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Ten big field service trends to watch in 2016 (part five)

Mar 7 • Features, Future of FIeld Service • 2002 Views • No Comments on Ten big field service trends to watch in 2016 (part five)

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Welcome to the final part of this series on the key trends to have an impact on field service organisations in 2016

 In previous features in this series we’ve touched on servitization in part one, IoT and AR in part two Smart Glasses and Rugged Computing in part three…, and optimised scheduling and connected vehicles in part four

Now as we bring this series to a close we look at to key tools field service managers should be implementing this year. Knowledge sharing platforms and easy reporting solutions…

Knowledge sharing projects will become high priority…

Another year gone and another year closer to an impending ageing workforce crisis for an awful lot of field service companies.

With the number of field service engineers in their mid forties and fifties there is a distinct danger that companies are facing a huge problem not just in the sheer numbers of field service engineers that will need replacing but also in the very real possibility that when these engineers leave, not only will their experience leave with them but also so will their knowledge.

With the number of field service engineers in their mid forties and fifties there is a distinct danger that companies are facing a huge problem not just in the sheer numbers of field service engineers that will need replacing but also in the very real possibility that when these engineers leave, not only will their experience leave with them but also so will their knowledge

And the incoming Generation Y or Millennials and the outgoing Baby Boomers have many distinct , contrasting characteristics that add further challenges to this.

The Baby Boomers for example are hoarders of knowledge, having worked long and hard to gain their experience they were it like a badge of honour and may not necessarily feel comfortable giving that experience away for free.

Millennials on the other hand are ‘Google Natives’, born into a world of social sharing and online collaboration, for them the first thing to do when faced with a challenge to which they don’t know the answer is not to research the topic in a book but to ask their social circle.

The challenge that many field service companies is getting their existing workforce to participate in knowledge sharing platforms, and ensuring that the platform they are building has a familiarity and strong UI that will engage the next generation of field service engineers as they come through.

Fortunately tools like AR can help overcome both challenges by recording remote engineers calls and strong them digitally.

However, regardless of how companies approach the implementation of developing a knowledge bank, it will be a high priority for the majority of field service organisations and those that don’t do so soon could be in a lot of hot water the longer they wait.

Easy reporting will become a key priority for field service companies

Finally we can’t have a top ten about business trends, without mentioning Big Data somewhere can we?

I often say that problem with Big Data for so many people is that it is very often a completely intangible concept.

However, the emergence of dashboards as a business tool in field service is essentially what Big Data is all about.

We can talk about the four V’s (veracity, volume, velocity and variety) or about things like Hadoop or MapR for ever but only a handful of folks really get it

We can talk about the four V’s (veracity, volume, velocity and variety) or about things like Hadoop or MapR for ever but only a handful of folks really get it and in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter.

All most of us want to know about Big Data is can it help me see ‘insert relevant business challenge of the day here’. And that’s exactly what many FSM software providers are now promising.

And in today’s world where service is a key differentiator, and where service excellence sits alongside productivity as the two leading KPIs for many field service companies, then the old adage of ‘you can’t manage what you can measure’ holds as much weight as ever.

So as with scheduling, those companies looking at a new FSM solution in 2016 should ensure that the tool they opt for has all the reporting capabilities they could possibly need as instant reporting and easy access to data becomes standard.

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