What does Field Service mean?
Field service is a process of managing assets and resources deployed out in the field – at the customer, public, or other third-party locations. It typically involves dispatching workers to specific locations to install, repair, or maintain equipment or systems. In the overwhelming majority of cases, Field Service refers to sending employees to specific locations to install, repair, or maintain equipment or IT systems.
The first association with the concept of field service is for example a technician installing a fiber optic cable or a service technician repairing an assembly line in a factory, but it applies to many industries such as construction, healthcare, FMCG, and many others.
The flow of communication between the person responsible for the management and the team has always been the main problem in managing a team performing their duties in the field. It was and still remains the cause of misunderstandings, delays, and mistakes, which translate into a decrease in work efficiency.
The answer to this set of problems turned out to be the development of databases connected to mobile devices, which led to the development of Field Service Mobile (FSM) solutions for managing fieldwork.
Therefore, if a given organization needs to coordinate the work of the team, manage logistics, allocate resources, plan work, and use equipment in the field, various FSM solutions are available, such as Resco Field Service 2.0.
Key statistics for the Field Service industry
Global field service market
The size of the global application market for fieldwork management applications is expected to grow from $ 3.0 billion in 2020 to $ 5.1 billion by 2025.
The main factors driving the growth of this market are the growing demand for mobility with IoT, the need to take predictive maintenance activities, and the increasing use of comprehensive applications based on cloud computing.
Operation management across field service organizations
Today, 52% of field service companies continue to use traditional methods to manage their business. Only 48% of companies providing field services use software designed for fieldwork management, of which 77% use only stationary solutions (on-premise). This means that it is an opportunity to gain a significant competitive advantage.
Company field service software needs
80% of companies that decide to start using a mobile application designed to manage employees in the field – do it because of the desire to improve the efficiency and speed of work of their employees. 44% say it is needed due to the high market pressure from competitors, while 41% of organizations choose to use this type of solution to support the constantly growing number of incoming service calls.
The service technicians themselves point the key challenges of maintaining smooth and error-free communication and constant access to information that is necessary for the successful completion of service work during the first visit.
54% of service technicians expect better access to a given customer’s service history before a visit. 52 and 48% also declared that they would need online access to service manuals and a knowledge base. And 42% of service technicians said they had insufficient visibility into the spare parts inventory they had with them.
5 industry trends for 2021 and beyond
A greater focus on predictive & proactive maintenance
In many cases, if the hardware is repaired after it has broken down, it is too late. Field service companies want to be increasingly proactive in dealing with customers to build or maintain a competitive advantage for both parties.
This means carrying out predictive and conservative works, and repairing equipment before it breaks down. It is possible thanks to the data in the system and the analysis of historical faults occurring in a given type of equipment. It is also crucial to monitor if the customer or service company has the correct replacement part so that it can be ordered in advance if necessary.
Better use of analytical data
To keep up with the competition, field service companies will need to use data analytics. Detailed analytical systems will help to quickly identify recurring problems, find solutions, improve employee productivity, and build greater customer satisfaction.
Collecting information on order flow, problems, solutions, and the quality of service technicians’ work will help the company develop an optimal strategy, refine repair procedures and overall customer relations.
Work organization supported by AR and AI
The share of tools using AI in work planning will gradually increase. Gartner expects that in the near future, AI may be responsible for up to 20% of the planning and management of work orders.
At the same time, some field service companies already use AR to a large extent to facilitate the work of their service technicians, both during repairs and training. In addition, voice-activated intelligent assistants will also play a role, operating in a similar way as the popular Alexa or Siri, which can additionally facilitate the work of service technicians by providing them with the necessary information without interrupting repair work.
New habits of the younger generation
Year after year, more and more employees on the market are people who grew up with modern technology, which was with them from birth or very early youth. Digital natives have completely different habits and a different degree of openness to using modern software, artificial intelligence, applications, mobile devices and augmented reality.
They will learn using these tools and develop new skills very quickly. Therefore, it is assumed that the ease of implementation of new technologies among employees will increase.
Significant increase in the use of mobile applications
According to the report of leading market researchers at Gartner, in the coming years, the share of Field Service companies that use mobile applications will increase from the current approx. 11% to 75%. The use of these applications is primarily to improve their efficiency and shorten the response time when handling customer service requests.
What is Resco Field Service 2.0?
Since 2015 Resco has been filling the gap when it comes to a mobile application for Dynamics 365 Field Service with an app called Xamarin. Microsoft’s Xamarin application was built entirely on Resco solutions and has been included with every Dynamics 365 Field Service license since 2018. On June 30, 2022, the Xamarin app will be retired and replaced by the newer app in the Dynamics 365 family.
In June 2020 Resco launched Resco Field Service 2.0 to ensure business continuity for companies already using Xamarin.
Resco Field Service 2.0 ensures the continuity of field service operations, without the need to switch to another technology, change tools or make major changes to the configuration of mobile devices already used in the field.
The key advantages of Resco Field Service 2.0:
In addition to capabilities available in the Xamarin app, with Resco Field Service 2.0 you can utilize:
- Resco Inspections — create and use dynamic forms for quick data collection and evaluation,
- Resco Houston AR Remote Assistance — standardized work instructions and remote assistance with AR support,
- Market-leading offline mode and extensive synchronization possibilities,
- Tailored branding across the entire app,
- Ability to create and generate custom reports directly on mobile devices,
- Voice-operated RealWear devices.
From smartphone to tablet, from tablet to watch, and back to the smartphone. We are getting used to the smooth movement between different devices, it is slowly becoming our routine that we can use the same application on multiple devices while using the same, synchronized and consistent data.
With Resco Field Service 2.0, these possibilities are also available in the Field Service industry. When traveling to a customer’s site, the service technician can use a tablet, for example, to receive directions to the customer’s location. On-site, he can fill out a service form on his phone and take a few photos to attach to the request. And if, for example, he has to climb to the roof to repair the antenna, he can leave all these devices in the car and dictate notes using his smartwatch.
Field Service 2.0 applications run on the above-mentioned devices (as well as PCs and laptops, or HoloLens) and can be used in countless scenarios, on the way to the client, at the client’s site, and many others.
Make sense of what’s happening in the field
Data collection is pointless if it has no purpose. Stacks of paper sheets or data stored in Excel will not make a technological revolution in your company.
Compared to today’s possibilities – relying on the above-mentioned solutions will lead to communication with significant delay, poor flow of information, poorer quality of cooperation between employees, and decrease in productivity.
The key to efficient customer service is mobile data availability for all users. Service engineers must be able to view service history, manuals, or spare parts inventory. At the same time, they need a reliable and efficient way of communicating information from the field to the back office.
Mobile applications as part of Field Service 2.0 provide the above-mentioned functionalities. They enable direct connection to Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Resco Cloud in order to synchronize all collected data. Data can be immediately reviewed and assessed by managers and analytical teams, enabling precise responses to unexpected situations. It is also possible to propose changes to existing processes based on, for example, recurring problems that will be caught thanks to data analysis.