Field Service News and Tech Roundup May 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 has been a very busy past couple of months, here at Field Squared. In fact, we have been so busy—you may have read our new customer announcements of Energy Economics, Health Testing Solutions and the Winn-Marion Companies selecting Field Squared—I am only getting around to posting our monthly roundup of the field service news you may have missed. Instead, I have combined both May and April 2020 news into this post for your reading pleasure.

To say it has been an interesting time for field service news might be the understatement of the year. With many states easing stay at home orders toward the end of May, news shifted to how essential workers can stay safe while in the field and what getting back to work will look like other industries.

Most field work is essential. Utilities still need to be maintained, telecommunications services must carry on and, well, healthcare is life.

Our May/April 2020 edition of the Field Service News and Technology Roundup includes more than articles. We also included other helpful resources for both management as well as field workers. Read the blog and look back at past editions here.

Decoding Digital Transformation in Construction
Source: McKinsey & Company
Author: Jan Koeleman, Maria João Ribeirinho, David Rockhill, Erik Sjödin, and Gernot Strube

This article made headlines in 2019, however, it is more relevant now than at the time it was released. McKinsey and Company took a deep dive into digital transformation strategies across engineering and construction (E&C) organizations, discovering five common learnings.

In particular, implementing digital use cases that promote collaboration, is useful in today’s environment of social distancing. Additionally, it is just good sense to enable distributed workers solutions to help them stay connected to one-another, to management, to dispatchers and to customers. Over-communicating is crucial in project-centric field service.

This is a must-read article even for organizations outside of E&C. Read it here.

Digital Manufacturing Preparing for a New Normal
Source: Manufacturing Global Magazine
Author: Georgia Wilson, Contributor

It is evident the world may never return to what we once viewed as “normal” before the pandemic. Instead, we are preparing for what will become our “new normal,” with social distancing, heavy-duty cleaning protocols and the disappearance of the handshake until who knows when.

Leading consulting and research firm, McKinsey and Company, recently conducted research centered on the manufacturing industry. Of particular interest was the impact digital manufacturing will have across European organizations. The statistics are jarring, including shining a light on just how far behind organizations are in adopting industry 4.0 tools.

McKinsey provides five principles that successful organizations have instilled across their operations. I won’t cover those here, but they are worth reviewing. The meat of the article discusses tools organizations put in place to help them achieve digital transformation. The list is interesting and may provide your own organization with ideas.

Read the full article here.

Sustaining Workforce Development
Source: Field Technologies Online
Author: Bruce Breeden, Field Service Resources

One of our favorite contributors to Field Technologies Online, Bruce Breeden, discussed seven steps to building a sustaining workforce development system for service organizations. Brief in length but solid in recommendations, Breeden details how to effectively establish a program that works for practically any industry.

For instance, the second step is Tools and Metrics. This step involves establishing measurable KPIs that are reviewed regularly. Is the role you just hired for improving past and revised field service metrics, is one question to ask. Habits and Coaching, the fourth step, is an area often overlooked, and not just in field service organizations. Paying close attention to how employees are mentored and trained can have a profound impact on performance.

You can get the full story here.

VR, AR poised for growth
Source: Hypergrid Business
Author: David Kariuki

We have all been extolled the benefits augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will have for field service businesses. The efficiency gains cannot be overstated, especially in asset-intensive industries where break-fix maintenance work is expected. Technicians that need to maintain equipment can leverage AR to overlay diagnostic guides to troubleshoot solutions, for instance.

David Kariuki discusses a recent report from Perkins Coie on emerging technology adoption among businesses. He mentions a few interesting figures from the report, including two-thirds of companies expect to increase spending on immersive technologies, particularly AR.

It’s true at Field Squared we believe in the increasing adoption of such leading-edge technology, though we see expect it to take longer than anticipated. That has more to do with the knowledge level of businesses considering adopting such technology, as well as cost to implement and disruption to workflows and processes.

Either way, this is a great article that is worth taking 10 minutes out of your busy schedule to read.

Why Mobile Field Service Software Should be a Top Priority Today
Source: Field Squared Blog
Author: Mark Percy, VP of Technology at Field Squared

The only way to effectively manage field workers, increase field efficiency and outmaneuver the competition is to adopt field service management technology that actually has the right solutions to enable organizations to move the needle in the first place. So many single-solution, industry-specific field service software exists that simply falls short.

We decided to answer why mobile field service software should be priority today, since we are often asked the question, “why.” Our VP of Technology, Mark Percy, blogged about the forces at work beyond just today’s unique times that make now the best time to adopt field service technology.

For one, cloud-based field service management software is a non-disruptive way to get an entire organization up and running. There is more on that in the article, which I highly recommend reading.

COVID-19: Construction Dive’s Daily News and Resource Tracker
Source: Construction Dive
Author: Construction Dive Staff

ConstructionDive has been posting to a resource center they created, providing daily updates related to the construction industry. Engineering organizations as well as manufacturing industry updates are also included. Check out the resource center.

How to Sharpen Team Leadership Skills
Source: Service Strategies
Author: Service Strategies

Leadership training options abound. This instructor led online course from Service Strategies is tailor-made for service leaders looking to sharpen their skills. They held one successful session in April, followed by a planned session on May 18th. Learn more about the course and register, if you’re interested, here.


Watch the 60-second demo video to see inside Field Squared’s mobile service software for telecommunications services providers.

Image Source: Unsplash by Keith Misner