Emerging technologies are impacting every industry, but they are significantly transforming the mobile workforce management industry. Hands-on technology may improve everything from response time to customer satisfaction in your worker management system to improve service quality, customer loyalty and competitive differentiation. And after-sales service, which holds the most revenue opportunities, is directly enhanced by new technology solutions. . Here are the five top tech accessories for field service professionals.
Although most smart clothing is primarily being developed for fitness and health consumers, a few products are being developed to improve workplace safety. For example, smart uniforms that come with integrated sensors can track movements and measure specific muscle movements in real-time. The resulting data may be used to identify unsafe practices and the most efficient movements. Some employees may feel smart uniforms are another way for Big Brother to watch them work, but the goal is to reduce and prevent musculoskeletal injuries, which account for 30 percent of all workplace injuries. This will reduce legal liabilities and workers’ compensation claims.
Smart glasses enable the wearer to see and interact with digital information that augments their real-world view. Wearable display glasses do more than just take photos or videos because they integrate augmented reality with the wearer’s vision. Smart glasses are capable of projecting images at high-resolutions, feeding the user live information during activities and letting them easily manipulate 3D objects. This means that field service techs who wear smart glasses will be able to instantly see machine schematics, customer contracts and inventory lists. Senior and specialized workers in remote locations can see what field service techs are doing in order to direct activities. This will naturally expedite repairs, increase service revenues and improve first-time fix rates.
3D printing continues to be incorporated into manufacturing processes to create parts and prototypes. Modern 3D printers can now print metal parts, so they can be used to create ad hoc replacement parts. It is currently being selectively used for specific purposes and product development, but there are many applications in the field service industry. From an inventory and warehousing perspective, mass 3D printing could revolutionize supply chain management through minimizing the need to forecast product demands, supply sources and stock levels. This will reduce procurement, shipping and logistics costs. It will also drive faster responses and shorter repair times. 3D printing is especially helpful for field service situations that involve remote locations and complex logistics.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
The IoT means a lot of things to different people, but it is proven to create valuable customer interactions and experiences for field service technicians. Multi-device networks and platforms that are intertwined with products, sensors, software, analytics and feedback create massive data pools that contain powerful insights. For example, home appliances that come with built-in sensors that collect usage data provide extremely useful information for everyone from engineers to marketing to field service. Products that are built with smart parts can send repair or malfunctioning alerts to both the customer and the manufacturer. Once this process is automated, the smart product could even schedule the first available service appointment or request the appropriate service parts.
Driverless vehicles are a future technology that could be very beneficial to field service technicians. Driverless vehicles drastically expand the technician’s multitasking capabilities. Ideally, the service vehicle could drive itself to a nearby warehouse or service center while the technician completes their job. In reality, vehicles with advanced driving and safety features will allow multitasking technicians to access field service apps to review service history, inventory levels and equipment data while traveling to the call. Similarly, electrified vehicles that come with plug-in hybrid systems enable service technicians to operate lifts, machines, cranes and equipment without engine idling and wasting fuel. The battery system will serve as an invaluable generator during a power outage.
Continual technology advancements will continue to drive affordable advancements that benefit everyone involved. Better technology provides new ways for service technicians to efficiently and effectively do their jobs. Companies that fail to incorporate emerging technologies into their practices may struggle to maintain their profitability and competitive edge.