The Big Discussion: What Challenges, Opportunities and Trends Should We Expect in 2019? Part 3

In the third of our four-part series, our industry experts Bill Pollock, Strategies for Growth, Marc Tatarsky at FieldAware, and Richard Pratley from SimPRO, identify key areas of focus for field service managers in 2019.

In The Big Discussion we bring together three industry experts and put four key questions for them to answer to give us a balanced view of the major trends impacting the field service sector. This week, the panel pick out trends for field service managers to look out for in 2019, including AI, data integration and connectivity.

What do you think should be the key areas of focus for field service managers across the next twelve months?

The next most important areas of focus for field service managers in the coming 12 months will likely be among the following three items:

(1) embracing the “new” technologies to support an expanded and enhanced capability to deliver their respective service offerings. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning have been around for more than 50 years, but are still relatively new to the services segment – but, it’s time to build them into your service operations!

(2) Changing the way in which you deliver – and price – your service offerings. Traditional break/fix service is essentially “dead”. Long live predictive diagnostics and predictive maintenance! Have you spoken to any chat bots lately? Well, you will!

(3) Re-engineering the way you measure performance metrics, or KPIs. MeanTime Between Failures (MTBF) and Mean-Time-to-Repair (MTTR) will not mean anything in an environment where services are being performed remotely on an ongoing basis. It will be time to replace some of the old “tried and true” KPIs with new ones that can measure systemic productivity, rather than merely individual field technician productivity. It’s time to rethink the entire service delivery process – and adjust to it!



Integration capability tops software selection criteria consistently for field service leaders. Even those who have been hesitant to integrate in the past, can now see that integration capabilities are far more advanced. Working with the right FSM software creates rapid time to value and ensures minimal risk.

Essentially the integration of FSM solutions into existing business systems of record means there is no disruption to ERP, CRM and accounting systems. Ultimately the real value is delivered through synchronized workflows, enhanced reporting and extending results beyond the current systems. Data integration yields actionable outcomes and connectivity to the wider business.

Field service has long been seen as simply a business cost, but leaders now recognise that integration can elevate their service operation, transforming it to a value-driving organisation that delivers broader business results. The evolution of field service through integration should be a focus to unlock this business value.

We continue to see businesses turning to software and technology to improve the efficiency of their workforce and to support customer service.

Smart connected products and IoT technology is transforming field service operations and we’ll see more adoption of this over the next twelve months. The predictive model not only reduces the cost of reactive maintenance but it addresses any issues before they become critical. For the customer, they won’t ever need to worry about needing to deal with a broken asset ever again.

We already have a number of customers running trials of our IoT technology. Not only are they winning new contracts off the back of it but it’s helping to increase the lifetime value of their existing customers.

The final part of The Big Discussion. You can read the first instalment here, and the second here

Further Reading:

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FieldAware is a top-rated mobile field service management software that lets you easily schedule and dispatch field workers, assign jobs, invoice customers and more.