The Present is Innovative
Field service software has been a boon for our industry, bringing shorter response times and increased productivity. It has landed an incredibly flexible and powerful tool into the hands of those who make their living repairing machines in the field. Smart devices are the tool of choice for most who rely on dynamic dispatch to guide their service technicians. In turn, techs have found many uses for this amazing device that are having a big impact on their effectiveness as troubleshooters and field service professionals. Here are just a few ways field service techs are using smart devices in the field.
I’ve been in field service long enough to remember when a computer was something that took up a floor of a building; updating a service manual meant ripping old pages out and inserting new ones; finding a part number required postage-card-sized transparencies and a one-eyed viewer; and parts ordering, invoicing, expense reporting, and service logging took penmanship and spelling skills. Today a hand-held device contains more computing power than a building-sized computer in 1985, when I began my career (32 years-ago – where does the time go?); all manuals, parts lists, invoicing, expense reporting, and service logging are handled by said device; and spell-checked typing means I don’t have to fill out three invoices until I get it right.
As a field service technician with over thirty years’ experience as a fulltime employee, the thought of becoming a contractor is a scary proposition. But that is exactly the path many service companies are headed down – and for good reason. Contracting out field service work adds flexibility, scalability and can even mean more profits for companies that choose to head in this new direction. My fears were subdued when I read the Aberdeen article, Third-Party Field Service: Work Together to Deliver High Levels of Quality. The report praised a practice known as “hybrid labor forces” that are a blend of fulltime employees and contractors for times when workload exceeds the on-the-street manpower on any given day. It can even work out for the betterment of field service technicians.