Why Artificial Intelligence in Field Service is Dependent on People

So far in this series of excerpts from a white paper recently published by Aquant, we’ve assessed the significant challenge field service companies face in finding balance in their workforce and the role Artificial Intelligence (AI) can play in helping companies do so. Now in the final excerpt in this series we look at how equally the implementation of AI requires a human touch to succeed.


In Field Service we Must Validate AI with Human Knowledge


Much has been made of the idea that machines can replace humans for essential job functions. The truth is that AI is nothing without the real-life expertise of humans to guide and validate its findings.


Automating insights from historical data is not enough on its own. In order to ensure that findings about the solutions to service challenges are accurate, an organisation must bring in its experts to assess and improve the solutions offered. Before AI, organisations needed to take experts out of the field for months to help with training or knowledge sharing. With the right AI solution, experts can optimise insights in a matter of hours.


When solutions to challenges are automatically generated by a system, it enables members of the service team to spend more time doing what they do best—which is applying their expertise in the field.

Speed up the Training of your Field Service Engineers and Increase Their Expertise


With easy-to-access information that understands what you mean regardless of specific phrasing, and a dynamic pool of information to draw from, smart systems give all employees equal access to previously hidden information.


Skills that previously took years to learn (usually by waiting to personally encounter and solve each unique problem) can now be passed down to newer employees in a matter of days. In addition to solving the practical problem of on-boarding new hires, it also helps to engage millennials in a way they are more comfortable with. And when knowledge is easier to acquire, employees can work on acquiring soft skills like customer service and relationship building, which can’t be taught by even the most powerful machines.


Case Study: How 3D Systems were able to scale their field service workforce and decrease repeat field engineer visits with actionable insights


3D Systems empowers modern manufacturing with best-of-breed plastic and metal 3D printers.


They help manufacturing clients dramatically reduce build time and enable healthcare organisations to custom-fit solutions and improve patient outcomes. With a robust global client base, they needed to onboard new service techs quicker to get them out in the field and solving complex service problems.


As the workforce grew, one of the hardest issues was extracting the organizational knowledge out of the heads of the most experienced engineers and into the hands of everyone in the field. They turned to Aquant’s AI-powered service intelligence platform to mine and analyze all their information, including data stored in field service solutions, CRM, and parts systems. In addition, the tool was able to uncover info that lay dormant in free text notes.


“3D Systems has seen a 62% reduction in parts usage and a 39% decrease in repeat visits, driving significant cost savings…”


The Natural Language Processing (NLP) engine embedded in the technology is even able to map different phrases and words all back to the same problem, which structured the data more efficiently and made it easier to search. During the install process, which took less than a week, the tool scoured and categorized data, and then their best engineers sat down to validate the data and improve findings.


3D Systems is now able to leverage Aquant’s Intelligent Triage product to assess and troubleshoot customer tickets quickly, helping service pros resolve issues on the first visit. They’ve also decreased parts costs and usage by correctly identifying the source of the problem and sending the right tech, with the right skills into the field with the right parts.


All employees have more equal access to knowledge, making it easy for junior techs to get up to speed quickly. As a result of implementing Aquant across the organization, 3D Systems has seen a 62% reduction in parts usage and a 39% decrease in repeat visits, driving significant cost savings.


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