Kris Oldland, Editor-in-Chief, Field Service News talks to Ashok Khartham, CEO M-ize about why the challenges we are all facing in the fallout could see a drive towards field service companies embracing the gig-economy and how that could work
Want to hear more? Head over to our podcast library @ www.fieldservicenews.com/podcasts and look for Series Five, Episode Two 'Season Five, Episode Two: Ashok Khartham on Connected Customers Being the Missing Link to Fully Connected Field Service'
Treat Gig workers like You do Your own field service engineers
There is one topic which is dominating all conversation at the moment. That is, of course, the current COVID-19 pandemic and how we plot our path back to full recovery.
One of the suggestions that has been forward in a number of conversations around this topic is how the gig economy could play a pivotal role in that road to recovery.
At Field Service News, we have been talking a lot about the potential of the gig economy for some time before the pandemic took hold but now with many, many field service companies seeking to re-establish control and catch up on the thousands of lost service hours the tapping into the gig economy is becoming a very real prospect as to the only way many companies will be able to get through the sheer volume of capacity requirements they face.
However, the big challenge is if you're tapping into that gig economy market and other forms of third party labour you are putting your customers in the hands of a workforce that will likely have a broad knowledge base now have a broad skill set.
This can be fine for a large majority of jobs, but what happens if the gig worker comes up against an issue that is more specific to your organisations assets that they simply couldn't be expected to resolve first-time out?
"As we all know, the gig economy and independent contractor usage is growing..."
A second service call means increasing costs at a time when cash-flow is stretched to a breaking point already.
This potential increase in the use of the gig-worker in the field service workforce and the need for easy transmission of data and information that can assist in fault diagnosis and steps to resolution has really amplified the need for solutions that can deliver knowledge where and when it is needed.
"As we all know, the gig economy and independent contractor usage is growing," commented Ahsok Khartam, CEO, M-ize on a recent episode of the Field Service Podcast describing a recent case study they had just published with Electrolux.
"Initially, when they started deploying our knowledge management solution, they started with their authorised service technicians. However, one of the things they quickly found is they needed similar knowledge access for all their independent technicians that they are starting to use.
"Having that knowledge access has helped Electrolux as even though gig workers may not care as much about the productivity [of the parent company], providing knowledge management systems has still led to a better customer experience. If that product with their brand name is fixed faster than they are providing better customer experience and enabling third parties where they don't have access to they won't technicians offers a better availability of service an reduces the time it takes to resolve the issue."
Here Khartam makes an excellent point. Form an outside-in perspective we must remember the customer cares little if the engineer that turns up to resolve their problem is a third-party employee or part of your internal workforce. All they will remember is how quickly you were able to resolve their problem.
Investing in the right tools to empower the gig-workers to do just that could be a very wise move right now.
- Listen to the full podcast @ www.fieldservicenews.com/podcasts
- Read more about the gig economy in field service @ www.fieldservicenews.com/blog/tag/gig-economy
- Read more about Digital Transformation @ www.fieldservicenews.com/blog/tag/digital-transformation
- Read more about connected field service @ www.fieldservicenews.com/hs-search-results?term=connected+field+service
- Find out more about M-ize @ www.fieldservicenews.com/blog/all-about-mize
- Connect with Ashok Khartham on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/ashokkartham/
- Follow M-ize on Twitter @ https://twitter.com/mizecom
- Buy Competitive People Strategy @ Competitive People Strategy: How to Attract, Develop and Retain the Staff You Need for Business Success