The field service management industry is rapidly growing to meet increased customer demand and keep up with technological improvements. Mordor Intelligence found that the field service management market is expecting massive growth in the coming years. Modor’s projections show a $7.05 billion value by 2025 — up from $3.14 billion in 2019.
Just a few decades ago, the industry relied on jobs based mostly on emergency repairs. Nowadays, field services have set up long-term contractual agreements that serve customer needs through repair, installation, and maintenance. This new model has made field service a more lucrative industry. As the industry becomes more fast-paced, companies are moving towards transformational technology that improves efficiency, reduces mistakes, and helps deliver a better customer experience.
3 Field Service Management Predictions and Trends
As the industry grows, businesses are looking to gain an edge over their competitors. Here are three trends we foresee happening in the new few years:
1. Companies Will Incorporate AI Technology
AI’s spread is speeding up as it becomes apparent just how many different fields it can be employed within. Gartner found that 59% of the top companies they surveyed were in the process of implementing or had already implemented AI or machine learning projects by 2022. Here are a few examples of how AI can be applied to field service management:
- Chatbots: Customers hate long hold times due to high call volumes. Instead, offer a multi-channel customer service system that includes AI chatbots. These chatbots can sync specific answers based on the most commonly asked questions. Questions such as, “When will my technician arrive?” or, “How can I reschedule?” can be easily accomplished through a chatbot.
- Problem Diagnosis: Sending your service team to diagnose problems requires additional follow-ups and more time to complete the job. Machine learning can help customers diagnose these types of issues independently with an automated checklist or survey that prompts questions. From there, the problem and resolution will display once the customer finishes their input. The AI system will then automatically dispatch the appropriate technician with the qualified skill set, availability, and nearby location to complete the job.
- Job Prioritization: Scheduling is quite complex, given the many factors that need to be considered throughout the process. An AI and machine learning problem can schedule jobs based on customer preferences, needs, business goals, KPIs, and technician skills. Factors that your AI should consider are customer status, parts inventory, job complexity, geographic location, depot location, and workforce capacity. This automation outsources the need for a human to schedule work orders manually. What’s more, it frees up and empowers your team to focus on activities that generate more revenue.
- Parts Pick-up Optimization: Only the top 20% of performing field-tech companies have a first-time fix rate of about 88%, while the next highest performers are only 63%. This means most companies failed to have technicians come to their visits with the right tools and parts to complete the job. Unfortunately, this leaves them at the mercy of a forgiving customer — this is where using real-time data and historical information has the potential to change the way this process is handled. AI-powered systems can eliminate the guesswork by determining parts needed before a technician arrives. It will analyze known information about the appointments, equipment, and technician(s) available and then allocate resources based on the most efficient inventory management.
2. More Field Service Businesses Will Use a Mobile FSM Solution
According to a 2017 study, 52% of field service businesses still operate their business manually. Moving forward, Astea International predicts that 86% of field service leaders will likely look to move to a more mobile initiative. A cloud-based field service management software can rapidly resolve many common issues, including out-of-stock parts and jobs over time. For example, instead of calling your office staff every time challenges arise, clients can resolve these matters in real or almost real-time within the FSM software. This rapid problem resolution applies to scheduling and sourcing, where alerts can save customers time and money.
3. Utilize Wearable Technology to Improve Efficiency and Safety
Wearables are mini-computers that measure various types of data and help display it for a field technician to see. Here are some of the most common wearables you can see in the field service market and how they can impact technicians.
- Contact lenses and glasses: Field technicians can wear smart glasses or contact lenses to view customer information, product manuals, warranty information, and any other type of information to help them while at the job site, making it unnecessary for technicians to bring handbooks or use other devices while on the job.
- Voice activation or gesture controls: Just as Siri enables Apple users to perform tasks with their voice, wearable technology with voice activation can do the same. It allows field technicians to multi-task. For example, they can focus on typing rather than opening the scheduling application to find the information they need.
- Smart clothing or health monitors: Smart clothing or health monitors can signal whether a driver is experiencing fatigue, especially during a long day of appointments. These garments may inform managers whether an employee is lifting heavy items without the correct form. Employers can also receive access to an employee’s health information, potentially saving his or her life in an emergency.
Wearables can increase safety and boost the productivity of all technicians. As a result, your company may see a decrease in accidents and the cost associated with them. Wearables are great tools during training as well. What’s more, you can send a new technician out to a client and have a senior technician guide them through the steps of a job remotely through the use of wearables.
Tap Into the Future of Field Service Management with Azuga
Field service companies are quickly taking a survival-of-the-fittest approach to the management process. Those who can adapt with new technology will succeed — those who do not won’t be able to maintain the same pace.
Azuga is a field service management software that manages your entire field service business in one place. It does everything from optimizing routes and schedules to managing work orders and even consolidating client information. Not to mention, Azuga has experience in all of the major industries and will guide you on ways to succeed with our platform. Get on the new wave of cloud-based FSM software and increase your bottom line with Azuga.