The business world is currently experiencing a major transformation generated by cloud computing and digitization. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), AI, and big data are all part of a massive opportunity to change and improve how we do business and the value we provide to our customers.
According to Harvard Business Review, 86 percent of companies view digital disruption as an opportunity. However, the reality is that the “opportunity” for digital transformation is no longer something to consider a future endeavor.
Digital transformation for field services is no different than any other industry: It has rapidly become a necessity, and it’s well underway for leading enterprises.
Field Service Management (FSM) is how organizations enable their employees, including mobile field technicians, and manage the scheduling of resources, ordering of parts, creation of work orders and service reports, as well as proactively monitoring equipment. There are often a multitude of disparate systems and involved procedures at play, which makes streamlining these processes difficult.
Luckily, there are ways that organizations in field service management can use automation technologies to bring about a digital change, improve their processes, and grow their business.
Challenges Facing Field Service Providers
Field services is a vital function of many businesses and industries. The core of the job entails the delivery and maintenance of mission-critical pieces of equipment like medical devices, power plants, construction and manufacturing machines, diagnostic tools, elevators, restaurant refrigerators, and many more. It requires a lot of time in the field and on the road, and a lot of data transmitted back and forth from site to office.
Plus, these activities often take place in very remote locations without Internet connectivity, surfacing the need for tools that operate perfectly – even when offline.
Yet, those who work in the field service industry are often stuck in a pattern of well-worn processes that are all too frequently manual and paper-based. While these legacy procedures are second nature to employees, they are not the most effective or efficient approaches.
Moreover, providers are confronted with rapidly changing technologies – both of the equipment they replace and repair, as well as the tools they use to execute their daily work. This pressure is compounded by increased expectations from customers demanding more self-service options, faster response times and mobile capabilities.
The stakes are high, time is limited, and the management of resources is complicated.
Keys to Delivering Flawless Field Services
When your solutions are integrated, your team has improved visibility of their tasks and can be more informed and flexible when it comes to solving problems – increasing equipment uptime and first-time fix rates. It also means that communication with your customers is more efficient. The way to achieve these goals is to make sure your FSM processes are working at their optimal levels.
Streamlining field service operations
Leveraging the power of Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) to automate, orchestrate, and optimize your processes, you can equal huge time savings for service providers and customers, while reducing costs and delivering better service.
Some of the most impactful digital tools include the use of dynamic onsite inspection checklists, data-driven equipment service reports and work orders with the ability to embed images while working remotely and mobile apps that allow for the capture of approval signatures even when offline.
Automating processes, forms and documents results in shorter service times for equipment owners and accelerated service-to-cash cycle times for service providers.
Exceeding customer expectations
Customer expectations are changing in every industry, and for an organization to keep up with its competitors, it must meet and exceed these expectations.
A shortened process using automated workflow is a massive improvement on more traditional manual processes, which can take far longer to resolve. In the near future, an IPA-powered solution could support predictive and preventive maintenance by leveraging IoT to notify your team in advance if equipment was going to break down or needed repairs. Replacement parts could be ordered and a technician sent to fix the problem without any manual input from the customer.
Examples like this of modern technology working to predict and act without the need for human intervention are what brings the concept of digital transformation to life.
If done effectively, digitizing field service processes can:
- Grow profit margins
- Enhance employee productivity
- Improve customer satisfaction
Your Digital Transformation for Field Services
Intelligent Process Automation is not simply the future of industries like field service management – it’s the present. Digital transformation is here, and processes are ready and waiting to be transformed. Say goodbye to tedious, manual processes and welcome the power of efficiency and efficacy into your business.
Nintex enables your organization and its users to create visual workflows that require no code to easily automate, orchestrate and optimize even your most sophisticated field service processes. With Nintex, the people at the heart of the work are empowered to improve how they operate.
Maximize Your Returns on Digital
Nintex is proud to sponsor Maximize Tour 2018, a ServiceMax event that helps employees, customers and partners learn how they can drive digital transformation for field services.
Find out more about ServiceMax here.