The Big Discussion: What Challenges, Opportunities and Trends Should We Expect in 2019? Part 4

Concluding our series our experts, Bill Pollock, Strategies for Growth, Marc Tatarsky at FieldAware, and Richard Pratley from SimPRO, identify potential areas of concern for service companies to look out for 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 end our series by picking out areas of concern for the sector that could surface in 2019. 

What is the biggest area of concern that field service companies should address in the next 12 months?


BILL POLLOCK, PRESIDENT, STRATEGIES FOR GROWTH
Technology goes hand-in-hand with the personnel that use it, so attention must also be given to how the organisation goes about replacing, and/or supplementing, its existing field force with new hires or the use of outside, third-party “feet on the street” support.
The services world is evolving so quickly, that any missteps along the way can be devastating – so every step, every move counts.

There will also be no time for any intra-mural infighting – only for collaboration and inter-departmental cooperation. Equipment will keep on breaking, and end-of-lifecycles are getting increasingly shorter. As such, there will always be the need for services organisations to deliver their support! However, only those that have the technological and corporate wherewithal to continually improve the way in which they deliver their services will rise to the top of the competitive order – and stay there!

 

MARC TATARSKY, SVP MARKETING, FIELD AWARE

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.

 

The phrase ‘doing more with less’ is common in field service and that can be in relation to numerous resources and assets.
The workforce is a key element in this equation and can preoccupy a great deal of management time. There are concerns over an aging workforce in field service, a high turnover of workers and a shrinking pool of talent as demand increases.

Technology plays a critical role in any succession and resource planning. This may be empowering the workforce with automation to streamline operations, bring in best practice and increase productivity without the need to increase numbers. Using technology differently or embracing emerging technologies to enable remote expert capabilities, so a more experienced worker assists others.

Also attracting new workers, especially millennials, for whom, the latest technology is a big part of everyday life. The technology has to be right for both worker and the organisation to get maximum benefit.


RICHARD PRATLEY, MANAGING DIRECTOR UK, SIMPRO
Technology is changing at a rapid pace. The technology we use today is very different from that we used five years ago so businesses will always have the challenge of how they can ensure the systems and technology they use are still current. Taking a long term view of the business requirement is vital.

Many businesses consider an off-the-shelf solution won’t fit the unique needs of the business. But think again! Overtly customised solutions can lead to restrictions with software updates and integrations with other systems in the future – not to mention a great deal of ongoing expense and time that should be spent on running the business.

Cloud-based software providers frequently release new updates (that are included in the licence fee) to help businesses stay ahead of tech trends. By ensuring the systems you use now are fit for purpose, you’ll be able to keep up with future technological developments.

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


Further Reading:

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