New Technologies Handle Field Service Management Challenges
With the ever-changing landscape of industries, more capable field service management technologies are required globally. Catching up to this necessity requires more intelligent systems. Increased cost pressure has also made traditional pricing models less attractive to customers. Companies want solutions that minimize risk and provide more predictability, including outcome-based solutions.
Retaining current customers and gaining new ones is essential to growing a field service management (FSM) business. New technologies, connected equipment, and cloud-based platforms generate and exchange data continuously, creating valuable data about customers and their equipment. Companies can also analyze this data to derive insights and design more competitive service models, including optimal service schedules and offerings tailored to customers’ needs.
Field Service Management in 2022 — Challenges
- Meeting Customer Expectations: Customers want their issues resolved immediately when they call field services. With intelligent systems and digital infrastructure advancement, customers experience better and more efficient service.
- Reduced Profit Margins: FSM is currently dealing with reduced profit margins. The travel expenses of field representatives can be expensive. Inefficiencies in managing inventories due to lack of proper planning lead to reduced profit margins.
- Getting Quality Technicians & Drivers: Finding quality technicians and drivers is another issue. Representation of unskilled technicians in the front line of communication leads to customer dissatisfaction and the loss of customers.
- Scheduling & Dispatching Conflicts: Scheduling and dispatching conflicts like overlapping, double-booking, and unavailability of time slots of field representatives pose a potential threat to the field service business.
- Competitive Pressure: As more players venture into the field services market, the competition among the FSM vendors is growing intense.
- Increasing Complexity of Services: Companies need to implement modern field service solutions that can be deployed quickly and cost-effectively. However, the increasing complexity and speed of changes in technology often make this difficult.
New Technologies for Field Services
To respond to new challenges, it’s more important than ever to look at processes and digital solutions that keep field technicians and assets operating at their best. For instance, by applying artificial intelligence (AI) to data produced by in-service equipment, the service team can develop valuable insights into usage, factors that increase the risk of breakdown, and timing pre-emptive service visits to avoid breakdowns. Those insights help customers reduce maintenance costs and improve equipment performance. Preemptive, proactive, and predictive service is essential for the day.
Following are some field service management solutions driven by technology:
- Self-Service Takes Center Stage: Self-service provides a starting point for field service teams to resolve issues. Field service workers and customers can stay in sync and manage expectations on both sides when an organization uses a software-enabled device or a mobile app that employees can update in real-time.
- Route-Planning Software: Field agents can optimize a trip with multiple stops by predicting the most efficient routes, reducing mileage and fuel cost. This software often includes GPS tracking features so employers know where their field agents are located and if they’re on schedule.
- Use of Internet of Things (IoT): IoT and other connectivity solutions open a whole new world of possibilities for service management processes. Thanks to predictive maintenance, customers won’t even know they have a problem until too late.
- Cloudification Enables Remote Work: We can now close the gap between the office and field-based teams because of cloud technology’s scalability, speed, and ability to collaborate with others. There are no interruptions in workflow.
Oracle Field Service Cloud (OFSC) — Benefits
Customers expect to be served with swift speed, and customer relationship management (CRM) practices come into play. Integrating CRM applications with field service applications may enhance the customer experience (CX). A customer-facing application to receive the feedback adds more value. The cloud field service management market will reach $2,254.5 million in 2022. 
One of the top CRM solutions for field service management is Oracle Field Service Cloud (OFSC). This innovative platform provides artificial intelligence (AI) powered tools for managing, routing, and scheduling field service technicians. This platform utilizes predictive technology to automate scheduling, improving business workflow. OFSC has intuitive tools that use data analytics based on status, type, and resources. You can also quickly track resources, cost, time, activities, and inventory using OFSC.
Field Service Management — An Example/Use Case
The internet connection at a company stopped working, and the owner needed technical help to have it up and run. He contacted an IT agency, and they assigned one of their technicians to his company, who was closer to the customer based on his location update in OFSC.
When the assigned technician got delayed while working on a project for another client, the OSFC platform figured itself out. It reassigned the customer ticket to another nearby technician using an OFS integrated map. The new technician instantly fixed the company’s internet issues in the field by using video collaboration with his colleagues and Oracle Digital Assistant to receive quick data.
Customer relationship management has gone through a paradigm shift by gearing up for personalized customer experiences. Technology is taking over nearly every aspect of it. Every business and all dedicated CRM/CX platforms need to prepare themselves for the rapidly changing needs of consumers proactively and with predictive technology-driven solutions.
CRM/CX system integrators will be called upon to provide solutions that continue to drive the experience economy for a positive return on investment in both shorter and longer terms. The companies that willingly embrace this change and adapt to the newer tech trends in CRM/CX are the ones that will stay on the progressive path.
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This post was written by Brian Friedman, GVP of Global Strategic Sales at SoftClouds. Brian has a background in technology, business development, corporate management, and sales. Brian has been responsible for the creation and growth of numerous companies developing successful long-term relationships that have resulted in double-digit sales growth and continuing business expansion.
SoftClouds is a recognized leader in CRM/CX transformation with experience in numerous Service Cloud Implementations with pre-configured best practice business processes for multiple verticals/domains.
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