Field service operations have drastically changed in the last 10 years, and the credit goes to several trends pertaining to market dynamism, rising competition, upcoming challenges, business ROI, customer expectations and technological innovations. In the midst of all these modifications, the penetration of mobile devices into field service management has made the highest impact on businesses. Field operations is prominent in multiple industrial sectors like telecommunications, high-tech, oil and gas, energy, mining, construction, healthcare, real estate, manufacturing, supply chain, transportation, logistics and so on, where the field forces need to collaborate within the team and interact with customers or supervise tasks on remote locations.
Enterprise mobility to drive smarter field service operations
Digital and mobile technologies have been widely adopted by modern sectors to stay ahead of the field operations game. According to a study conducted by Zebra Technologies, most of the leading field organizations are upping their performance and productivity game by driving an active ‘mobile-first’ strategy across teams. The study says that 60% of the companies agree to the fact that mobility will improve their field operations strategies and 36% organizations have kept investment in mobile technology as their top priority. The study also reveals the future trend where 58% companies will explore and invest in enterprise mobility and other disruptive technologies to enhance customer experience and field worker productivity in the next 5 years. Additionally, it also reported a rise in usage of handheld mobile devices indicating that built-in bar-code scanners will grow by 41%, rugged tablets by 57% and mobile printers by 60% from the year 2018 to 2023.
The same study states that 85% of companies surveyed have agreed that mobile technology enhances their employee productivity and work efficiency. The participated companies have indicated an average usage of 2100 enterprise mobile devices, which is projected to grow to about 3500 devices by 2023. Mobile barcode scanners and rugged mobile devices are the ones that are going to see some rise in investments in the coming years. Among the respondents, 40% companies said that when it comes to enterprise mobility, they consider factors like support and device management, 35% companies worry about repair costs, 36% think about device lifecycle cadence and 37% consider customer service. These key influencers of purchase cycles indicate that technology providers must hit a sweet spot between controlling costs and providing business value.
The major applications and areas of implementation of digital and mobile technologies will dominate areas like field services, transportation, fleet management, last mile delivery, construction, supply chain and logistics.
The business value delivered by field service mobility
Latest mobile technologies have time and again played a crucial role in enhancing the business returns and overall yield of field executives by propelling on-time task completion, faster and precise decision making, real-time communication, streamlined operations, remote troubleshooting, secure and easy access to information, and other benefits. As the world is getting smaller with the larger number of connected devices, companies are finding ways to transform their field operations to meet the new market demands and competition.
The major use cases of mobile devices by field executives
- Conduct quick, easy and accurate inspection of devices in real time with the help of mobile barcode scanners.
- Fleet managers can access schematics and company information on-the-go under harsh work environment with the help of rugged mobile devices.
- Enterprise apps and business content on mobiles enable frontline workers to take effective decision, resolve queries faster, and maintain digital work records with precision.
- Mobility allows field executives to seamlessly and remotely manage appointment requests, invoicing and reports and notifications
- Enterprise apps in mobile devices create easy and secure connection between field operators and customers and engage the latter through video chats and conference calls
- Field executives utilize mobile devices with enterprise apps and software to maintain and manage delivery records, customer data, spreadsheets and proof of statement
- Mobility in the form of wearables, smartphones, high-tech gears and virtual reality devices will enable the field executives to communicate with customers and back office more vividly
- Mobile software can assist field service executives to reduce device downtime by helping them to troubleshoot issues and fix equipment faster and in more effective ways
- Mobile apps and enterprise software allow field executives to gain clear visibility of item/product inventory to facilitate remote supervision.
- Mobile devices allow field executives to generate, collect and capture field data readily and also allow them to report a potential problem and take apt and timely actions
- Mobility allows field executives to ease out the process of mobile payments leading to shorter cash flow cycles.
The Zebra Technologies study also refers to a very interesting insight, which indicates towards the fact that leading organizations are the early adopters of emerging field operations technologies like virtual and augmented reality, IoT, Blockchain, 5G, RFID and AI. Mobile technologies integrated with these cutting-edge innovations carry transformative power that can impact the FSM industry in colossal ways – boosting efficiency, information precision, detailed workflows, data driven decisions, customer experience and business revenue at large.
As businesses with proactive field service management are facing a growing emergency of adopting enterprise mobility across the organization, the need to make these mobile devices business-ready also occurs. Companies can easily do away with the IT hassles of onboarding, deploying, managing, tracking and securing these enterprise mobile devices with the help of an intuitive and scalable Mobile Device Management solution like Scalefusion.