The Impact of Internet of Things (IoT) in Field Service Management
Field Services is probably one of the few sectors of the service industry requiring professionals to actually perform their tasks on-the-field. Irrespective of the quality of equipment installed and maintenance routine, it’s the field technicians that have to physically visit the field and perform the repair/replacement. And the situation is going to remain the same until the industry is thriving.
Furthermore, from the perspective of a supplier, sending engineering personnel in a B2B setting is tends to be an expensive affair. In fact, even in the context of consumers, calling engineers for assistance again tends to incur costs of its own. In certain organizations, especially those that deal with quite expensive equipment, sending an engineer for a job can turn out to be extremely expensive.
The advent of IoT in field service software management presents a way forward for organizations and technicians to accurately know the pain areas and provide the services on an immediate basis.
IoT and Field Services
Gartner has predicted that the total number of interconnected devices to cross the 30 billion figure by the year 2020. The implications of living and working in such an interconnected environment are numerous and, in some cases, life-changing. To begin describing the impact of IoT in field services, field technicians are connected to their equipment and headquarters in real-time via their mobile devices. This is changing the way technicians respond to service requests, as well as the manner in which these diagnostics are performed.
As a matter of fact, working alongside IoT, the field service industry has established interoperability across devices, applications and platforms, transforming the very nature of the technician’s role and function in the field. Combined with the IoT, field service professionals stand to gain substantially from the integration of machine-to-machine communications with their toolkit. Subsequently, professionals could go beyond scheduling and dispatching technicians, and move onto equipping all levels of the industry with rich communication and reporting abilities.
These and many other revolutionary changes paved the way for a truly proactive and cost-effective service experience, as against contrast to the more reactive way of doing business. Now let’s explore the two main areas of a business where IoT continues to have a major impact –
- Customer Satisfaction
Seldom not included amongst the top priority for companies that are pursuing robust growth strategies, the implementation of IoT in FSM has made it possible to further these strategies. As the increasing intelligence of devices and hardware is accepted as commonplace phenomena, the business usually responsible for maintaining customer relationships (poor communication and lack of information) are on the verge of obsoletion.
The ceaseless evolution of field service, from having a reactionary nature to a predictive one, is causing an increasing number of consumers to accept a predictive service as the new norm. Industry studies point out that a majority of customers today (as many as 89%) are willing to pay a premium for such ‘improved’ services. Graduating from devices that indicate a need for service only after a system failure, as opposed to devices that proactively schedule maintenance services is where advancements of IoT in field service have been the most beneficial. IoT can also help create new connectivity-enabled products, for instance, connected welding equipment, and connected home healthcare devices amongst others for enhancing the overall experience.
The predictive analytics in today’s business environment via IoT field service has made it possible to diagnose and address issues before they occur. This results in savings of time and money, apart from improving upon the customers level of satisfaction. Enterprises implement IoT solutions to reduce their operational costs for their business, for instance, solutions for factory automation solutions. The nature of savings is aligned quite closely to consumer ‘happiness’, as the conditions that strengthen customer service are also representative of opportunities that help reduce costs.
The potential for cost savings and the ability to pull enterprise assets together into one, cohesive platform, that is the magic of IoT in field services.
The Miracle of IoT
IoT in field services enables organizations to optimize their business practices and processes. By capitalizing on the ability to learn more about the service cycle based on machine learning models and by gathering the information generated by sensors in the network, organizations can benefit from the miracle of IoT.
Unleash the power of a full intelligence IoT network by coordinating the activities and generating the optimum service cycle for a device that incorporates inspection, and performing preventive maintenance and repair. In addition to this, technicians can remotely perform many of the device inspection procedures by remotely logging on to the equipment’s portal.
A major function of field services is extending or managing the asset life cycles, which are effectively how long an asset can be used until it is in need of repairs or replacements. By equipping the on-field assets with IoT capable sensors, personnel can observe the state of tools, and back-office managers can prepare for replacements or repairs well in advance. The arrangement is especially beneficial in-conjunction with inventory management software, meant for the tracking of available stock and prepping-up of orders.
IoT in wastewater management
A huge industry that’s critical to maintaining public health, the treatment of wastewater is necessary to help feed the ever-evolving demand from the global population. A specialist is always needed to do the on-field jobs and the difficulty level of the same increases when on-field professionals have to deal with the mess and continuously perform maintenance checks in hazardous conditions.
The device sensors connected via the Internet of Things and placed strategically across the treatment plant has resulted in productivity improvements. Even though field services outline physical assistance as a core requirement of the industry, the use of IoT sensors can help technicians figure out the exact location where services are required.
IoT in Oil & Gas
Personnel employed in the oil and gas industry would attest to the dangers in their line of work. Technicians have to work in situations where physical involvement is daunting and is often fraught with dangers. One such scenario frequently prevails in petroleum plants where the technicians often have to deal with flare stack. It is a typical gas combustion device used for burning off excessive gases from combustion plant. Personnel employed in similar conditions need to undergo a number of safety measures for ensuring their safety prior to going near to flare stack for protocol checks.
Employing IoT sensors reduces the risk of on-field technicians with respect to the proximity of flare stack for performing protocol checks. The sensors make sure that the technician only visits the site, as and when necessary.
IoT in Secured Pharmaceutical Dispatches
Universal and easy access to healthcare services in today’s ever-evolving technological world is becoming increasingly warranted. Apart from manufacturing, the pharmaceutical industry is also responsible for the transport of drugs/medicines and other dispatches from one place to another in a secure and speedy manner. Gathering data sets along with adequate communication among various verticals is essential for speedy transit and delivery transportation in an efficient manner.
Technological advancements in the domain of IoT enabled sensors have assisted in the rearrangement of different verticals of the pharmaceutical industry. From the manufacture of drugs to monitor and control, as well as the distribution and packaging to respective locations all fall under the ambit of IoT enabled field services.
With IoT at the core, the shift in thinking from a reactive, break-fix service model to one focused on maximizing product uptime is a fundamental change to how manufacturers handle service today.
DreamzTech offers you an integrated IoT Business solution for your Field Services company. It helps in using data collected from the connected devices and automatically convert that data into immediate predictive actions that drive major improvements in how you deliver world-class services and save money.
Leveraging IoT solutions can help organizations measure essential key metrics, such as availability, reliability, maintainability, supportability, cost of ownership and end-result, allowing them to operate more like service industries.