Field Service News and Tech Roundup August 2019 Edition

Field Service News & Technology Roundup is our blog series, where we feature the latest interesting field service and technology insights impacting field service organizations.

It’s officially Fall, or Autumn, if you prefer. Can you feel the crispness in the morning air? Time to warm up some hot chocolate or apple cider.

For field service businesses in some parts of the U.S., that means colder days are on the horizon. In this edition of Field Service News and Technology Roundup, I’m including both August and September. The past two months have been exciting from a technology standpoint and very, very interesting from a field service news aspect.

This month’s edition includes tech trends, the rise of the employee experience and how to evaluate if you’re field service experience needs a tune-up.

Stick around and read on for all the news you may have missed in the August/September 2019 edition of our Field Service News and Technology Roundup. If you’re looking for more, catch up on past editions here.

Five Tech Trends to Embrace, and One Not So Much
Source: Energy Central
Author: Pat Hohl, Utility Industry Solutions at Esri

One of the quickest ways to get up-to-speed on what’s happening in the world of technology is to read any type of technology trends articles you can get your hands on. Sure, some may be biased, but that shouldn’t stop you. In the end, knowledge is power.

In this captivating article by Pat Hohl of Esri, Pat lists out five tech trends to consider and one that’s overrated. I won’t ruin the article by mentioning anything, suffice to say this one is worth a read.

If you don’t have 15 minutes to read it, there are nice section breaks making it easy to jump to only the tech trend you want to know more about.

Read the full article here.

What is employee experience? Your key to talent retention and recruitment
Source: CIO Online
Author: Sharon Florentine, Senior Writer at CIO – Follow Sharon on Twitter.

Unless you are really out of touch, customer experience has increasingly been the focus of field service businesses over the past five years. There are entire publications dedicated to the topic.

Recently, though, there is a new “experience” on the rise: the employee experience. Basically, it centers on how employees experience your company. This means everything from the candidate experience to when it’s time to leave the company, as CIO describes.

In broad strokes, Sharon sets the stage for defining what the employee experience is, why it matters and how to measure it. She also briefly talks about how the employee experience is evolving in the digital era.

The article tends to lean towards corporate environments, but don’t let that discourage you from reading the article in its entirety. There are actionable insights as well as key takeaways for any organization of any size.

This is a can’t miss article. Get the full story here.

Is it Time to Tune up the Efforts of Your Field Service Team?
Source: Field Service News
Author: Jim Baston, President at BB Consulting Group

I love articles that provide lists. In this case, Jim Baston provides a list of four areas to evaluate across your field service operations to determine if they need a tune-up.

When I read this article, the first area stood out to me as the most important. Here’s my logic. The first focus area is all about the processes and systems field teams are using to do their job. If those aren’t right, you might as well throw money out the window. On the other hand, if you enable your field technicians to be more efficient by giving them the tools they need to succeed, you are being a more effective manager. Without the right tools, your teams are stumbling around in the dark.

Check out the full article here.

Why Mobile Healthcare Service Providers Need Automation Software Now
Source: Health IT Outcomes
Author: Mark Percy, VP of Technology at Field Squared

The race to automate everything is on. There are level 5 autonomous vehicles in R&D, manufacturing robots that take the heavy lifting off human shoulders and software that takes on the redundant, monotonous tasks humans would normally complete.

You are probably asking yourself if you, too, should be seeking automation across your field service operations. My bias might be showing, but I would answer with a resounding yes. The type of automation I’m talking about isn’t intended to get rid of all the humans; rather, allow your teams to be more efficient through the application of automation to your current field service processes.

In August, our VP of Technology, Mark Percy, penned an article for Health IT Outcomes that discussed why now is the time to truly look at field service automation across home care and home healthcare.

The difference between this type of automation and full automation is akin to what the military is doing with exoskeletons: augmenting the human. Taking one aspect of work, applying automation to help humans go faster, be more efficient and increase safety.

This particular article requires a login to read the entire column, but we also released a blog post, Why Now is the Time for Field Service Automation, late last year that covers the topic in general terms, as opposed to being healthcare industry specific.

Three Roadblocks to Avoid When Choosing the Right AR Use Case.
Source: Scope AR
Author: Scott Montgomerie

I didn’t see this blog post until August, though Scope AR released it in July. That really doesn’t matter, since the subject matter is so juicy. Scott Montgomerie, Founder and CEO at Scope AR, blogged about his experience at the AR conference, Augmented World Expo (AWE) 2019. It is clear AR is becoming an increasingly crowded space, which is a good thing.

For field service businesses, this is a great development. There are many possibilities when it comes to helping mobile workers complete jobs faster, safer and on the first visit. Augmented reality can help.

This post does a really great job providing a true evaluation of use cases to consider vs hyped cases. Basically, where to put effort in and where to wait. Read Three Roadblocks to Avoid When Choosing the Right AR Use Case.

How IIoT is Revolutionizing Utilities
Source: Strategic Systems International (SSI)
Author: Team at SSI

While seemingly specific to utilities, SSI presents a very interesting view of how the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is changing the face of industries averse to change.

Similar to how humans are creatures of habits, industries can also be that way. Utilities was once notorious for being late adopters. Over the course of the past few years, the utilities industry has begun to embrace technology, for a number of reasons.

SSI’s blog post includes three main areas where the IIoT is making an impact. Read the full article for the details.

Want to learn more about field service automation?
Watch our 90-second explainer video to quickly show you how Field Squared works. View it below.

Image Source: Unsplash by Keith Misner