ServiceMax Blog

The Importance of Mobile Parts and Technical Knowledge in the Field

The following is a guest blog post from ServiceMax partner, Infomill.  For more information, visit Infomill’s listing in our online marketplace here.

 

Aberdeen Group reports that more than half of “best-in-class” field service organizations have made investing in mobile tools a priority in order to improve field service technicians’ access to knowledge[1].

But one area that has been historically overlooked by service organizations is a mobile knowledge tool specifically for technical and parts data. In the last couple of years, organizations are beginning to recognize the need for these types of tools, and the opinion of them as a “nice to have” is starting to shift to a “need to have”. The benefits of mobility tools are well-touted, but few tools directly impact and deliver these positive performance benefits like technical and parts knowledge tools.

 

Poor Access to Information Reduces First Time Fix Rates

Improving first-time visit resolution rates is among one of the most important and most frustrating tasks for field service organizations. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. We are probably all aware that those in the field service industry which are defined as ”best-in-class” achieve an impressive first-time fix rate of 89% or higher[2]. But did you know that The Aberdeen Group also estimates 19% of first-time fixes are missed because the technician did not have access to the correct technical information[3]? It stands to reason that providing field teams with mobile, offline access to the right break/fix and parts information will accelerate fault diagnosis and resolution, having a large impact on this ever-important field service metric.

 

Give Technicians Mobile Access to Critical Information

We can all agree that knowledge is at its most useful when it is kept up-to-date. More often than not, field technicians find themselves repairing time-sensitive or safety-critical equipment where downtime must be kept to a minimum and having access to the most current authorized technical knowledge is imperative. Mobile knowledge apps will ensure that service teams have all the up-to-date approved information right at their fingertips and that it is updated frequently.  In addition, the best mobile knowledge apps have the ability to give added security to sensitive data by providing role based access to individual users and preventing unauthorized access of knowledge.

 

Apps Get Around the Connectivity Challenge

Yes, the field service industry is more connected now than ever before. However, any technician that works in the field will tell you that having a connection isn’t exactly a sure thing. Signals can be unreliable and dead zones are unavoidable. This is why having a mobile knowledge app with offline capabilities is a must have. Ensuring the technician has all the information, knowledge and trouble-shooting capability in front of them – no matter how many “bars” their device has — increases the likelihood of a fast, accurate diagnosis while keeping those service costs in check.

 

Knowledge Can Transform Field Service into a Profit Center

Historically, after-sales service centers were viewed in most services companies as a supporting appendage to the overall organization, written off as “the cost of doing business.” In the last few years, though, the field service industry has come to the forefront of technology and innovation, and companies are readily recognizing their own service organizations as profit centers. Because of this, the pressure is on to optimize service delivery, reduce overhead costs and maintain customer retention.

By creating more efficient technicians, mobile knowledge apps can improve service delivery and allow for more truck rolls per day, increasing profits for organizations and creating satisfied customers.

 

[1] Aberdeen Group: Field Service 2016 – Strengthen the Team and Bond with Your Customers

[2] Aberdeen Group: Fixing First-Time Fix – Repairing Field Service Efficiency to Enhance Customer Returns

[3] Aberdeen Group: Field Service 2011 –  Mobility and the Extension of the Service Enterprise