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What to Expect from Field Service Management 3.0

Field Service Management 3.0: Experience the Future

Field Service Management is evolving, innovative technologies, processes, and solutions. FSM 3.0 is the next step of innovation in the industry. A wide variety of new features are emerging within the FSM space. Features like data integration, GIS capabilities, mobile capabilities, and AR are just a few. These features can work together in sophisticated FSM to better support the entire life cycle of field service.

Most relevant features of Field Service Management 3.0

Data Integration

While older versions of FSM, tend to be isolated in terms of information, the new iterations offer a more flexible and widely available data flow across multiple business units.

There must be the potential to import and export data from one system to another within any modern FSM solution. Whether feeding into a CRM for sales, an ERP for resource planning, or even into a SOR that sits across production and R&D to drive forward product improvements, easy integration across non-service-focused systems is critical.

GIS capability/integration

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have become an increasingly important part of many field service organizations workflows. However, while incredibly valuable, GIS data may come from multiple data sources, potentially stored in different SORs. In the fast-moving world of field service, particularly if we are looking at reactive emergency response scenarios, then the ability to surface data from multiple sources both in the back office and, most notably for the engineer in the field, is crucial.

This practice is happening more frequently and will become the standard. While this may not be relevant for every industry vertical, within specific sectors such as Oil and Gas or Utilities, this could be a notable change that we will see emerge in the FSM 3.0.

Scheduling Optimization

Algorithm-based scheduling is paving the way for the increasingly widespread adoption of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and AI leveraging the support of field service processes.

The more sophisticated solutions can deal with large-scale service workflows, with large teams of field service engineers. They are also effective in scenarios where there may be complex requirements to place the right combination of skills across multiple engineers to meet the needs of the job.

The flexibility to have both solutions covered within a next-gen FSM solution is essential. However, what differentiates the latest version of FSM solutions from many of the older legacy solutions is that scheduling tools, whether fully automated or assisted scheduling, should now always be expected to be dynamic. A dynamic solution can react to real-time data from the field, including engineer updates, traffic information, and customer data. This is a crucial aspect of next-gen solutions and allows the work schedule to be constantly optimized.

Effective Reporting Tools

Service operations are becoming a key driver in multiple core aspects of the broader business operations, as a result, the flow of information across the business must be seamless. Data must be utilized with purpose, and clear outcomes. Within the context of next-gen FSM solutions, this primarily relates to dashboards that can be customizable for various levels of management allowing them to see the data in the manner they need.

It is also an expectation of next-gen FSM solutions to utilize different algorithms to translate the data into multiple use cases.

Mobile Capability

A modern FSM embedded mobile app should empower the engineer to capture accurate asset data. It should guide them through structured workflows based on the job at hand while pulling in data from the asset itself. It should play a pivotal role in ensuring that health and safety standards are met every time by placing clear checklists that technicians must complete before releasing additional information to the engineer.

The best modern FSM systems can do all these tasks dynamically. The mobile solution understands the type of operation being undertaken and the most appropriate associated forms to capture the required data. Hotlinks provide the most relevant information within the knowledge library. The potential to record a solution to a currently unlisted problem allows the service organization to improve its knowledge base continuously. The longer technicians use this tool, the more powerful it becomes.

Virtual Collaboration/Augmented Reality

In addition to the mobile capabilities, remote tools for collaboration enhance the technician’s work experience. Virtual collaboration allows the service organization to access a site environment to either triage the information or resolve the problem remotely.

In more sophisticated tools, we also see the emergence of an intelligence-led knowledge management approach. Improved knowledge management means that a service organization can share the correct information at the right time to the engineer on-site via the tool. At the same time, the data automatically passes through image recognition technology, so it can automatically tag the correct information to make it more easily found at a later point if needed. These features help to add the final support piece to the whole life cycle of the field service task.

 

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Conclusion: thoughts on Field Service Management 3.0

All these features impact on field service; as FSM platforms and solutions race to meet these expectations and new capabilities, it will become clear which companies and products are leaders in the space and which ones may be FSM of the past. The expectation for FSM is evolving; users want to have a simple interaction, with the technology doing the heavy lifting. The features in FSM 3.0 make the users’ work processes simpler, faster, and safer while moving their work forward into the future.

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Carly Kroll
Marketing Director Americas | Emerging Tech Nerd | Speaker | Educator
Carly Kroll is the Marketing Director of Americas at OverIT. She worked with other innovative technology companies and academic research groups writing about AR and technology acceptance. Carly’s Masters focused on communication methods to improve technology acceptance with blue collar workers and her PhD that is in progress is focusing on the same topic.