Editorial Leader: Field Service News issue 5 - Power to the People

Apr 19, 2015 • FeaturesAbbott DiagnosticsAdvanced Field ServicekeytreeLeaderMagazine (digital editions)resourcesDigital Issueebooksfield service europeServiceMax. Planet ZheroesTOughbook

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People at the heart of latest issue of Field Service News  writes Editor Kris Oldland in his March/April Leader...

Whilst it is of course quite natural for those of us working in field service us to focus on technology, it is revolutionising the way we work seemingly more and more every year, every now and then we need to take stock and assess the most valuable element in field service - the people.

Because that’s what it’s all about ultimately surely?

We talk about empowering our field service engineers, we talk up the importance of our engineers as the frontline of customer service - increasingly the only human touch-point our customers may have with our brand.

For all the good that remote connectivity, the Internet of Things and machine to machine diagnostics brings to field service, for all the efficiency savings, all the increased productivity, we will still need that human interaction - if we want to engender any form of customer loyalty, we really need it if we want to capture and retain those ever more slippery recurring revenues that field service managers are under ever increasing pressure to secure.

And as I looked across this issue of Field Service News almost everywhere I looked I could see a strong ‘people’ angle to almost all of our stories and features.

In the News section for example there is what to my mind is one of the best stories to have hit our desk here at Field Service News Towers since we launched. That is the story of how field service software provider Keytree are working with food charity Planet Zheroes help fight Food Poverty in the UK. Not only is it a great example of how their system can be put to use, but it’s also a story of triumph on a human level. Through the use of field service technology Keytree and Planet Zheroes are able to stop wastage from some of the country’s leading food organisations and make sure that there are less hungry mouths out there on the British Streets.

My heartfelt thanks and respect goes out to both companies for helping so many who need it. 

Also in the News section is our new comic strip Field Service Funnies and whilst I’m dishing out thank Thank You’s I should also tip my hat to the good folks at ServiceMax for sharing the cartoons with us.

They were actually the result of a competition towards the end of last year where genuine field engineer stories were converted into cartoons. Once again all about the people , but I have a feeling that as in this first example the cartoons may be quite focussed on the sometimes quite astounding stupidity that occurs amongst the general public (trust me I’m probably one of the worst offenders) but I’m really looking forward to seeing more in this series.

 [quote float="left"]In the News section for example there is what to my mind is one of the best stories to have hit our desk here at Field Service News Towers since we launched.

And as the theme of people continues we have coverage of the first two big events of the year so far. Firstly there was the Enterprise Mobile Technology Conference hosted by Panasonic. You can read our write up on page 32 and the event was a really fantastic start to the event calendar but what truly impressed me the most was that despite being a very, very big company, the Panasonic team were both accessible and genuinely interested in their clients thoughts and needs. Special mention should go to John Harris, General Manager Engineering for a fantastic session that could have veered dangerously close to being a sales pitch in the wrong hands but instead was an extremely valuable, and highly open discussion.


The other event I refer to is of course Field Service Medical Europe which was held in sunny Dublin just a few weeks ago. As you would expect from the team that host Field Service Europe the three day event was highly enjoyable and packed with excellent content. However, perhaps because of the more niche focus of this event compared to it’s older cousin, there were a few less in attendance but that simply resulted in each session moving more towards an open forum as the barriers of inhibitions were removed due to the more intimate nature of the group.

Finally we’re really pleased to bring you the results of our latest research project which we have run in partnership with Advanced Field Service.

This time around the focus of our research has been on the types of mobility tools being used by Field Service Engineers in 2015.

The research project itself is perhaps one of the broadest topics we tackled as we look at the types of device (i.e. laptop/tablet/smartphone etc), the grade of device (rugged vs. consumer) the operating systems, what we as field service professionals expect from apps, how often we think we should refresh our FSM solutions vs. how often we actually do it, we even explore who is involved in selecting the solutions and look at whether it is a good idea to involve our field service engineers in the selection process.

For me though the most interesting statistics are around our engineer’s satisfaction with their devices. In brief digital is definitely here... So say the people



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