Field Service News and Technology Roundup October 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.

With the first snowfall (really, snowstorm) dropping a foot of snow over Colorado, and even more in the mountains, October came in with a roar. The month was also a very busy time for exciting developments in news and technology as well as its impact on field service businesses.

This month’s edition includes digital twins, building service management plans, wearable tech in asset intensive industries, drones, and so much more.

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

Cellular-connected Drones to Deliver Life-saving Emergency Defibrillators Following Ground-breaking Canadian Trial
Source: Financial Post
Author: InDro Robotics, Ericsson, Cradlepoint

For all the fear drone technology elicits, there are positive stories of good. Take this fell-good story from InDro Robotics, Ericsson and Cradlepoint. In a trial, the three organizations partnered together on a solution whereby drones delivered defibrillators to emergency cardia arrest sites.

In their trials, the drones arrived with the needed equipment an average seven minutes before the emergency responders.

Seconds matter in life-saving scenarios such as these and it appears leading-edge technology may be able to help fill the gaps. Read the full story or the joint press release.

Beyond Buzzwords: Digital Twin Maturity Spectrum
Source: Beyond Engineering Blog from SNC-Lavalin Group
Author: Simon Evans, Director, Digital Engineering, SNC-Lavalin London

This is the second in a blog series from Simon Evans in the Beyond Engineering Blog. Evans discusses what he considers to be fact-focused post that covers digital twin maturity.

Beginning with a few industry statistics, and then moving directly into what I consider the meatiest portion of the post: The Maturity Spectrum. The Spectrum is detailed in a table, and subsequently each element, as it’s referred to, is further detailed in its own section of the post.

It’s a very engaging, interesting article, even for those who have little knowledge about digital twins. However, I recommend reading the first post in the series, first. Then, read this post.

Construction Industry Tinkers with Wearable Technology to Improve Safety, Cut Costs
Source: HBJ Hartford Business
Author: Natalie Missakian, Reporter

Safety is something nearly every field service business takes seriously. The sad truth is injuries and even deaths are common. Some industries are notorious for safety lapses, construction is one of them.

Here, Natalie Missakian presents the case of the current state of the construction industry, citing a couple astonishing statistics (you know I love the stats). For instance, Missakian cites,

“Of the 4,674 private-sector workers who died on the job in 2017, one in five were in construction, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration statistics.”

1 in 5. That’s incredible. What can be done? Well, that is the heart of the article. Construction companies are turning to wearable technology in their efforts to improve safety. The article is full of quotes from executives at leading construction and engineering firms and also includes a section at the end that addresses risk of adoption as well as cost concerns.

This is another must-read article that I hope you take the time to read.

From Perth Bush to Deep Sea: How WA is Leading the World in Remote Operations
Source: The Sidney Morning Herald
Author: Hamish Hastie, WAtoday Reporter

Mobile field workforces and the activities they undertake vary widely from industry to industry. That’s what makes this area so exciting when it comes to providing technology to help move businesses forward.

Sometimes it helps to read a story about a completely different industry in order to get ideas about what might work in your own industry. The article, From Perth to Bush to Deep Sea: How WA is Leading the World in Remove Operations, is one such story. The use of technology to aid in deep sea operations has been a game changer. Real-time data in the realm of remote operations weren’t necessarily synonymous, until this group changed their methods and developed a new system.

“The exciting thing about this technology is once you grasp what can be done with underwater submersibles being operated remotely, that could also apply to other applications, whether it’s in remote mining and even things in outer space,” said Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn.

For the continuous learners and curious executives, this is a must-read article. Maybe it will give you some ideas about how to improve your own field operations. Read the article here.

6 Technologies to Avoid Burnout as a Field Operations Manager
Source: Field Squared Blog
Author: Tiffany Aasted, Director of Marketing at Field Squared

At Field Squared, we have our own blog, where we generally post about ways to increase field efficiency, the future of field service technology and trends, and similar thought leadership.

Over October, we highlighted what’s become a very popular post on 6 Technologies to Avoid Burnout as a Field Operations Manager. This is a particularly sensitive topic at the moment, and not just in the world of field service management or mobile workforce management, but across practically every industry and field. Burnout is a real thing.

Field operations managers the world over are experiencing symptoms of burnout, leading to lost productivity. On the heels of that post, I put together a quick infographic on the same topic to provide a quick visual reference.

In both cases, I urge you to read the full post and then check out or download the infographic to share with other colleagues and upper management. There are ways to take a phased approach to digital transformation and these resources outline the technologies that can help.

Building an Effective Services Management Plan
Source: Field Technologies Online
Author: Bill Pollock, Strategies for Growth

Bill Pollock has done it again. In Field Technologies Online, Pollock breaks down a key methodology to successfully implement a plan around services management.

The post is basically a quick blueprint of 5 key steps to building your plan and sticking with it. What I found particularly useful were the questions outlined in the opening. You first have to know what you want to achieve before you can build a plan around it.

Read the full article, Building an Effective Services Management Plan, and then go follow Bill on Twitter.

6 Ways the Workplace Will Change in the Next 10 Years
Source: Gartner
Author: RJ Cheremond

If you’ve read past editions of our Field Service News and Technology Roundup series, you know I don’t always include articles released during the featured month. Typically, that occurs because the article only then came to my attention.

Gartner’s 6 Ways the Workplace Will Change in the Next 10 Years is one such article. I can kind of see why Gartner would address this to HR professionals, but the truth is, it’s something every business leader should be aware of.

From the rise of teams replacing middle management (oh, my) to continuous learning or upskilling and smart machines, the workplace of the future is a very different place, according to Gartner.

Look, I read countless analyst reports as part of my role, so I get the need to set the research apart from one analyst firm to another; however, I find some articles to be focused on enterprise-size organizations, leaving smaller organizations to perpetually wade through the latest postulations and make sense of what it means for their future of work.

On that note, take this article with a grain (or two) of salt. Read it, understand it, file it away, and see what makes sense for your organization.

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Image Source: Unsplash by Keith Misner