Guest post by Tania Walter, Founder and CEO Obzervr
My last couple of Posts have focused on Mobility the last of which focused on what CIO’s will be focusing on in 2016.
Advancements in mobile technology have allowed many industries worldwide to benefit from incredible productivity increases. The Field Service industry has seen early adoption. Streamlining often archaic processes (think pen & paper), organisations can do things faster and at a lower cost point than ever before.
The Field Services industry is broad. Anything from a washing machine serviced under warranty to the air-con in your office. Chances are the technician has some kind of hand-held device to help with their work order. These customer-facing or ‘sales service’ applications of mobility are common enough.
But what if the ‘Field’ is literally…..the field? There are considerable challenges for the industry that operates in remote and often extreme conditions. Think managing a pipeline asset delivering gas from the middle of Whoop Whoop. Or deep sea geological samples for minerals processing. Time is money – and the faster you can collect accurate and actionable data the faster the savings go to your bottom-line.
When working in remote field service, having the right mobility solution is as vital to an organizations success as the technicians in the field.
So you may have decided to look at field service automation. How will you choose which service to use? Here are some things that you need to look for when choosing a mobile service for remote field work to invest in.
- Ease of Use
- Make it easy for your Field Teams. Any investment you make in mobile technology will be wasted if your employees can’t use them. The basic requirement is that your field technician should be able to readily access information (current assignment with historical context such as details on the last inspection, photos). Further they should also be able to capture high-quality data while at sites intuitively with easy to use screens to minimise errors. Then upload that data to the company’s business systems. Cloud services have transformed the way we share data, and it’s essential to have an app that makes full use of this feature.
- Remote field service personnel regularly travel to places where there is very limited connectivity, it’s essential that your mobile service solution be fully functional even when offline, synchronizing with servers as soon as connectivity is regained. This ability to work offline/online is critical for technicians working for Utilities, Resources, Infrastructure and Telcos.
- Most organisations that operate in remote areas will have multiple teams (either internal or external) that have any number of different assignments. They will need to capture field data on asset maintenance, environmental compliance and even health & safety audits. When looking at field service automation it pays dividends to see if the application is flexible enough to address all your field use cases. Flexibility also means easy to configure to these different use cases rather than having to invest in customisation.
Mobile field service solutions are still relatively new for remote use cases and that is perhaps why many organisations are either using pen & paper (majority) or some kind of half-way house like Excel or Web Form Tool. But it is clear, those organisations looking to innovate as a means to reducing operation costs, need to start investigating solutions that can address the above ‘must-haves’.
Obzervr – helping field workers do great things and Enterprises achieve amazing results!
Let me know how Obzervr can help with your drive to Field Service Mobility.
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