Having introduced the concept of crowd-sourcing in previous articles for Field Service News, Manuel Grenacher, Coresystems, now takes a look at how and why the two new technologies dominating conversation in field service circles are perfect bed fellows for the gig economy...
As I discussed in my last article on why crowdsourcing could be transformational for the field service industry, the outlook for the growth of the field service market is hugely positive – MarketsandMarkets predicts that it will nearly triple in size to $5.11 billion between now and 2020. In this article, I’ll examine the technologies that will likely play a major role in driving that exponential growth of the field service market over the next few years.
The IoT Effect
The technology that has played a huge role so far in precipitating the growth of the field service industry is the Internet of Things (IoT).
This isn’t surprising, as the IoT is having a profound impact on not just every technology driven industry, but also the daily lives of people across the globe. And the IoT and the real-time connectivity it enables has led to a massive spike in consumer expectations for instantaneous customer service.
New elevated customer demands created by the IoT are impacting the field service industry greatly
The bottom line is the IoT is very much here and is impacting your industry whether you realise it or not; so to put it simply, either you respond to the new realities of an IoT-driven world or you risk obsolescence.
The Era of Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (AR) isn’t just a social media fad anymore, as enterprise use cases for augmented reality are on the rise and on a fast track to implementation. Indeed, ABI Research predicts that 21 million AR units will be shipped by 2020 with sales reaching $100 billion.
The field service industry, in particular, stands to benefit greatly from AR.
Imagine service technicians with specialised AR headsets, who will then have all the information they need for an installation and/or repair on a heads-up display
AR would also connect on-site technicians with more experienced engineers back at an organisation’s headquarters who can visually supervise and troubleshoot more difficult technical issues.
With that, the use of AR boosts the key field service metrics of first-time fix rates and average repair time. It also benefits staff training and skills shortages, especially as devices trend toward IoT and more advanced technology.
Clearly, AR will benefit service engineers and technicians worldwide, many of whom are in the field service industry.
Enter the Gig Economy
Obviously, the gig economy isn’t a technology, but it’s a movement that could reshape field service management as we know it.
The digital technology underpinning the gig economy (such as the IoT) can help workers become entrepreneurs who have the freedom to dictate their work on their own terms, which has long been the allure of the independent contractor.
Skilled workers who have expertise in certain industry sectors – such as field service management – can either make extra money in their free time while pursuing their passions, or they can use the gig economy as their sole source of income.
Pioneering companies in the gig economy, such as Uber for the transportation sector and Airbnb for hospitality, have laid a blueprint for other industries to follow.
At Coresystems, we know first-hand the challenges that organisations face when the field service requests greatly outnumber that company’s field service technicians. By leveraging independent workers in the gig economy, organisations can help deliver the real-time service that customers now demand.
So there you go – the three factors that we envision having the biggest impact on the evolution of the field service industry over the next few years.
What are some other factors that you’re seeing through your own work in the field service industry?
We invite you to share your thoughts in the comments section.