How Technology is Revolutionizing the Field Service Industry

Learn how technology is revolutionizing the Field Service industry with AI, ML, AR, and the IoT.

Table of Content

    Field service management (FSM) is already a tech-driven affair. That’s been the case for years.

    Most business leaders understand that their ability to harness real-time data, AI, and automation will determine whether they survive the year — or thrive for decades to come.

    Operational Maturity Assessment

    Schedule a free, two-hour, Field Service Operational Maturity Assessment and see how you stack up against your peers across 5 domains and 37 competencies. We’ll help you identify the value of moving to the next level.

    But — the field service industry is in the midst of another major shakeup, and field orgs need to level up their tech strategies to stay in the game.

    Right now, the FSM space is exploding with disruptive tech. There’s AI, ML, AR, and the IoT. Geofencing, drones, and predictive modeling. And, of course, a whole spectrum of helpful bots that handle everything from remote diagnostics and customer support to data entry, forecasting, and work order management.

    Here, we look at how technology is changing the field service landscape and why.

    Digital Transformation

    No, digital transformation isn’t a technology. It’s a concept that describes the process of integrating digital tech into every part of a business to fundamentally “transform” how it operates and creates value for its customers. More than that, it’s a cultural change that requires orgs to rethink everything from workflows and service models to the entire collective mindset.

    In a field service context, DX is primarily about using technology to improve customer outcomes by supporting techs in the field, support agents in the office, and decision-makers in the C-suite.

    So, in this article, we break down what DX really means for field providers and their customers.

    Mobility

    It sounds obvious because, well, it is. But, a mobile workforce needs mobile solutions that offer the ability to access, analyze, and share real-time data from any device or location.

    That said, field service mobility is about way more than arming techs with smartphones and cloud apps. It’s about designing more efficient systems that enable field providers to optimize routes, increase first-time-fix-rates, and enable seamless communications between field techs, customers, office-bound support agents & decision-makers, remote colleagues & partners, and any other stakeholders that might need to get involved.

    Here, we look at how mobility is changing the field service industry by empowering techs – and their colleagues in the office.

    Dynamics 365 Field Service Demo

    Experience a day in the life of a Field Service Tech with our Dynamics 365 Field Service Demo.

    AI Analytics

    Augmented Reality in Field ServiceBig picture, the primary purpose of FSM tech — like, just in general — is to empower people to actively improve the customer experience and the bottom line. Achieving those broad, universal goals is really a matter of data.

    Well, sort of.

    Data is vital, of course, but what you really need is intelligent insights that enable users to make split-second decisions — with the confidence of knowing your choices will deliver the expected outcome.

    Intelligent analytics are everything — for every business. But — in the field service space, AI analytics take on even greater importance just because FS orgs have always dealt with complex business models and challenging, unpredictable conditions.

    Now, AI-driven reporting tools and self-service analytics are becoming a competitive advantage. End-to-end visibility enables not only informed decision-making, it also surfaces opportunities for expansion and improvement and allows users to model (and prepare for) all future possibilities.

    As you gather more data, you’ll unlock even more opportunities to automate tasks, improve processes, and connect with customers in new, unexpected ways.

    In this blog post, we dig into some of the specific ways field orgs are using AI analytics to transform business operations at every level.

    Connected Field Service & IoT

    Connected field service is a concept that’s gaining more traction as more field service companies move beyond migration and digitization initiatives and begin leveraging the more sophisticated capabilities offered by AI, ML, and the IoT to transform field operations and strategies.

    We should mention this up top: connected field service is mainly about building ecosystems that drive better service outcomes. Yeah, IoT-enabled assets and devices are the driving force behind said outcomes, but that’s not the whole story. Really, you’re trying to build a platform that gives everyone the information they need to succeed — sensors, connected devices, and automated workflows are simply tools that might get you closer to your goals.

    This post explains what connected field service is, how it works, and why field service pros should care.

    Proactive Field Service

    agile supply chainField service orgs should work toward a more proactive service model–resolving issues before customers ID the problem, providing techs with in-context support and easy, on-demand mobile access to resources, data, and maps, and using AI-driven automation to automate scheduling, control costs, and match the right tech to the right job.

    Let’s get something out of the way: proactive field service is inextricably linked to connected field service & IoT. Many times, it’s the primary (aka: only) benefit mentioned in discussions re: connected, IoT-enabled FS ecosystems. Obviously, that’s not the case, but we felt that proactive field service — IoT-driven or not — is at least important enough to get its own dedicated post.

    This article explains how FS tech can help field orgs break away from break-fix models, anticipate customer needs, and prepare for future unknowns.

    The State of Field Service

    Get a strategic view of Field Service. We set out to shed some light on the near-term future by conducting a comprehensive survey of over two hundred leaders in field service operations around the U.S. to see whether there was consensus on how field service teams should position themselves for success in the years ahead. Read the results and an analysis by our field service experts.

    Augmented Reality

    A few short years ago, augmented reality (AR) was best known for introducing Snapchat filters and PokemonGo into the collective consciousness.

    Today, AR is a powerful tool with massive potential for transforming the field services industry.

    This technology is enabling orgs to reduce learning gaps with interactive training content. It’s allowing them to perform remote inspections and diagnostics. It’s empowering junior techs with remote support and step-by-step guidance.

    And, it’s helping field providers design service experiences that generate real value for customers.

    In this piece, we’ll take a closer look at how real field orgs are using AR to transform service operations and drive better outcomes.

    Final Thoughts

    On a final note, most of the tech covered in this post is designed for companies with more mature digital strategies.

    In a way, talking about things like mixed reality applications and IoT-fueled field ops feels a bit like we’re musing on trends just beyond the horizon. The reality is, these capabilities are available to the masses, at increasingly affordable price points. It’s just that, for most field orgs, there’s a lot that needs to happen before they can tap into the really exciting stuff.

    At the same time, we wanted to give you a sense of what’s possible when you take those initial steps in your transformation journey.

    Get rid of repetitive task, create creative content, and make data-driven decisions. Copilot is poised to deliver on the promise of technology. Understand Copilot’s capabilities and how they can best fit in your company’s workflow and goals. Contact us to learn more.