Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, the Internet of Things and automated inventory are changing the field service management industry for the better. From high-fidelity simulated training environments to headsets that overlay technical documentation onto increasingly complex equipment, AR, VR and IoT are enabling the next generation of field management professionals.
New technology is being created every day. It’s changing the way we live our lives and do our jobs. This is true in just about every industry out there, but technology in recent years has had a shockingly huge impact on the field service management industry.
This year has been no different. 2019 continues to introduce new technologies that are shaping the field and redefining how those in the field service management industry get work done day-to-day. Be on the lookout for these unique technologies when you’re on the job. See just how much they improve your daily grind.
Virtual Reality (VR): No Longer Science Fiction
While it might seem like something out of your favorite science fiction series, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) exists today and can be incredibly useful in many professional applications. Virtual reality can now be used as a training tool for technicians and other skilled professionals where field training is inconvenient, impractical or unsafe. This gives new workers time to learn the job safely in a controlled environment, rather than having to learn with direct, hands-on training that might be dangerous.
As the technology improves and more accurately simulates the exact conditions of complex field environments, VR and AR will be able to prepare people for exactly what they’ll face on the job without having to put untrained workers on the field directly to learn.
Staying Connected With The Internet Of Things
Technological improvements can help technicians beyond just training, too. Smart devices and more internet-connected technology are improving efficiency and communication on the field thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT). The more frequently devices are built “smarter” with improved ability to connect to other devices, the easier it will become for technicians to access important data when it matters—tools such as overlaying technical documentation over real equipment, etc., to enable them better to repair increasingly complex devices.
Such enhancements will result in faster repair times for technology, increased sharing of data, easier management and more. This technology is only predicted to grow in the future as well; experts expect that there will be 26 times more connected “things” than people by 2020.
Always Just Enough: Zero Stock Inventory
In the field service industry, it can be difficult to keep track of just what equipment and supplies are available to you and your technicians. However, thanks to the increasing capabilities of technology and digital inventory systems, it’s easier than ever to maintain a zero-stock inventory. Applications and connected devices now enable you to maintain and automate your inventory list so you’re never having to rely on stock parts sitting in a warehouse. Some are even detailed enough to include the specific toolset a technician has in their toolbag.
Each year brings with it new technological advancements, and 2019 so far has been no different. Look for these advances in technology in your work environment, and see if you’re able to use them to bring your workflow into the twenty-first century.