Frequently Asked Questions About Field Service Management
What is field service?
Field service is any service that is provided to a customer or equipment on the site of said customer or equipment, rather than at your business location. It requires a skilled worker to travel in order to complete the work. This includes a range of engagements across many industries: scheduled maintenance on an oil pipeline; installing new cable or internet in a customer’s home; repairing an electrical transformer; replacing parts of a heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit on an office building; an insurer assessing the condition and resale value of a vehicle at a dealership; a home health aide visiting a patient in a remote area; repairing a broken down ATM at a busy bank branch—and many, many more.
What is field service management?
Field service management is the practice of managing a field workforce in a way that makes efficient use of field resources, from planning and scheduling the work, to dispatching, routing, and ensuring each field worker is prepared to complete the job. Objectives include maximizing customer satisfaction and SLA compliance while minimizing the costs of service delivery.
What is Machine Learning?
Machine learning is the ability of artificial intelligence to extrapolate information and reach conclusions without being explicitly programmed to arrive at specific outcomes.
How is Machine Learning used in Field Service?
In field service, machine learning is used to increase accuracy in predictions about everything from demand to task duration. Machine learning is what enables sophisticated field service management solutions to shorten expected task duration over time as a technician becomes more proficient, yielding a more accurate schedule and accurate arrival time predictions, leading to happier customers.
How is Artificial Intelligence used in Field Service?
The simplest way to define artificial intelligence as it relates to field service software is as the ability to optimize every aspect of field service delivery—even without prior programming. By processing data and running simulations based on various objectives, ClickSoftware enables a smarter, more efficient workforce with benefits delivered in real time. The most common use cases for AI in field service include smarter scheduling and route optimization to reduce travel time. But the real advantage comes in mapping optimization to business goals—from SLA compliance to revenue growth—and letting the AI find the right path to each desired outcome.
What is Augmented Reality? What is Virtual Reality?
Augmented reality is the ability to combine real-world sights with additional information visualized in a way that provides a more complete view of a job or piece of equipment. For example, it can help a technician better identify the individual parts or components of an item to more quickly know which needs to be replaced. It can also provide instructions, or enable real-time remote assistance from another technician who can indicate how to conduct a fix.
Virtual reality provides virtual environments in which tasks can be practiced and training can be conducted without the need for actual tools or equipment. In field service, virtual reality can be an extremely useful training tool, especially on equipment that is not easily accessed without extensive travel, or readily available for practice.
What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things refers to all devices capable of connecting to networks to share information about their operational status. While unsophisticated devices can signal a need for service in the event of a system failure, richer data from intelligent sensors enable a shift from reactive to proactive service, greatly increasing field service efficiency. The evolution of sensors in connected devices and advances in big data analysis will combine to make field service increasingly proactive, highly efficient, and, in many cases, less dependent on human intervention. The business benefits are clear: increased efficiency will lower costs, while intelligent analysis of sensor data also leads to an unparalleled understanding of customer needs which can benefit the topline.
What is service chain optimization?
Service chain optimization is the practice of ensuring every stage of the service delivery process is making optimal use of available resources and information to increase responsiveness, effectiveness, accuracy, completion rate, and customer satisfaction.
What is predictive field service?
Predictive field service is the ability of a field service organization to make accurate predictions about demand, resource capacity, travel time and conditions, and job completion based on a combination of historical data, machine learning, and real-time traffic and weather conditions.
What are the benefits of moving to the cloud?
The main benefits of hosting a field service management solution in the cloud rather than on premise include the computing power, elasticity, and scalability provided by enterprise-level cloud services, uptime guarantees, and reduced need for in-house IT staff to manage hardware and field service management software.
Learn why ClickSoftware is the leader in field service management solutions.