ClickSoftware | 04.13.17
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Field service is facing some exciting changes and new challenges. The market is growing rapidly, and customer expectations are higher than ever. No matter how long you’ve been in field service, there’s always more to learn.

Fortunately there's an upcoming opportunity to learn from and connect with over 700 cross-industry service leaders. If you're a field service leader looking to enhance your organization, you might way to check out Field Service USA. This year’s event will be held in Palm Springs, California from April 18-21. You'll learn how to maximize efficiency, engagement, and growth in your organization. Topics include advancing service with the Internet of Things (IoT), recruiting new talent, and next-generation customer service.

There will be a lot going on—networking, service advancement workshops, facilitated discussions, presentations, and keynote speakers. You might not have time to attend everything on the agenda, so plan your day wisely. To make things easier, we picked out three sessions you won’t want to miss.

Leading Change and Business Transformation in Field Services

Sarah O'Brien, Senior Director, Business Transformation, Sears Holding Corporation

When: April 18 at 9:35 AM

Sarah O'Brien is a field service veteran, and an expert at process improvement. She recently set a field service management strategy for an organization processing over 10 million transactions annually. O’Brien led the upgrade of their scheduling and dispatching, routing, and mobility methods. Thanks to her efforts, the service organization was able reduce cost to serve by 15%. At Field Service USA, she will share more stories from the frontline of business transformations.

O’Brien’s session will address best practices for leading and sustaining change in a distributed field service organization. She will stress the importance of assessing the “people side” of change before launching it. Your team should be just as ready as your systems, methods, policies, and processes. Don't miss her presentation if you want to learn how to drive engagement and get the whole organization behind your business process.

The Opportunity and the Obligation to Innovate 

Scott Parazynski, Astronaut Engineer, Medical Doctor, Inventor, Adventurer

When: April 19 at 12:30 PM

Although he doesn't work in field service, Scott Parazynski's resume is pretty impressive. He's the only astronaut that has flown five times in space. He's the recipient of many prestigious awards from NASA, and competed on the United States Olympic Luge Team. He's even climbed Mount Everest. He not only has plenty of leadership experience, but leadership experience under adversity. He's spoken all over the world about risk management, teamwork, and innovation under demanding circumstances. It's no wonder he's the featured keynote speaker.

In his presentation, Parazynski will draw on his background of driving innovation while working in extreme environments. He has plenty of engaging stories from aerospace, medicine, mountaineering, and more. For instance, he'll talk about developing tools and techniques to recover from the Space Shuttle Columbia accident, as well as improving safety on the slopes of the world's highest mountains.

How is this relevant to field service? Service organizations are facing an increasing pressure from customers to provide exceptional service and customer experiences. For a company to be truly disruptive and grow, it requires innovation from all members of the team, and leadership to drive it. Parazynski has spent a lifetime developing an environment where every employee can help advance a mission. And he's developed a work ethic that involves an inherent obligation to innovate. Don’t miss his presentation if you want real-world tools to help you thrive in a competitive world.

Making Field Service Sexy: Recruiting and Retaining Technicians

Billy Watts, General Manager, Energy Services, Mortenson

When: April 21 at 11:10 AM

According to the most recent Manpower Group’s annual talent shortage survey, 40% of employees reported having difficulty filling roles—the highest since 2007. And for the fifth year in a row, skilled trade positions (many of which are linked to field service) were the hardest roles to fill. Now more than ever, field service organizations are struggling from a talent shortage and aging workforce. This has made it harder to meet customer needs, and it has reduced competitiveness and innovation.

As Energy Services GM at Mortenson, Billy Watts focuses on the rapid development of the renewables services business. He has 16 years of experience in the field service industry working with large fossil plants, wind farms, and solar farms. Watts understands that enhancing and retaining qualified talent takes more than pay—especially in energy, the fastest growing industry in the United States.

During his field service optimization working group, Watts will share how his organization recruits and incentivizes top talent. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss recruiting best practices with him and your peers. Don’t miss this presentation if you want advice for dealing with the field service talent shortage.

Learn about more upcoming field service events by checking out our post "Field Service Events to Look Out For in 2017."