There is a new term creating a lot of buzz in town that is “predictive service management.” Today, every forum is seen discussing the industrial world’s movement towards the new generation. The trend is about cyber-physical systems and cognitive computing, helping industries take more informed decisions.
As artificial intelligence moves closer to our day’s work, there are few technologies that will heavily impact field service management. Change to the new system is inevitable, and the timing to adopt these new technologies may be the difference between leading or trailing your competitors. Adoption of these technological changes maybe internally driven, for example, better workforce management or supplier schedules.
We predict that in 2019, the extrinsic variables will take the center-stage. Factors like technological benchmarking, customer customizations and improved data security may find their way in negotiations more than any time in history.
Early adoption of technology has long moved from nice-to-have to a survival necessity, especially in an ever-evolving industry like Field service management.
Below mentioned are five fundamental technologies that are slowly changing field service management, and ushering them into a smarter predictive management style:
The Internet of Things:
There is a dental floss that keeps track of users flossing habits, detailing to the length of floss used. This device has a sensor that is connected to a network that can be read by the user. Poor dental floss was voted as a most useless connected gadget. Yet, it gives a glimpse into how the world is changing around us.
In our offices, we often find work-flows that could be improved, mistakes that could be avoided, if only we had more data. That’s where IT comes in. A strategically placed sensor in a waste treatment plant may not necessarily take away the human wor but, can assist with better scheduling. A flare stack sensor can ensure that HSSE requirements are met relentlessly without errors.
The idea is to place a machine connected to a network to collect data. This machine/sensor can be educated to activate systems like alarms systems, notification systems like messages and others modes when there is a defined breach. Some intelligent software can be custom tuned to enterprise applications to do predictive analysis. Managers can take smarter in-time decisions with real-time control over all involved resources.
Facebook customizes its news feed according to the previous clicks by the user. That is possible due to a branch of artificial intelligence called Machine learning. Machines are fed instances or data regarding a particular outcome. The machine then recognizes patterns and teaches itself to arrive at the desired outcome. Machine learning can process a large amount of data in much lesser time, enlisting interferences that can optimize high-risk situations. Workers equipped with better pattern analysis and recommendations can deliver best-in-class service to customers.
Cloud computing ensures that data is available to the user at all times – on all platforms like mobile, laptop et all. Other functionalities like procurement requests for field service tools or parts, arranging field service jobs, receiving payments, renewal of service contracts, and usage of organization’s secure internal chat forum on-the-go are few of many activities that can be streamlined by cloud computing.
Whether it is through artificial intelligence or through machine learning, 2019 will see machines talking to each other sharing information and forecasting patterns. There are chances of running interferences without or reduced human intervention. These connected systems would help FSM build an ecosystem that can solve problems prior to occurrence increasing first-time-fix resolutions. Well, the possibilities are endless.
Increased Customer Customizations:
Customer-centric solutions like real-time engineer location, reduced response times and industry-specific SLA’s would now be possible with emerging technologies.
Introduction of software-as-a-service (SaaS) models has made customer customization an attainable pursuit. Businesses can pay a monthly subscription fee to access cloud-hosted FSM software’s that are customized to customer needs.
A crew armed with customer specific data through mobile applications supported by intelligent systems with predictive modeling, and connected by secure internal social media is where FSM as an industry is headed to.
The predictive analysis provided through technologies will orient workers to deliver fast, efficient solutions through mobile workforce, and that is what an informed customer of 2019 will be asking for.