Technology is shaping the future of field service management, and it's not only Field Service Management Software that's transforming the way field service managers and technicians work. IoT is the future of field service management and has already had a significant impact on the sector.
Let's dive into the world of IoT and explore the advantages and challenges it presents, and how it can be utilised in the industry.
What is IoT?
- The Internet of things (IoT) is the process of connecting devices to the Internet via built-in sensors to streamline communication between devices and the cloud and to collect and share data. Everyday examples of IoT include biometric security systems that use automated recognition to verify identification, wearable technology that monitors an individual's health, and smart cars that use sensors to improve safety and maintenance. IoT eliminates the need for human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction and makes real-time data collection possible to improve efficiency and service delivery.
How IoT is transforming field service management
- IoT is transforming the field service industry in a way manual processes have never been able to, and these are some ways IoT technology has redefined field service management.
Real-time data and diagnosis
- IoT can give you access to accurate real-time data about your assets, giving you a more precise idea of the condition of equipment and machinery. With this information at your fingertips, you can create effective maintenance plans, relying on data rather than manual inspections to identify when repairs need to be done and determine when assets will need to be replaced. You can trust IoT technology to diagnose equipment issues so technicians can complete more jobs and use their time smartly.
- Many field service companies rely on time-based preventative maintenance to prevent breakdowns or only conduct repairs when equipment has failed. With IoT, you can detect issues sooner and perform predictive maintenance. Predictive maintenance uses real-time data from IoT devices to identify defects or faults so that repairs can be done only when required and before assets fail. IoT streamlines your maintenance process and increases the chances of technicians completing repairs right the first time. It's a smart way to reduce maintenance costs and save technicians time while optimising asset performance to maximise the value of your equipment and minimise downtime.
Increased workforce efficiency
- With IoT devices monitoring equipment and machinery, field service technicians don't have to spend as much time doing manual inspections. Instead, they can conduct repairs only when necessary to increase the efficiency of your maintenance process. Using IoT to monitor assets also gives technicians more time to complete jobs, increasing your team's productivity.
Enhanced customer experience
- Access to real-time data simplifies problem-solving so you can accurately resolve customer concerns sooner. You can use IoT to diagnose issues quickly and efficiently, ensuring you fix problems the first time. If your field service business maintains customer equipment, you can use IoT technology to keep their assets performing optimally and reduce the need for them to replace equipment.
The challenges of implementing IoT
- IoT offers endless possibilities to improve productivity and efficiency, but it comes with its own challenges.
The cost of investing in IoT technology
- IoT can reduce maintenance expenses, but the initial capital required to invest in the technology can be costly. While the investment will boost production rates and potentially lead to higher profits, it will take time for the business to see these results as it's a long-term investment. Smaller field service businesses may not have the finance to invest in IoT and may not reap the benefits of small-scale adoption.
- Any device connected to the Internet is vulnerable to hacking. If your IoT security is weak, cyber criminals could attack your devices or networks, and sensitive information could fall into the wrong hands, compromising the integrity of your company. While you can mitigate IoT security risks and protect your data by encrypting devices, securing your internet connection, and using multi-factor authentication and strong passwords, you can never eliminate threats. As IoT technology becomes more popular, cyber criminals will get wiser, finding new ways to access sensitive data.
Implementing IoT with software
- IoT can give you access to a wealth of information, but if the data isn't used to improve efficiency, you won't get a good return on your investment. If you want to maximise the value of your data, you should use IoT in combination with Field Service Management Software. With software, you can:
- Schedule predictive maintenance jobs based on real-time data to reduce maintenance costs and increase the lifespan of assets.
- Track technicians and vehicles with GPS-enabled devices and assign jobs based on real-time location to optimise job scheduling.
- Store data on a secure, cloud-based system, giving access only to your employees and your clients to protect sensitive information.
- Analyse data collected to find ways to improve performance.
Is your business ready for the future of field service management? Prepare your company to implement IoT by investing in Field Service Management Software today. Sign up for a 14-day free trial or contact our team to learn more about our cloud-based system.