You know what they say about opinions, and there has been a lot regarding how the newest Apple watch might influence the field service industry and whether or not it is a truly useful tool for field service providers. Of course, there are pros and cons to any mobile or wearable device, but ultimately, this compact, user-friendly piece of technology offers an array of enhanced conveniences that otherwise are not options with a traditional smart phone or tablet.
From a structural standpoint, the watch may not be appropriate for situations or jobs that involve the potential for impact; it’s not ruggedized. However, there are still instances when this type of technology would be useful to field service technicians conducting jobs.
The hands free capabilities of the Apple watch allow for instant connection and communication regardless of whether or not the technician’s hands are occupied with a task. Not only does this allow for more efficient conversations and convenient multitasking, but it is simply a safety feature that helps prevent unwanted accidents.
By wearing mobile technology, the risk for damage due to drops is essentially nonexistent. Technicians are not interrupted from the task at hand by multiple trips back and forth from their vehicle to retrieve their mobile device, and important notifications are not masked by a tool bag or pocket.
The technology in general opens the door for additional advancements through competing device manufacturers as well as app developers. Wearable technology, like the Apple Watch enable field service organizations to adjust to and benefit from changing technology. Wearables, and a WYOD strategy, and other new technologies like BYOD, cloud, social and mobile, IoT and M2M are changing the field service environment. As the technologies are more widely adopted by field service organizations, it will continue to advance and present new business opportunities. For example, the minor complaints that make the current Apple watch impractical for field service jobs which require a ruggedized device will not only likely lead to a more durable alternative in the near future, but options to use the devices more efficiently to increase first time fix rates, and subsequent customer satisfaction, a bell weather metric for field service success.
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