Oct 16, 2018 • Features • manuel grenacher • field service • field service automation • field service management • field service technicians • Service Management • Software and Apps • Customer Satisfaction and Expectations • Managing the Mobile Workforce
Manuel Grenacher discusses why Automation is set to play a crucial part in the two key pillars of field service success, operational effectiveness and customer satisfaction...
As part of the fourth industrial revolution, manufacturing factories are undergoing digital transformations, and not just on the factory floor but also business-wide – specifically regarding automation.
Research firm Gartner defines intelligent automation services as “a variety of strategies, skills, tools, and techniques that service providers are using to remove the need for labour, and increase the predictability and reliability of services while reducing the cost of delivery,” and Gartner predicts that automation will reshape managed workplace services over the next few years, providing a higher customer experience at a deflated cost.
"More than 50% of job responsibilities of today’s global labour force can be automated by adapting contemporary technologies..."
Less than 5% of occupations are likely to be affected by full automation, thus curbing job dismissals – which are often cited as the main risk of the automation trend. Instead, industry experts are discussing the “partial automation potential” concept and estimate that more than 50% of job responsibilities of today’s global labour force can be automated by adapting contemporary technologies, amounting to over $15 trillion in wages.
In the field service management (FSM) industry, to keep up with customer demands, field service organisations are refining, expediting and automating service processes, using automated dispatch and scheduling software to adjust and balance resources and manage the growing number of jobs, technicians and customers.
Dispatchers work closely together with the system, leading the more face-front work and leaving the technical, tedious work to the automation-enabled software – and this results in the following benefits and outcomes.
Finding the Perfect Fit
With the help of automated dispatch and scheduling, service providers can review historical customer information at-a-glance and send out the best-fit technician with the proper skill set and tools, resulting in the quickest match and an excellent experience for all partners involved.
Having a technician on-the-job without the proper equipment and expertise can damage the relationship between the customer and technician, and can lead to many inconveniences when chasing down the potential solution. Field service organizations can deploy the automated system for both short-term projects, as well as long-cycle projects, which requires a complex calculation and organization of specific resources over an extended period.
"Automated dispatch and scheduling projects enable the best possible utilisation of all available resources, resulting in simplifying the dispatching process..."
Automated dispatch and scheduling projects enable the best possible utilisation of all available resources, resulting in simplifying the dispatching process, increasing first-time fix rate, and elevating efficiency and productivity (which translates directly into a sizable return on investments).
By providing relevant details to technicians in the field, while they are in the middle of scheduling future appointments and managing various projects, field service organisations will notice smoother and swifter operations.
Flexible Mobility and Real-time Results
Customer satisfaction extends far beyond the purchase of machines and devices, as the increasing shift towards a mobile-enabled, connected world has conditioned end-users to expect delivery of products and services in realtime.
People do not have time to wait around for a technician set to arrive sometime within an 8-hour time-frame; with the help of up-to-date, automated status reports via mobile devices (including phones, tablets and more), customers are supported as conveniently as possible.
An automated system also benefits the technicians, as they can receive real-time information on their schedules, directly to their mobile device. If a colleague is unable to perform a project or task, the automated software dispatches the adequate person to the assignment and eliminates the tasks of heading to the back office to get assignments or manually checking the best route to appointments.
Before automation, administrative staff were dependent on a labour-intensive process and inefficient combination of spreadsheets and geographic expertise of schedulers to get engineers where and when they needed to go.
Automated dispatching and scheduling gets the right people to the right place, on time, and with the parts they need – and enables organizations to transmit critical information much faster and more efficiently than before.
This leads to improved field service operations on a local, national and international scale, which results in the ultimate goal: an enriched customer experience.
Manuel Grenacher is CEO, Coresystems
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