Modern communication technology

Research Report: Mobility tools in field service 2015 – Part Four

May 20 • Features, Research, resources • 2938 Views • No Comments on Research Report: Mobility tools in field service 2015 – Part Four

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

In the first part of this exclusive research project run in partnership with Advanced Field Service, we looked at the types of mobile devices being used in the field and why it seems that the days of pen and paper are becoming increasingly numbered. In the second of this four part series we look at whether there is a future for wearables in field service, are devices being used rugged or consumer and has BYOD worked and in part three we looked at how engineers react and respond to the mobility tools they are given.

Now in the final part of this series we turn our attention to what is field service professionals expect from a field service mobile application

There is also a white paper accompanying this series, with even further insights, which you can download here

Operating systems

Having taken a look at whose making the decisions lets return to the decisions being made.

Earlier in this series we looked at the choice between rugged or consumer grade products but what about the software?

Around a third (32%) of companies state they have mixed multiple OS’s in use amongst their field engineers.

Given the earlier finding that the over half of companies are using multiple digital devices it makes sense that the around a third (32%) of companies state they have mixed multiple OS’s in use amongst their field engineers.

Aside from these companies however the most popular OS is now Android which alongside the 16% of companies using Apple’s iOS is another clear indication of the rise in prominence of both Tablets and Smart-phones as tools being provided to field service engineers.

However, despite giving away ground to Apple and Android in the mobile market, Window’s still hold onto a relatively strong market share of the OS’s being used in field service with 23% of companies stating that this is their OS of choice.

Also similarly as with the figures around laptops maybe being distorted somewhat by the amount of companies using multiple devices, the same logic would also likely see Window’s market share increase as the majority of laptops would be on a Windows OS of some form.

Going Native

But in an age of HTML5 and Cloud based SaaS solutions how important is an OS anyway?

Well for a very large majority of companies (86%) it seems that operating systems are at the very least a consideration in the selection of a device, whilst for 41% of companies it is a very important factor.

When we reflect back to the worries identified earlier in this report around integration problems then perhaps this is understandable. Keeping HTML5 and web based applications in mind however, is it important for a field service app to be native to any given OS?

Again the majority of our respondents suggested that it is. 

Over two-thirds (69%) of companies felt that it was important that a field service app is native to the OS it is running on, whilst 35% felt it was very important.

In fact over two-thirds (69%) of companies felt that it was important that a field service app is native to the OS it is running on, whilst 35% felt it was very important. In contrast just 11% felt that it was not important at all.

Of course a native app will not only appear far more polished it can often have far richer functionality as it is designed to work in tandem with both the operating system and the device itself.

And our research shows that expectations for field service apps is now extremely high.

Access to account information, access to technical documents, visibility into parts availability, delivery of automatic status updates, recording of time sheets, photo and signature capture and data security were expected as part of a field service app by more than 60% of our respondents.

What we want in a field service app – everything!

However, when it came to the functionality that was required in a field service app the most important element by far was “Access work schedule and complete jobs on site” which almost two thirds of companies (63%) placed amongst the most important functions they require in an app.

What is definitely encouraging is that the most common reason for companies upgrading their existing systems is to improve the service they are delivering to their customers.

Aside from this though almost all other functions had a similar level of responses with “access to technical documents” being the second most popular requirement with 42% of companies identifying this as important to them followed by “delivery of automatic status updates”(41%), “access to account information”(39%), “Photo/signature capture” (35%),“recording of time sheets” (35%), “visibility into parts availability” (27%), and “data security” (23%).

Finally lets look at why companies invest in field service solutions.

What is definitely encouraging is that the most common reason for companies upgrading their existing systems is to improve the service they are delivering to their customers.

I am a firm believer in putting the customers at the heart of all we do in field service and it appears I am not alone in this ethos.

However the good news is that often by doing so we can see other benefits. One of these is improving productivity which was the second most commonly cited reason for investing in a new field service management solution.

This was followed by the “reduction of paperwork” and “cost savings” being the third and fourth most popular reasons for a new system while “Automation of routine tasks” was the fifth most popular reason cited. Finally despite the often painted Big Brother impact of a field service solution, visibility into workers was actually the least common of the reasons given for introducing a new field service management solution.


Want to know more? Download the exclusive research report now!

Find out more about Advanced Field Service in the Field Service News Directory

Please note that by downloading the above research report you agree to these fascinating terms and conditions

Be social and share this feature

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blue Captcha Image Refresh

*

« »

More in Features
GenYKids700
Attracting millennials to field service

In our recent series of articles we have asked if recruitment is going to be field services greatest challenge and explored why despite a negative press millennials are in fact a natural fit for field service. The reason...

Close