Almost 2 weeks into the new year and we can already see some trends appearing. The field service industry is constantly evolving as new service businesses emerge and technology continues to advance at a rapid pace. Last year we saw a record number of service businesses adopt a digital way of working, with the ripples of COVID-19 continuing to leave a lasting effect on the economy and how people interact. This year we expect to see continued growth for businesses that have integrated software into their operations. New developments in technology will help to automate and streamline to provide enhanced service delivery for customers. Here are our top 3 trends to watch out for in 2023.
- Predictive maintenance
Predictive maintenance is not a new concept in 2023, however, recent advancements in technology, make predicting faults much easier. Downtime costs businesses hundreds of thousands of pounds every year. In 2021, Facebook lost $ 100 million due to an outage. And the effects on customer experience can be felt for many years.
It is critical to ensure all equipment and machinery are functioning at optimal performance. Predictive maintenance has quickly replaced traditional break/fix and preventative service models.
Predictive maintenance is attributed due to the advancements in IoT and AI and monitors equipment performance to predict potential issues. Notifications can be sent to technicians ahead of time to plan before the customer even realises. This can save businesses time and money and help them make decisions on when to invest in new equipment.
- AI Enhancements
In the last year, AI has exploded in a number of industries and has reached field service businesses. It is transforming how companies operate and is something we expect will grow massively in the next few years as it becomes more widely understood. Automation, streamlining and predictions all help to optimise operations and enhance service delivery.
AI can be integrated into various ways for field service businesses, for example, by simplifying tasks for back-office staff. AI can automate complex and repetitive tasks which take up a lot of admin time. It can also provide recommendations on how to improve processes, reduce errors and eliminate guesswork.
By integrating AI, businesses can increase productivity by automatically scheduling jobs to the closest technician or the best-skilled worker for a job. It can plan faster routes to avoid traffic which will improve service delivery and reduce fuel costs and travel time.
- Customers’ expectations
With the continual improvements throughout the years, rapid field services have quickly become an expectation of customers. As businesses constantly seek ways to enhance service delivery for their customers, expectations increase. Customers will demand faster fixes and 24/7 availability
Businesses that are reactive will be more successful as they will continue to meet these customer demands at short notice. The need for a dynamic scheduling system is essential and having a flexible workforce is now a necessity. By adopting dynamic scheduling and dispatching, back-office staff can identify nearby engineers or technicians with a particular skill set to complete the job quickly and effectively.
The field service industry will be much more reliant on technology in 2023 than it has been in previous years. As more businesses adopt a digital solution to help manage operations, those that continue to use paper-based systems will fall behind due to the flexibility and reactive nature of the industry.
Businesses must find ways to ensure they are meeting the increasing demands of their customers. Those who maintain a flexible and high-skilled workforce will be set apart from other competitors as customers’ expectations grow.
If your business is still operating with paper, it’s time to make a change.