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It’s time for field service organisations to turn to the crowd

Apr 27 • Features, Future of FIeld Service • 1107 Views • No Comments on It’s time for field service organisations to turn to the crowd

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Manuel Grenacher, CEO at coresystems looks at why the predicted boom of the field service management market is set to bring workforce challenges of its own and proposes that the crowd-sourcing of field service could be the solution to these issues…

According to a recent report from Markets and Markets, by 2020 the field service management (FSM) market will be worth $5.11 billion – nearly triple its size in 2015. Major drivers behind that projection include skyrocketing customer expectations, the ever-increasing demand for enhanced productivity, and the steady escalation of field service operation costs.

Furthermore, Gartner forecasted that by 2020, two out of three large field service organisations will equip field technicians with a mobile application that drives profitability by creating revenue streams, efficiency and customer satisfaction. This is a positive outlook for the FSM market, but there’s a problem with the traditional field service delivery model that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

The exponential growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the real-time connectivity it enables has led to a massive spike in consumer expectations for instantaneous customer service

The exponential growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the real-time connectivity it enables has led to a massive spike in consumer expectations for instantaneous customer service. As a result, organisation of all sizes and across all industries have been forced to rethink their strategies for customer service delivery, including their workforce resources and supporting technologies. In doing so, many organisations are finding that they lack the technician specialists required to deliver real-time field service to their customers, and until now there has been no technology-based solution to help organisations find and deploy those specialists.

Compounding this resource availability problem is the fact that every day the number of IoT connected devices in circulation is increasing, which further adds to organisations’ backlogs of field service requests. But what if the field service industry were to adopt a new delivery model – one that could shift the balance of technology versus technicians back to a sustainable equilibrium for organisations?

This would be the tipping point that could help organisations leverage FSM to realise the true promise of the IoT. And the field service industry need look no further than some of the forward thinking companies that lead the way in the sharing economy, such as Uber and Airbnb.

By introducing technology that enables the crowdsourcing of field service to independent, for hire field service technicians (just like Uber does for drivers), FSM software providers would be able to help their customers find those field service technicians anywhere and anytime. This would check organisations’ critical box of providing real-time customer service.

The bottom line is that businesses today need to focus as much – if not more – on stellar customer service as they do on building innovative products

Furthermore, by utilising crowdsourced field service (or “crowd service”) for IoT-connected technologies, organisations will not only be able to deliver real-time customer support, but could also provide service and maintenance before those technologies suffer an outage. For larger organisations, we see two scenarios: a “public crowd” of crowdsourced freelance-technicians and a “private crowd” of technicians within your business ecosystem such as contractors, partners, subsidiaries and corporate professionals. Imagine that: through crowd service, organisations can proactively ensure that they never face the dreaded downtime that can end up costing millions of dollars per hour.

The bottom line is that businesses today need to focus as much – if not more – on stellar customer service as they do on building innovative products, but finding the time and resources required to meet rising consumer demands for real-time service has become increasingly difficult.

With crowd service, organisations can streamline their field service operations to deliver service as quickly as the same day the customer requests it

With crowd service, organisations can streamline their field service operations to deliver service as quickly as the same day the customer requests it, which delivers benefits from both a cost savings and customer satisfaction standpoint. Clearly, this crowd service model has the potential to be highly disruptive in the field service industry, but unlike many other technology based developments that are often lazily called disruptive, crowdsourced field service isn’t simply a nebulous concept.

FSM software providers are not only laying the groundwork for crowd service as we speak, but have customers deploying the technology in the real world – and many in the FSM industry, including Coresystems, expect crowd service to revolutionise the way that organisations service their customers in 2017 and beyond. So, as organisations look for a solution to the field service resourcing problem created by the IoT, they should turn to the crowd.

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