Internet of things is the future of field service management. It is shaping a new service world through centralized management, lower costs, better productivity, and proactive customer service. IOT provides the tools to improve field service.
What is IOT?
The Internet of things refers to small internet connected devices. IOT devices are small microdevices that monitor or perform a specific task and continually send the data to a centralized system. Any sensor can be an IOT device if it is connected to the internet. The rich data that the sensors provide can give the entire picture of system performance.
Performance data can be transmitted anywhere in the world and can at least partially replace local monitoring of the sensors. IOT devices can be connected to the net in a multitude of ways, including cellular data modem, SMS, or Wifi. Field service teams can be centrally located in order to respond to service needs.
IOT is shaping the services industry through the following 4 ways.
1. Centralized Management
The various IOT devices can be managed through one central control center. This makes field services management much easier. Field service management is now an integral part of headquarters. Instead of needing to visit each location to get sensor data, the sensor data is sent over the internet in real time to the central control center. With all the data in one place, it’s easier for engineers to make decisions for service and maintenance needs. They can discover new ways to make the systems work for efficiently through field service management software.
Decision management is now centralized as well. When a system needs routine maintenance or service, those decisions can be made with a look at the whole system rather than each individual part. Engineers can look at several parameters before deciding to deploy service teams. They can ensure the field service team will be used most efficiently.
2. Improved Productivity
Production downtime represents on of the largest draws on productivity. When a critical machine is down, workers are standing around idle waiting to work. It’s not long before other machines on the line have to shut down production because they don’t have access to the parts produced by the machine that’s down. Even when it’s brought back up, it can take hours or even days for production to return to normal.
IOT offers a solution here. The IOT devices monitor the machines to ensure that there is not a problem. When data falls out of tolerance, the field services team can be dispatched to perform maintenance on the machine during normal down time. This keeps the machines running and in full production. Productivity doesn’t take a hit.
3. Reduced Expenses
IOT devices also help to reduce field services expenses. Since the IOT sensors are constantly collecting data and forwarding them back to the office, engineers can monitor systems without needing to send technicians out for calls. When data shows that service is required or that there is an impending problem, technicians can be dispatched. By taking care of potentials problems before they become costly problems, expenses are reduced.
Expenses are further reduced because maintenance and service can be prioritized throughout the whole system. Service teams can be scheduled in advance based on system prioritization. Efficient use of service teams means lower service costs. These reduced expenses can be utilized to provide better customer value.
4. Proactive Customer Service
Customers don’t like downtime and they don’t like unexpected expenses. They want things to work as they should when they make a vendor contract. They are relying on field service teams to keep the systems rolling and functional. When there is a breakdown, good customer service requires a quick fix that minimizes negative effects.
Proactive customer service also means responding to potential issues before they become problems. As noted earlier, IOT devices provide data about system performance needed to ensure proactive customer service. When a company utilizes IOT to enhance reliability, customers can rest assured that the customer service is a priority.
If your firm wants to improve its field service program, Internet of things combined with field service management software represents the future. They will save money, increase productivity, and improve customer service.