Boosting Efficiency with Field Service Maintenance Schedules

Learn how to optimize field-service efficiency using Dynamics 365 Field Service by accurately predicting maintenance schedules.

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    Whether your company services equipment, appliances, devices, or vehicles at customer sites, accurately predicting when preventative maintenance will be needed produces a range of benefits.  

    First and foremost, it keeps your customers happy. You maintain and repair their assets before they fail—avoiding the stress of customers who need something fixed right now. You also extend the life of their products, which increases their satisfaction and keeps them coming back when it’s time to upgrade or buy another item that you offer. 

    Predictive maintenance also produces internal benefits. By minimizing downtime and enhancing product reliability, you reduce the operational costs of your field services business unit. You know ahead of time when technicians will need to provide services to customers so you can plan schedules.  

    And with fewer instances of equipment breaking down—because you consistently perform preventative maintenance—you also reduce the number of emergency repairs. The internal stress that comes with handling emergencies also goes down. 

    Experience a Day in the Life of a Field Service TechnicianExperience a Day in the Life of a Field Service Technician

    The Solution: Dynamics 365 Field Service 

    Many companies providing field services have solved the challenge of implementing predictive maintenance by turning to Dynamics 365 Field Service from Microsoft. The solution can be implemented as a stand-alone module or in conjunction with the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement suite that also includes functionality for sales, customer service, project operations, and customer insights.  

    In addition to coordinating predictive maintenance, the Dynamics 365 Field Service module helps organizations increase first-time fix rates and optimize technician productivity through advanced scheduling and optimization. The technology also facilitates mobile operations by making it easier for field resources to collaborate with internal teams. Incident status and schedule updates can be communicated with just a couple of clicks. 

    Predictive maintenance utilizes a proactive approach to maintain and replace equipment and components precisely when necessary, aiming to prevent failures and prolong service longevity. For instance, consider a manufacturing plant that relies on critical machinery for production. By implementing predictive maintenance strategies, the plant can schedule maintenance tasks precisely when needed, minimizing downtime and avoiding costly unplanned shutdowns. 

    Dynamics 365 Field Service harnesses machine learning capabilities to analyze the historical records of various customer assets, including equipment, devices, machinery, and appliances, supplemented by real-time performance data from IoT sensors where available. 

    Leveraging this data, Dynamics 365 constructs an AI model to forecast potential failures. The efficacy of the model improves with more comprehensive service life data. Once the predictive model is sufficiently trained, Dynamics 365 Field Service can identify anomalies and promptly notify service managers, simultaneously initiating an automated workflow to dispatch a technician. 

    Medical Device Company Creates Digital and Traceable Field Service Processes 

    A Velosio customer who deployed Dynamics 365 Field Service is AtriCure, a publicly-traded company that provides treatment for atrial fibrillation (AFib) and related conditions. The company offers the first medical device to receive FDA approval for the treatment of persistent AFib. 

    To streamline predictive maintenance, AtriCure needed to replace its paper-driven device inventory, history, service, and maintenance records with a digital, traceable process. By collaborating with Velosio,  

    AtriCure built a unique Dynamics 365 Field Service solution that provides an efficient way to service customer devices with limited technician resources while also maintaining high levels of service quality and complying with healthcare regulations. 

    In addition to assisting with predictive maintenance, Dynamics 365 Field Service delivers several other key benefits for AtriCure: 

    • Adds tracking and traceability to medical devices in the US and Europe.  
    • Manages contracts service history to help exceed customer obligations.  
    • Optimizes spare parts management and stock efficiency.  
    • Streamlines service utilization by aligning customer location to optimize technician travel.  

    In conjunction with the Microsoft Power Platform, the Field Service solution also allows for new operational analytics. This enables AtriCure to spot trends in customer complaints and product nonconformance. 

    Equipment Manufacturer Automates Maintenance Appointments 

    Columbia Machine is another Velosio customer who has used Dynamics 365 Field Service to drive predictive maintenance. The Vancouver firm manufactures and services equipment that handles concrete mixing, batching, cubing, splitting, and palletizing.  

    Columbia Machine turned to Velosio to enable predictive maintenance by configuring Dynamics 365 Field Service to handle several service functions: 

    • Employ asset management capabilities to track customer equipment and service history. 
    • Execute preventive maintenance by automatically generating recurring maintenance appointments. 
    • Create work orders to define maintenance service work. 
    • Manage the resources and equipment needed for each service incident. 
    • Visualize onsite service schedules to sync efficient routing with resource-skill matching. 

    The solution also enables Columbia Machine to track how resources spend their time, whether they’re traveling, on break, or working. With all this data, the management team can use analytics for reporting on key performance indicators for managing work orders, scheduling activities, and interacting with customers. 

    Automating Field Services to Enhance Customer Engagements 

    Dynamics 365 Field Service and other CE modules also integrate with the Microsoft ecosystem. This includes Dynamics 365 Business Central, Office 365, Teams, and Power BI, which together boost productivity, eliminate context switching, and enable successful end-to-end customer engagements and field service automation.  

    Leveraging these capabilities, Velosio works with field service organizations like AtriCure and Columbia Machine throughout North America. We help our customers leverage Microsoft Dynamics 365 technology to improve operations, drive greater efficiencies, and boost the bottom line. Contact Velosio’s field service experts to learn more about their solutions and services to harness the benefits of the latest FSM technologies. 

    Field Service Role Based GuideField Service Role Based Guide