One industry bellwether is betting big on field service technology to drive business and slash costs. Tire giant Michelin just announced this week it has launched its own  Commercial Service Network, a nationwide franchise network of commercial tire dealers that will offer fleet managers the whole package when it comes to on-the-go tire maintenance, from road service to online operating manuals and fleet reporting.

The network’s blend of technology and service will make it easier for managers to keep their fleets rolling. The program, while geared toward national semi-trailer fleets, sets an example for how managers of smaller fleets can use technology to better manage their operations.

A few core elements of the new service network:

  • 24-hour emergency road service: Michelin provides 24/7/365 nationwide coverage to get drivers back on the road quickly.
  • Online reporting: Easy-to-use dashboard reporting helps drivers track everything from purchases to scrap tires. That drives revenue and slashes costs by organizing and accessing data that impacts the bottom line.
  • Web-based training: New online training programs help workers stay on top of the latest trends in fleet maintenance, safety and general business practices.
  • Online service manual: Michelin makes a reference manual and equipment updates available to everyone 24/7.

SMB service firms have certainly incorporated some of these programs into their operations. Mobile devices — primarily smartphones and tablets — allow service techs to connect with coworkers and access customer and service information from the field. Meanwhile, HVAC and other service sectors abound in online training and certification programs.

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ABOUT Sara Suddes

San Francisco-based contributor Sara Suddes writes frequently about small business, the economy and technology.