Field Service News and Tech Roundup July 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.

As the Summer heatwaves took over the world, July lived up to its reputation as the hottest time of the year. We hope you grabbed a dip in the pool, partook in some delicious ice cream or just generally tried to stay cool.

Speaking of cool things in the world of field service and technology news, July was action-packed. No, I’m not talking about the latest Marvell movie. July was a little about drones, augmented reality, common misconceptions about software adoption, and the evolution of the supply chain. Oh, what a month!

Read on for all the news you may have missed in our July 2019 edition of our Field Service News and Technology Roundup. Catch up on past editions here.

How The Modern Supply Chain Is Evolving
Source: Forbes
Author: Yasaman Kazemi, Industry Strategy Lead for Supply Chain at Esri

Not every field service business has supply chain operations, so you may think this is not relevant to you, but just hear me out. I argue the more you know the better you can associate disparate topics back to your own situation. What works in one industry, sector or, more granularly, one department or business function, has the potential to be applied elsewhere.

It’s no surprise digital transformation has made its way into every facet of the supply chain. Moving and shaping the way companies leverage goods is evolving.

As Yasaman Kazemi of Esri discusses in How the Modern Supply Chain is Evolving, what were once bleeding edge technologies are making their way to the cargo ships, warehouses and docks all over the world.

For instance, by now you know my love for automation. That’s what we do at Field Squared, so, yeah, I have a passion for it. Kazemi’s first area of supply chain evolution is—you guessed it— automation. It’s specific to delivery automation, but nonetheless as impactful. The other technologies you may be a bit surprised to see, though I won’t give those away.

Read the full article to discover 3 key areas the supply chain is evolving rapidly.

Leveraging Drones and Virtual Reality in Nuclear Plant Operations
Source: EnergyCentral
Author: Randy Fordice, Senior Media Relations Representative at Xcel Energy

AHow do you manage the operations of a plant that supplies electricity to power over 870,000 homes? That’s the challenge faced by the Xcel Energy team at the Monticello, Minnesota, nuclear power plant.

What may seem daunting to anyone who doesn’t know much about the industry, the Xcel team is leveraging the latest in drone and virtual reality technology to improve operations, efficiency and safety at the same time.

In the article, Fordice talks in specifics about how the technology will be implemented as well as describes the impact they expect to have. If you’re considering testing out this type of technology at your service organization, check out the article. Or, maybe give them a call to talk about it. After all, they are in Minnesota, the state where residents are known as “Minnesota nice.” I’m sure they’d love to talk.

Reimagine Technology’s Role in the Business
Source: Deloitte Insights
Author: Khalid Kark, Bill Briggs and John Tweardy

Even if you’re not a CIO or information technology professional Deloitte’s article on Reimagining Technology’s Role in Business has takeaways for field service operations professionals and executives.

Specifically, the article discusses the need to remove traditional barriers between business and the technology itself. The common approach, according to Deloitte, is broken creating silos. This isn’t particularly new information, however Deloitte presents a different approach that, ultimately, enables the business to move faster, innovate, change the game in the constructs of what you currently have, while identifying gaps filled by technology.

Along with a link to the full report, this is a must-read article that I hope you take the time to read, re-read a few more times and then take some action, however small.

Top 5 Misconceptions About Field Service Software Adoption
Source: Field Technologies Online
Author: Mark Percy, VP of Technology at Field Squared

Being a field service automation software provider, we often explain the ins and outs of how the technology as well as detailing how automation can impact the entire business—from the technician in the field to the operations manager dispatching work orders, across the finance department handling customer invoicing to the executives/c-suite that expect the reports that show how the business is controlling costs.

At the same time, we know what it takes to build the software from the ground-up, with security top of mind and all the things that go along with developing an enterprise-grade software platform. So, we are the experts on the all-too-common misconceptions about field service software adoption.

That’s why we penned the article Top 5 Misconceptions About Field Service Software in Field Technologies Online. It has everything, including the age-old conundrum of buy vs build.

For the full story, read the article here.

Reveal: How Global Positioning Changed the Way We Map, Move, and Live
Source: Esri Blog
Author: Andrea Massey

I love a great maps story, and no one has better stories to tell than the leader in GIS technology, Esri. This post by Andrea Massey was not actually from July, but we shared it on our social channels in July because it felt timely, which is why I’m also including it in our roundup.

Basically, Massey covers the nerve-wracking event that lead to the advent of GPS technology through the evolution of how we use the technology today.

Visit the Esri blog to read the story.

10 Questions Every Field Operations Manager Should Be Asking About Service Quality

Source: Field Technologies Online
Author: Bill Pollock, Strategies for Growth and Pollock On Service

Service expert, Bill Pollock, is a regular contributor of solid field service management and customer experience content for Field Technologies Online. If you aren’t following him on Twitter, just go here and do so now, you won’t be disappointed.

This month, Pollock contributed a list of the top 10 questions every field operations manager should be asking about their service quality that has to be one of the most useful pieces of content ever.

I know, you’re rolling your eyes at the drama that just unfolded, but I stand by it. Why? It forces operations managers to be introspective. Not everyone is self-aware in their business lives, let alone their personal, which makes this exercise all the more important.

You can even take Pollocks list a step further and look at it as an opportunity to gather feedback from the field workforce I know you hold so near and dear to your hearts, because they do the heavy lifting every day. They are the boots on the ground, seeing things you may not.

While going through his questions, be sure to take a look at the tangibles but also the intangibles across every facet across your field service operations. Only then will you be fully invested in making any changes you identified.

Read the full article here.

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Image Source: Unsplash by Keith Misner