Internet of Things

IoT-ready Field Service Management

The Internet of Things is poised to radically change the way companies do business. The evolution of sensors in connected devices and advances in big data analysis will combine to make field service increasingly predictive, highly efficient, and less dependent on human intervention. The business benefits are clear: increased efficiency will lower costs, while intelligent analysis of sensor data leads to a better understanding of customer needs .

Click partners with IoT platforms and practitioners to empower market leaders across industries with the ability to take full advantage of this technology. Our expertise and leading-edge technology are preparing field service leaders for the future of our increasingly connected world.

The benefits of IoT to field service are numerous, but some of the main advantages include:

To learn more about the Internet of Things and its potential to reshape field service, download our IoT white paper.

Discover how leading field service organizations are using IoT:

Increased Visibility

One of the most important capabilities that IoT sensors offer organizations is the ability to provide better visibility, in real time, into the state of assets in the field. Historically, the lack of real-time visibility has meant critical operational decisions are delayed, resulting in the inefficient utilization of resources and assets.

Better communication and visibility into issues on remote job sites can assure that proper policies and operational and safety processes are followed, and that assistance is provided when needed. The simple task of monitoring remote sensor data often resolves challenging issues quickly and efficiently. Click has a well-established history of dealing with these use cases, such as ATMs and elevators communicating the need for service.

Typically, these sensors communicate through the layers of the IoT stack and generate a ticket into the field service management system. In turn this ticket generates a work task, which can be automatically scheduled based on the characteristics of the case and the resources available.

Increased Efficiency

While some devices can signal a need for service in the event of a system failure, richer data from intelligent sensors enables a shift from reactive to proactive service. This increases field service efficiency and even allows for resolving issues before they happen.

Unsophisticated sensors can readily communicate a health check signal. But as IoT evolves, more sophisticated data management can be decentralized and devices can communicate more information over the network. Improved data provides more insight into the nature of any problems and may suggest more efficient fixes—perhaps by the customer themselves, rather than a truck roll.

Additionally, as sensor data grows, more sophisticated machine learning techniques can be used to indicate a need for service. For example, machine learning models can establish the likely indicators (e.g. usage levels, speed, pressure) submitted from a single device that correlate with an increased probability of failure, based on patterns established in millions of other data points already collected.

These data points can be external (e.g. operating environment temperature), or internal, to paint a holistic picture of all the influential factors. Moreover, additional context can change the nature of a service requirement. For example, the urgency assigned to a proactive maintenance call for a commercial air conditioner may diminish if there are other “healthy” units for the same building.

Customer Service

Increased visibility and the efficiency brought about by predictive service both benefit the customer. But the data aggregated from IoT networks and service management solutions offers still more value.

Specifically by looking at usage patterns of networked industrial equipment, capital equipment manufacturers can get a better understanding of their customers and develop services that target a particular set of needs.

This increased level of insight enables predictive field service management, predictive maintenance, failure prevention, and seamless support without requiring the customer to initiate a call.

Manufacturer Insight

Information from networked sensors also can help manufacturers gain greater insight into operational realities. For example, if printing machines fail unexpectedly after only 1000 hours’ use, a service solution that collects actuals can identify that the same new fuses are a common factor amongst all failing machines. Even without human interaction, this can trigger an ad-hoc maintenance program to replace the fuses on all affected machines.

In a similar use of the aggregated data, ClickSoftware can analyze failure rates and service contract history. This can help field service organizations understand the ideal times for servicing assets. Likewise, it can inform manufacturers of warranty timelines and guidance for customers.

Employee Satisfaction

The visibility that sensors give a field service team not only increases work efficiency. It also can positively impact job satisfaction. With employees keen to use their skills to solve meaningful problems, rich data from networked devices prepares workers up front about what they will deal with. And it ensures they have the right tools and skills to deal with it. When first-time-fix rates rise, employees spend less time traveling, and the empowerment from IoT increases employee morale.