Future Trends for the Field Service IndustryBy My Service Depot on Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Smart business owners—no matter their industry—know that remaining relevant in the future means staying aware of the growing trends of their trade and adjusting their organization accordingly. As an owner or manager of a field service company, you’ve seen for yourself the massive changes that the industry has undergone in just the past decade. You also know that the only constant is change, that technology will become more and more important to field service operations, and that your clients’ needs will continue to evolve. Though we can’t offer you a peek into a crystal ball, we can provide some predictions from some of the most trusted experts in the field on how the industry will develop in the coming years.
Top Trends of the Field Service Industry:
Connectivity and Smart Devices
More and more products come with built-in Internet connectivity, allowing for remote manipulation and monitoring by Internet-connected devices. Imagine how useful that technology could become once integrated into the items common to your field service business. An HVAC company, for example, could install an air management system that can send a signal to you or your client when one of its components nears the verge of failure. A plumbing business could use “smart” pipes that track the flow of water to determine exactly where a blockage has occurred. The possibilities are limitless and incredibly exciting.
There is a drawback, however. No doubt you’ve seen stories regarding how items with Internet connectivity get used—either by bad actors or by the company that sold the product—to gather information on the user of that item. Some reports concern items of this nature getting used as a gateway into the larger network of the home or business owner, putting their sensitive personal and financial information at risk. When the time comes for you to consider whether to integrate “smart” items into your business, choose models that offer outstanding security. No level of efficiency is worth endangering you or your clients.
Automation of Operations
Another society-wide technological trend? Automation. When you hear that word, you might automatically imagine a machine replacing the job that a technician once held, but don’t worry; technology still can’t replicate the detail-oriented skills practiced daily by your hardworking team. In terms of field service, automation refers to the management of data that one used to have to sort through manually. Instead of searching through filing cabinets for a client’s information, you can now simply type their name into a computer to bring up their whole history with your company. As automation becomes more sophisticated, so too will the data available at your fingertips. This gives you and your technicians the opportunity to more effectively service your clients and provide them with more value-add selling options.
This has, of course, already been implemented to some degree. Field service companies that make use of specialized field service management software have enjoyed a significant streamlining of their operations and the increased sales that come with it. Software of this type allows you to, from your computer, set schedules and routes, dispatch tasks to your technicians, manage finances and inventory, and so much more. A paired mobile field service app, meanwhile, allows your employees to use their smartphone or tablet to create estimates, collect signatures, track equipment, and bring up client service histories. You can’t replace the skills your technicians bring to the table, but, with a comprehensive field service software solution, you can make sure that those skills get put to their best use.
Proper mobility has become a must for any successful field service company. If you can’t get to a job quickly and at the scheduled time, your clients will find someone who can. Technology, however, has expanded the definition of mobility as we know it. “There was too much traffic” or “I didn’t realize the job had been canceled” are no longer, in most cases, acceptable reasons for your technician to fail to appear somewhere on time. Though the navigational abilities of smartphones and similar devices provide ways around issues of this nature, the basic capabilities of these instruments often fail to address every hiccup your technicians might encounter. To ensure you remain part of the future, you will need a field service software solution that allows you to use your technology to its fullest potential.
While the simple scheduling and dispatching interface of field service scheduling software eliminates double bookings and wasted time, the real boost it provides to your company’s mobility comes with its capabilities to help you and your technicians react to any situation. Change in the schedule? With a tap of a button, every concerned technician gets notified at once. Route to the next job blocked by traffic? Integrated GPS software allows the user to find the quickest path to any destination. Unsure where an employee has gone? The ability to track their movements will help you determine where they went and help you get them back on track. Mobility means more than being in the right place at the right time; it also means the ability to do your job once you’re there. Technology has made that more apparent than ever, and as the field service industry evolves, so too will the technological solutions devised to keep up with those changes.
Stay Ahead of the Game With Field Service Software
Considering the future of your industry can become confusing and intimidating if you don’t know which way the wind will blow. You can get a head start on that future, however, by making use of the best technology available in the present. Start with moving to a field service software and mobile app. With more and more of the field service industry going digital, keeping yourself aware of upcoming trends and adopting a proactive plan can keep your business ahead of the game. Don’t know where to start? Try a free demo of Smart Service to see how easily you can streamline your field service operations. Take advantage of the modern features that improve productivity!