Field service management typically involves dispatching workers or contractors to a location outside company premises to install, maintain or repair equipment, systems or assets. Field service managers keep track of an organization’s field resources and coordinate the work of field service practitioners who deliver skilled, specialized or proprietary services to clients.
Field service management activities include:
Effective field service management solutions integrate data from enterprise asset management systems with remote data from the field — including IoT and mobile devices — to help a company manage its resources.
Benefits of field service management include:
Maintenance technician leaders are facing many challenges, including attracting and retaining talent amid a shrinking talent pool, underskilled workforces, growing operational costs and a lack of technology to manage complex assets and expanding service needs. The key to managing these challenges is employing software that can automate certain tasks to reduce the strain on your workforce, improve knowledge transfer and provide capabilities that support technicians in the field.
Mobile service technicians face challenges such as scheduling conflicts, the ability to obtain essential data, miscommunication about job tasks, and having to make return trips. To overcome these challenges, more main system CMMS capabilities must be available on phones and tablets, including the ability to review asset maintenance histories, access detailed technical specifications and GIS-location data, examine work order information, process billing, and communicate in real time.
Finally, many companies have implemented several separate solutions over time and now have multiple tools that don’t work together. For field service management to run smoothly, it’s critical to have cohesive, integrated, end-to-end solutions that are easy for field teams to use and provide dashboards that offer enterprise-wide visibility of a company’s resources.
Field service management software helps businesses manage all the resources involved in field service management activities. It can help managers and technicians process job orders, automate scheduling and dispatch, keep track of service and repair tasks, manage customer service contracts, collect payment and more.
Field service management capabilities are provided by a variety of software and solutions.
Mobile field service management software
The cloud and mobile capabilities offered by some field service management software provide access to real-time communications and keep technicians connected to important information and support while in the field. With mobile capabilities, field service technicians can capture images on their devices and access data from remote assets and digital twins to evaluate the root causes of issues. They can also extend collaboration with AI and AR capabilities that are becoming more standard.
Enterprise asset management software
Enterprise asset management (EAM) software helps companies maintain and control their operational assets and equipment, both off and on premises. By centralizing asset information and implementing AI-powered remote monitoring and analytics, maintenance managers can maximize asset utilization, increase productive uptime and reduce operational costs.
Inventory management system
An inventory management system helps companies optimize their maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) inventory. It can provide an accurate, granular view of MRO inventory performance while delivering optimized recommendations for inventory and reorder levels for each stocked item.
Technicians are typically dispatched for preventative or predictive maintenance and repair of equipment under warranty within various sectors such as automotive, aerospace, defense, electronics, industrial products, consumer products and more.
Service technicians must have access to details about assets and inventory, including fuel management, driver logs, spare parts, bay schedules and other data critical to maintaining rail, road and air traffic operations.
Technicians must consider geospatial information from remote assets while accommodating complex crew scheduling for high volume and time-sensitive work orders.
In these industries, the emphasis is on safety, reliability, compliance and performance. Companies can reduce costs by standardizing and streamlining field service maintenance practices.
As assets grow in complexity, the way businesses manage their field service operations must evolve. The future of field service management will be about empowering the connected technician — any asset, anytime, anywhere, on any cloud.
Field service technicians will use solutions that provide significant insights from IoT devices into how and when equipment should be serviced. They will increase their productivity through automation, mobile capabilities and AI support. With access to digital services in the cloud, customers will also have a better experience.
In the future, these technologies will continue to transform field service management.
AI-informed automated schedule optimization will help dispatchers perform better troubleshooting and improve field resource quality and productivity.
As technology evolves, AI will augment the skills and training requirements of technicians while leveraging the ability to analyze endless tomes of new and historical data.
Predictive maintenance based on data obtained from Internet of Things (IoT) devices and augmented reality (AR) powered troubleshooting will make it possible to limit maintenance on equipment and assets.
Empower the connected technician with intelligent mobile enterprise asset management (EAM) to manage any asset, anytime, any place.
Get intelligent asset management, monitoring, predictive maintenance and reliability for your field service operations in a single platform.
Turn data into actionable insights to improve workplace safety. Put compliance at the center of safety so you can better identify and eliminate hazards.
Short for computerized maintenance management system, CMMS is software that helps manage assets, schedule maintenance and track work orders.
Join IBM and guests from IDC, Aquitas, Omnio, Samsung and SRO as they discuss three imperatives for modern asset management.