Tim Hermans, Senior International Pre-Sales Consultant at HSO, outlines why he believes that it has now become essential for field service organisations to bring in at least some fundamental aspects of automation into their service delivery processes…

In today’s working environment, regardless of which industry vertical you operate in, or where you are located, I think it is now crucial to have some form of automation-based functionality in your field service operations. I believe this to be the case for two reasons.

On the one hand, you want to be as operationally lean as possible so that you can improve your efficiencies and internal field service delivery processes.

On the other hand, your customers are now expecting and demanding more and more and more.

In fact, I would go as far as saying that in today’s corporate landscape, by not investing in a modern field service management system that can enable you to meet these increasing customer expectations, your organisation may well soon find itself at a competitive disadvantage – and potentially losing customers to one of your competitors who can.

Remember that in many business environments today, especially within Business to Consumer segments, switching suppliers can often be as easy as a few clicks of a mouse. Meanwhile, those of you in Business to Business sectors should also remember that the lines between the consumer and business worlds are continuously blurring – as are the expectations of service across the two disciplines.

The good news is that the technology that is at our disposal today is not just exciting; it is truly transformational when it comes to field service delivery. Newly emerging, innovative technologies such as Augmented Reality, the Internet of Things and 3D printing will all play a pivotal role in field service operations in the not-too-distant future, for sure.

However, it is important that field service organisations have an underlying layer of technology already in place before they can fully embrace such new and exciting solutions.

Solutions such as scheduling systems, a dedicated mobile app and customer portals have all become table stakes in the modern field service solution, which is invariably powered by Cloud computing.

Each of these is essential for efficient and effective service delivery and should form the backbone of your field service technology ecosystem – without which you are likely to find yourselves at a significant competitive disadvantage.

However, perhaps the most critical thing for modern field service delivery is to be able to allow data to flow seamlessly across the business, which is why, for me, Cloud is the game changer. In the past, we used to bring the data to an application, but in today’s world, we bring applications to the data.

Those companies that can react to this shift in approach and who reflect it in their field service management systems are likely to flourish, but those who fail to do so, or even those who are slow to do so, may well find themselves at a competitive disadvantage sooner rather than later.

Tim Hermans – Senior International Pre-Sales Consultant, HSO

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