Close Work Orders Faster with Remote Collaboration Tools

D365 for Field Service has remote assistance and collaboration tools that helps resolve remote problems and close work orders faster.

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    It never fails. Technicians are calling out sick, customers are calling in with same-day requests, and then your field service company’s biggest customer calls in with an urgent problem at their most remote satellite location. You don’t have a choice. You have to dispatch someone immediately.

    Every field service provider has encountered some variation of this headache. Many deal with the consequences of bumping other work, pushing technicians into overtime, or even losing some of their smaller contracts by upsetting customers. But what if there were a better way? Could you handle more of your service requests remotely?

    Dynamics 365 for Field Services has a full toolbox of remote assistance and collaboration tools that help you resolve tricky, remote problems and close work orders faster. In conjunction with Microsoft Teams video conferencing and collaboration services, they offer a complete set of remote assistance capabilities for field service providers.

    What is Dynamics 365 for Field Services?

    Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based suite of business tools specially tailored for field service providers. You can use the entire suite or choose the applications that best fit your company’s needs, from workflow automation to dispatching and mobile apps for technicians in the field.

    Field Service Role Based GuideField Service Role Based Guide

    The automation and tracking capabilities in Dynamics 365 help you:

    • Organize your technicians’ schedules
    • Optimize their routes so that they can get to more clients each day
    • Improve first-time fix rates with checklists and readily-available documentation
    • Better communicate with customers
    • Easily track material inventory
    • Streamline work order closure and billing

    What is Microsoft Teams?

    Teams is Microsoft’s primary communication and collaboration platform. It is designed to integrate tightly with Dynamics 365, so field service technicians can work with each other while on the job or with administrators and senior technicians back at the office.

    It includes messaging and videoconferencing capabilities, as well as file storage and third-party app integration for custom use cases. Teams is often used in field services for  videoconferencing technicians on sight and other staff members.

    How Remote Collaboration Tools Help You Close Work Orders Faster

    The remote collaboration and assistance tools in Dynamics 365 offer many advantages.

    Real-time communication

    Integrating Dynamics and Teams allows your staff to collaborate on any job they need help with easily. For example, a technician in the field can message dispatchers for extra information about their next site visit. A struggling junior tech can call senior techs for advice on a thorny troubleshooting issue. And marketing and sales staff can work together seamlessly to convert those big fish leads into new customers.

    It is also easy to communicate with your customers. Technicians can let them know when they’re due to arrive and offer updates on time-sensitive work as it progresses. They don’t need to coordinate through your main office either. Job and communication services are all available in the Dynamics 365 field service mobile app.

    Remote monitoring

    Dynamics 365 can receive telemetry from Internet of Things (IoT) sensors you place on-site with your customers’ equipment. They can identify problems before they cause system failures and give you fault codes and other critical logged information so you can conduct preventative maintenance. They help you move from a break/fix support mode to a “never-failing” model.

    Remote assistance

    When you integrate Teams with Dynamics 365, your field service staff can access a powerful set of videoconferencing tools. Remember that junior tech who couldn’t figure out a complex troubleshooting problem? If texts or pictures don’t convey the problem, they can video call veteran colleagues through the Dynamics 365 app on their phone or tablet and show them exactly what they’re struggling with.

    Dynamics 365 remote assistance also works with HoloLens augmented reality (AR) headsets. Senior staff can monitor technicians’ progress in the field as they work hands-free, offering advice and sending information to the HoloLens heads-up display (HUD).

    Improved access to documentation

    When your technicians go on the job with the Dynamics 365 field service app on their phone, they bring an entire digital library of service manuals with them. Dispatchers can link relevant manuals, service bulletins, and other documentation right in the work order, so techs don’t have to waste time hunting for it on the clock. That will reduce the risk of mistakes impacting your first-time fix rates.

    Dynamics 365 also includes a knowledge base that holds all of the accumulated wisdom of your service staff and their collaborators. Technicians can check whether anyone else on your team has resolved a similar issue without having to call everyone on the team to see if the problem they’re staring at sounds familiar.

    Mobile file sharing

    File sharing in Dynamics 365 goes both ways. It is more than just dispatchers sending to technicians. On-site personnel and collaborators can freely send files back and forth. That can provide context to confusing problems, improving your resolution times.

    If a video clip or a screenshot would help, the on-site technician clips the problem with their phone and securely shares it with their collaborator. If that collaborator remembers a schematic that might solve the problem, they can search for it in the company’s repository and share it back with the on-site technician.

    Business Leaders Guide to the New Digital AgeBusiness Leaders Guide to the New Digital Age

    Dynamics 365 can share various media types, including images, videos, PDFs, documents, and spreadsheets.

    Part of the digital transformation of field services

    Digital transformation is the name given to the adoption of business-altering digital technologies. IoT, networking, cloud-based services, and deep business IT integration connect systems and business practices in ways never conceived even a few short years ago.  We’ve seen digital transformations sweep across industries for over a decade, first in high-tech fields and then spreading far and wide. Field services are now in the midst of a digital transformation.

    In a way, the question isn’t “why now?” but “what took so long?” Field service is ripe for new ideas and optimization. Connecting technicians, administrators, customers, and your other personnel and key stakeholders using Dynamics 365 is one of the easiest and most effective digital transformations you can make.

    Velosio Can Help You Close Work Orders Faster with Dynamics 365 Remote Collaboration

    Velosio helps you close work orders faster by leveraging Dynamics 365 for Field Service, especially its remote assistance and collaboration capabilities. If you’re ready to help your technicians work together easier, solve problems faster, and move more work orders to billing, get in touch today.

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