We’ve talked about trends in field service and about the need to plan and make decisions on a timely basis. But what are the challenges that arise when technology overlaps business shifts? And what can service business do to prevent conflict?
A presentation by the International Society of Service Innovation Professionals provides some insights about the future of field service and its current challenges(PDF). According to ISSIP, there are five main challenges that service industries, as well as software providers will be facing in following years.
1. More information demands more time to analyze
Given the increase in technology input, including human and computer-enhanced, such as sensors, it is likely that the opportunities for finding insights will grow. As more data becomes more accessible and more complete, the challenge will be in an efficient utilization of time. Time management becomes more important.
The challenge for using a service scheduling software solution is solved by using a tailored solution for your industry, while also adapting to your current information stream.
2. More devices require greater consistency
As devices share similar connectivity capabilities, the challenge is on how to handle different sources of data in a consistent manner. It can be tricky to try to coordinate different operating systems and interfaces.
One approach to fix this problem is to enhance your current system, rather than migrating completely to a new software solution. Add-ons for service companies, such as The Service Program have already solved this consistency issue. Why would you want to waste time, money and effort in newer and complicated technologies?
3. Collaborative Platforms call for improved security
The problem of having multiple devices running on the same network or software is always security. The more user stations a system has, the more it is likely to fail, or worse, to get hacked. This is an ever present threat that won’t be gone anytime in the future. But there is an affordable solution to this.
The idea of having a software that integrates with your current accounting and controlling software is to have a different interface that impedes data breaches. After all, you don’t want everyone to potentially have access to sensitive information such as your accounting and taxes records.
4. Cost versus Quality
No news here. The world is moving towards a more connected and digital world. And it’s doing it at a very fast rate. And with all those improvements, there is both an opportunity as well as a threat for companies. By having more and more people jump into the software development wagon because of its ease of integration. Software programs can be easily developed and shipped in weeks, with the possibility to constantly keep upgrading them to fix bugs.
As much as this approach takes care of the fix. It relies on customers not caring too much for quality or proven solutions, but rather a quick fix. I don’t need to tell you the consequences of this type of mentality. My suggestion is to get a solution that has been proven in the market, and hopefully that has been proven in your industry and business vertical too.
5. More control, less flexibility
Besides the time/analysis problem mentioned above, the opportunity that comes from multiple data sources can be diluted by poor software flexibility. Big data needs hierarchical structures. But too much hierarchy and structure don’t always work very smoothly. Vendors and companies must learn to rely on specific metrics, not just in every available metric.
Let’s face it, a ton of data does not make you or your business successful. Business success is more of a holistic approach that takes time and effort, and it relies on processes. And simple processes always perform better over complicated ones. I don’t know about you, but I rather have a simple and workable solution that has been proven, over fancy and/or advanced features. I rather spend my time focusing on the field and helping on with my customer’s needs. I need control but I want flexibility.
As you’ve seen, some of the major challenges in the future of field service depend on the development of newer and more complicated software. In my opinion, a simple addition to my current system is all I need to perform better.
Do you agree or disagree? Please share your thoughts.