Field Service News and Tech Roundup August 2020 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 is amusing how the first week of September immediately begins to feel like Fall. It is the start of the meteorological Fall, fter all. Like clockwork, the air feels crisp, a stray leaf tumbles noisily on the ground and the angle of the Sun is noticeably different.

With the busiest season for many field service businesses behind them, it’s time to look back at the news that was over the month of August.

Wow! Did July just surf by in the blink of an eye? As Summer paves the way to more Summer, by now field service is in full swing. It is evident projects that were put on hold are getting back on track.

With all the excitement, this month’s Field Service News and Technology Roundup is full of can’t-put-down, must-read articles.

For instance, Green Tech Media released findings from Berkley Lab that U.S. solar plants are now expected to run for 30 years. Meanwhile, The Service Council provided a breakdown of how augmented reality technology limits disruption during the pandemic.

For the full scoop, read on for latest news you may have missed over the month of July.

Looking for past editions? Check them out here.



Industry 4.0: Reimagining Manufacturing Operations After COVID-19
Source: McKinsey & Company
Author: Mayank Agrawal, Karel Eloot, Matteo Mancini, and Alpesh Patel

Changing times call for a change in approach. The COVID-19 spurred pandemic has closed the door on some opportunities while opening the door for others.

In the McKinsey article, Industry 4.0: Reimagining Manufacturing Operations After COVID-19, McKinsey authors present the case for adopting key technologies even during these challenging times. According to the article, and the statistic that I found it particularly interesting, around 25% of manufacturers are fast-tracking automation programs to stem worker shortages arising from COVID-19.

Because I believe this article is the must read from August, I also want to point out a useful graphic depicting the four key technologies that make up Industry 4.0. Specifically, 3: Human-machine interaction is where I place high value. Automation has been used for centuries to increase productivity and safety and it continues to help businesses in new evolutionary ways, like Field Squared Field Service Automation software.

The information applies to more than the manufacturing sector. If you have some time, check it out.



The Impact of Real-Time In-App Collaboration on Field Service
Source: Field Technologies Online
Author: Mark Percy, VP of Technology at Field Squared

Collaboration is a requirement for many service businesses. What is the impact? How can service businesses make it easy to do? Enter this article from our very own VP of Technology, detailing the impact of real-time collaboration on field service.

Mainly, the focus is on how specific aspects of real-time collaboration tools can be put in play to better enable field workers. For instance, a historical record of all communications about a given work order would have the added benefit of including conversation history. This comes in handy when a different technician picks up the work of a previous technician and they need the full history of what took place.

Part of the article addresses the use of a single mobile application to do everything directly in the app vs forcing the use of two or more applications. That is not only cumbersome but 100% inefficient.

You can read the full article and get some ideas.



6 Drones Geared for Construction
Source: Construction Dive
Author: Zachary Phillips, Associate Editor at Construction Dive

If you are familiar with our Field Service News and Technology Roundup, you know I typically like to include a fun article… and it’s not always relevant to today’s field service businesses but is just plain fun.

6 Drones Geared for Construction is one such article. Outside the world of construction, the drones featured are by well-known companies, such as DJI. The use cases, complete with the embedded videos, are what helped me decide this is the fun article to feature this month.

Watch and read more at the Construction Dive site.



Technology Is Extending Reality
Source: T&D World
Author: Gene Wolf, IEEE fellow and electric power industry expert

It feels like everywhere I look someone is talking about wearable technology. IEEE fellow and electric power industry expert, Gene Wolf, recently penned an article in T&D World on the subject.

Mentioning augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR), Wolf presents use cases from the retail to utilities sectors. I also found it refreshing that he mentions first generation technologies shortcomings, while bringing to bear current generation technologies.

Get the full scoop in, Technology is Extending Reality.



Why Geolocation Benefits Asset Management
Source: Field Technologies Online
Author: Pedro Pachuca, Director of IoT Wireless in Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group

Geolocation. An oft forgotten but vitally necessary aspect of any well-run asset management and maintenance program. Actually, I argue that to any well-run field service management operations program, geolocation is equally important.

Here, author Pedro Pachuca, Director of IoT Wireless in Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group, reinforces the need for service businesses to evaluate its asset tracking technology in use today. That is, if any is in use at all.

Pachuca also brings into play the effect poor geolocation technologies and practices can have on Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices. From cost savings to reducing asset downtime, there is much at stake without the proper processes and technology in place.

See what else the author has to say. Read the article here.


Watch the 60-second demo video to see inside Field Squared’s field service automation software.