This time we explore the emerging trends as commented from the latest field service management summit. While most will not become a reality until a couple of years. Some of these are expected to happen in the next few months. Can you tel which one’s will impact you the most? Is your business prepared? Is your software investment considering these trends?
The emergence and development of smart phones with more powerful capabilities makes them the obvious change in the industry. Costs and adaptation have made these devices the de facto tool for the enterprise. Although the growth trend is expected to stabilize in the next few years. These devices will gain more power and the usage will grow. When choosing any type of field service or job scheduling software for your service-based business, always look for the ones that offer mobile integration into your processes.
Expert tip: Look for companies that have a working app on the Google or iPhone app markets.
As more horsepower is built into servers and mainframes, the capabilities of having your business processes in the cloud become easier than ever. Having a software that is already working in the cloud, or that offers web-based usability is ideal for staying ahead of competition.
Expert tip: Find a solution that offers 24/7 live support on chat windows or phone support. Test the response of their customer service department.
Market Triggered Demand
With more and more devices connected to the Internet, monitoring your field service equipment will become a standard practice. By receiving real-time data from your devices you will be able to meet any inventory requirements that potentially arise. This combines being able to monitor real time leads and having them shared across departments. Getting updates on the market and any trend that could impact your inventory or demand will put you on a proactive perspective. Make sure your company is able to meet deadlines and demand requirements on a real-time basis.
Expert tip: Integrate real-time updates with your processes. This way you will always be in a position to fulfill requirements.
Similar to the previous trend, having real-time visibility will give companies more room for action and process optimization. Using analysis tools to predict inventory requirements, including parts and logistics will give companies a push towards zero-inventory practices. Warehouses that can be integrated into different processes or departments, or that can be rented or used differently will impact everything, from equipment management to accounting practices.
Expert tip: Don’t make long-term investments in warehouses or distribution centers. Look for potential partnerships across verticals that won’t impact your business.
Are you familiar with 3D printing technologies? If you are not, it’s about time to start worrying about them, or better yet, start preparing your company and processes for them. If your service business manages any type of parts or spare equipment we recommend that you pay attention to this trend. The dramatic loss in materials and the latest advancements will probably make this trend the more impact-full on the years to come. If your business has faced problems due to poor vendor or part service management, or if your manufacturing processes are core to your business, maybe now it’s the time to start vesting your company on this technology.
Expert tip: If your budget allows, fund or sponsor a research on the material of your choice. Your chances of getting first-hand input will be better served. Also, it would help if you join technology or educational associations pushing for new technologies and materials.
The recent subject of many media headlines, drones are bound to become the go-to resource for human-replacement. As devices, materials and equipment become more connected and smart, so will the idea of service in general. While we don’t foresee full human replacement of jobs, we think there is some level of threat to specific jobs and tasks. In the most recent field service management summit the issue gained some attraction. Part real world worry, part media buzz. It is undeniable that drones will continue to expand its reign, replacing human-activities. Our suggestion is to only invest in those technologies that can easily be integrated with other technologies in a seamless way.
Expert tip: Ask your chosen software vendor about their plans on technology trends. And what are they doing about it. Our take is that most vendors are not integrating that into their processes. If they don’t show worry or care, your business will be the one facing it when the time comes.
As you’ve seen, technology will play an increasing role in the future of field service business. But also it would play a dramatic role in the value of metrics and human relations. The major question to ask here, is you and your business prepared for what’s coming? Will your investment in technology give you the freedom and stability your business will require in the years to come. At The Service Program we work hard to assist you on this implementation stage. Call us today and see how we can help you.
We tried to highlight the major trends that could potentially impact almost every service based business. Did we miss anything? Is there any other industry-specific trend you are facing? Would love to hear your opinions on the comments below.