small investment by eliminating waste when it comes to technician time and fuel costs. Even the best drivers have reported savings when using this feature. In addition to route optimization, you can connect the field, office and customer with RazorSync’s worker management and GPS software, which helps reduce costs and improve the productivity of your field service employees.
If you’re looking for a clever, simple and effective way to transform your field service business, both today and well into the future, contact us at RazorSync today to get started. Either through a demo or free-trial, we want you to experience the power of RazorSync’s tools for yourself.