Business

What is Field Workforce Management (FWM)?

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Managing field operations for asset-intensive industries is challenging – it can be complex, costly and risky. Many companies require centralized systems for managing field services, and are mandated to increase the efficiency of these operations. This pressure is driving growth in the Field Service Management (FSM) industry, which is predicted to grow to a $5.1B USD market in 2020 at a 2015-2020 CAGR of 21%.

A challenge for many industries

Field Service Management is the process for managing a company’s resources employed at or en route to the property of clients, rather than on company property.  This is an issue across many industries, such as:

  • Energy & Utilities – primarily for investigating and repairing issues with infrastructure and equipment
  • Telecommunications – for both the maintenance of networks and servicing clients
  • Manufacturing – conducting preventive maintenance and repair
  • Facilities management – primarily for maintenance and upkeep

Field Workforce Management (FWM), which is sometimes referred to as Field Force Automation, is a sub-discipline of FSM, focused on better managing the workforce-related aspects of these operations, as opposed to client-related operations.  For client-intensive industries, FSM involved connecting your workforce to ERP and CRM systems through mobile solutions.  In the case of FWM, this involves connecting workers to enterprise asset management systems, such as IBM Maximo.

Optimising FWM for efficiency

In many companies, FWM processes aren’t optimized for efficiency.  Gartner suggests that the market penetration for field service applications is about 25%, meaning that 75% of clients have created their own processes and systems for managing work. Because operations tend to be costly, there are huge potential savings for firms who use technology to streamline these operations.  Here is an example of how the process can be better managed in Maximo:

 

Field work management

Field work management

How Watson can help

At Watson IoT, we’re doing some cutting-edge work around how the Internet of Things can change how our clients manage their field workforces, including using weather data and cognitive analytics to optimize and automate many of these processes.  Stay tuned for additional blogs on how we see IoT changing FWM, and check out this webinar for information on Maximo Scheduler Plus, which is a large part of how we help companies improve these processes today.

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