This guest blog comes to us from Fieldpoint.net.
Field service management is a system for managing activities such as scheduling, dispatching, invoicing and billing. That said, if technology is going to evolve anywhere to make the workplace more efficient, it's in the field service management industry.
Although we're only a few months into 2019, there have already been many technological trends that have made changes in field service management.
Here are some of the biggest tech trends that have made headway in the field service management industry so far this year.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Virtual and augmented reality applications have been talked about for a while. But now, virtual and augmented reality has been developed enough that technicians are capable of overseeing all kinds of machines in the field digitally.
This enables technicians to guide contractors and other technicians step-by-step though repair projects and processes. What's more, virtual reality can also be used to train prospective technicians before they even enter the field so they have more experience under their belt.
Virtual and augmented reality applications have come so far that it's predicted that 10% of emergency field service work will be scheduled by artificial intelligence (AI) by 2020.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IOT) refers to the extension of Internet connectivity into everyday objects and physical devices. Devices that are connected with IOT can communicate and interact with others through the Internet and can also be remotely controlled and monitored.
Technology experts predict that there will be 26 times more connected objects and physical devices by the year 2026. Those devices include tablets, smartphones, laptops, desktops, and more.
What does this mean for technicians and the field service management industry? Technicians can use IOT to access data from connected services. They'll be able to access data from manufacturing equipment, household appliances, and utility meters.
This a major advancement for the industry because it helps technicians be more efficient. It also enables them to compare and contrast data from appliances and other equipment.
According to market research company Forrester, up to 85% of companies plan to implement or have already implemented IOT adoption this year.
Zero Stock Inventory
Zero stock inventory is a system where a company keeps little to no inventory in storage. Companies using this system only order exactly what they need and order inventory only when it's needed.
Research shows that computerized inventory control systems can help to cut back on inventory-related errors and can lead to an additional inventory reduction by up to 20%.
Field service management software that integrates with customer relations management (CRM) systems are capable of displaying real-time inventory numbers. This enables field service companies to have even greater control over their stock inventory so they never have unused spare parts sitting inside a warehouse.
New and improved technological systems have a major impact on workplace efficiency and productivity. With advancements in virtual and augmented reality, developments in IOT, and new-and-improved inventory control systems, it's safe to say the field service management industry is headed for a wave of innovation for the rest of 2019.