Article published by Azuga- December 2020
Field service companies have faced many challenges in 2020, and only a few organizations have achieved their yearly goals. Every business took an unexpected turn due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and field service organizations were some of the most heavily hit. In some cases, companies were forced to shut down their operations and look for an alternative to offer their customers field services. Some companies have invested in predictive maintenance, while others have resorted to remote service. Companies are looking for alternative ways to offer their field services by embracing modern technology in field service management. This article looks at some of the emerging trends in field service management that most field service companies should look forward to in 2021.
5 Field Service Management Trends to Watch in 2021
1. Contact Tracing
Health has become a crucial factor in field service management. When you have workers out in the field, it is important to know about their health and whether they are the best fit to handle customer projects on-site. Field service technicians move from one place to another, and it’s important as a field service manager to know where they have been and where they are going.
With reliable service management software, you can easily track your field technicians and know their exact location. This way, if one of your technicians is sick or gets sick while at work, you can easily determine those he or she’s been in contact with in the field. Field service management software makes contact tracing simple for most field service managers.
2. Remote Workforce
Field service organizations have realized that they need to embrace remote working if they plan to survive during a difficult time. Most field service companies transitioning to remote work environments in 2020 may continue the same policy in 2021, given its many benefits.
Companies have realized that remote work is less expensive and highly productive. As a general rule, field service companies usually allow their field technicians to work remotely in order to reduce operational costs and boost productivity.
To switch smoothly to remote work, a field service company must lay the right infrastructure and technology foundations. For instance, the company must ensure proper work scheduling and automatic dispatching. That means having a reliable capacity planner for digital scheduling is key.
Managers also need to train their workforces on how to use the FSM software to make work easier. There are many publishers of FSM and PSM software that field technicians can use to organize work and track client projects. Technicians can work offline with the software because it doesn’t need an internet connection to run.
3. Shared Economy
As we set foot in 2021, there is likely to be a significant shortage of field technicians. However, with a shared economy, field service companies will scale their workforce and meet the increasing demand for field services.
More field technicians are likely to resort to freelancing, and field service companies will seek to hire them to fill the workforce gap. With more freelance techs in the industry, productivity is likely to increase. According to McKinsey, by 2025 almost 50% of field technicians will resort to freelancing, which may directly impact how field service companies operate. That means, for field service organizations to maintain an efficient workforce, they must be flexible. Having the best FSM software in place and using the latest technology is the way to go for all field service providers.
4. Focus on Safety
The year 2020 has taught most companies a big lesson: that safety should always come first. In 2021, we should expect most companies to focus more on their workforce and customers’ safety. Field technicians and customers are more concerned about their health. Customers want some assurance that the services they get are safe. Additionally, field service techs want to stay away from infection risk when out in the field.
When moving to 2021, companies must focus more on setting strict safety protocols for customers and teams if they want to compete favorably in the market. Customers will only seek services from companies that observe the best health and safety procedures.
Field technicians also want to feel safe when out in the field. That means, if a company doesn’t have a reliable safety policy to protect its workforce, most technicians are likely to switch to other jobs where their safety is guaranteed.
To ensure customer safety and improve worker productivity, most field service companies will resort to the latest technology in field service management. For instance, by using FSM software, field technicians don’t have to come to the office to hand over paperwork or sign in; they can do all that on the app remotely.
5. Machines Taking Over
The Internet of Things (IoT) and smart connected products technologies will facilitate technical tasks in field service operations in 2021. Field service companies are already spotting and adopting the latest field service management technology to cope with stiff competition in the industry. As we prepare for 2021, we should expect more companies to adopt these new technologies.
Field service companies know that new technology in field service management can improve operations and customer lifetime value. That is why companies are rushing to adopt the most reliable FSM software available in the market. Every company wants to be part of IoT and smart connect products through its full implementation in the next decade.
Field Service Management Trends Going Forward
A lot is changing in field service management today. Field service companies are adopting the latest field service management technology to manage the workforce and improve operations. As digital transformation accelerates, companies seek to employ the best FSM solutions to replace manual data entry and paper-dependent processes.
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