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Top Field Service Management Technology Trends for 2024: AI

Top Field Service Management Technology Trends for 2024: AI

ServicePower recently published its predictions for the top 10 trends in field service management for 2024. In this blog series, we take a closer look at each trend, starting with…

#1. AI and machine learning dominate the spotlight

This is one prediction that will obtain 100% consensus. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are at the top of the media hype cycle generating a frenzied buzz of speculations, advice, admonishments, and urgings to embark on your AI journey now. ServicePower, too, shares a passion for the technology. We hope to balance long-term goals with very practical insights and realistic guidance that today’s field service organizations can put to use right now.  

Discover the Power of AI in Field Service Management Software.

As professionals in field service management, you know that technology is important for your organization’s success. Today, many solutions include AI. One Google search for “AI in field service technology” yielded 2,430,000 search results. The sheer volume of content on AI makes it nearly impossible to stay well informed on the topic and separate the reality from frivolous accruements to the story.

AI is often included as functionality within end-to-end solutions, like ServicePower’s field service management platform. There are many forms of AI, from simple automation to more elaborate tools for writing original text. Choosing a reputable vendor to accompany you on the journey is a good first step. You’ll also want to know the basics, so you can be confident in conversations with vendors and can make informed recommendations to your team members.

Here are some terms to know:

  • Generative AI. This is the form of AI generating massive interest. Chatbots, like ChatGPT, can generate new content based on prompts and style preferences. Two additional advances play a part in making the technology mainstream: Transformers and large language models (LLMs) allow researchers to use large volumes of text for training.
  • Machine learning (ML). ML uses the science of statistical models and algorithms to predict outcomes and perform related tasks, as assigned by humans. ML algorithms use large volumes of historical data to train the system on inputs and resulting outputs. As more data is collected, predictions become more accurate, as if the system is “learning” or improving with experience.
  • Robotic process automation (RPA). This type of application is used for repetitive and labor-intensive back-office workflows like filling in forms, searching for information, or sorting invoices. Natural language processing (NLP) and optical character recognition (OCR) are often part of the process.
  • Intelligent automation (IA). Sometimes also called cognitive automation, this application continuously collects, processes, and analyzes data for you, flagging exceptions that fall outside of the defined parameters. Solutions that suggest traffic routes based on real-time data about weather and traffic patterns are examples.
  • Rule-based automation. This is the most common use of AI and has been used for decades to automate simple processes such as completing forms and matching invoices and purchase orders.

For companies that perform field service, the opportunities to apply AI and rule-based automation are varied, from employing chatbots to triage online inquiries to using schedule optimization tools to plan the most effective use of resources.

Schedule optimization, an example of intelligent automation and AI, can help assign the right field service worker to the service request based on multiple factors, like the location and skill level of the technician. The solution continually evaluates evolving scenarios, suggesting shifts if weather, traffic patterns, or on-site delays impact the assigned routes. With time, it learns traffic patterns and can anticipate traffic slow-downs before they happen, for example.

ServicePower warranty management uses rules-based automation to speed up the time it takes to close a claim. Besides a positive customer experience, automating claims processes improves auditing and validation, reduces the likelihood of fraud, protects warranty reserves, lowers costs, and facilitates faster contract payments.

 

Your next steps

This look at AI is just the first in a series on top trends. The entire series is meant to provide a high-level overview to help you have a clearer picture of trends, terms, and hot topics you might want to explore further. We also hope you’ll see we have a passion for the technology and want to help you make sense of the conflicting news and pick out the applications most useful for field service.

You have choices to make. Decisions start with a sound strategy, including what you hope to achieve, how you want to improve processes, and ways you can put AI to work for everyday results. So, AI may be the top trend, but a real application is schedule optimization, for example. The benefits are very tangible and measurable savings. Learn more here.

Read the full report on trends for 2024.

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