In May of this year, Aberdeen Group analyst Sumair Dutta asked The SmartVan readers to participate in a survey that would help the research group develop a report on key trends and best practices in the use of mobile tools in field service that drive productivity, profitability and customer satisfaction.

Late last month, the report, fueled in part by your participation, was released with some very interesting results. According to the survey, best-in-class service organizations are achieving 76 percent field worker utilization as opposed to 51 percent for all other companies. In addition, best-in-class companies also lead in first visit fix rates of 82 percent vs. 65 percent for all other companies.

Perhaps most notable: Aberdeen’s report found huge gaps in the year-by-year improvements of best-in-class companies vs. all others in areas including productivity (16% vs. 4%), service costs (-15% vs. -2%), service revenue (18% vs. 5%) and resolutions times (-20% vs. -1%).

While these figures may be satisfying for some, they can be alarming for others – cutting costs while increasing revenues and customer satisfaction is an objective of every business. In field service, recent massive developments in mobile technology that have been largely absent from the industry for years, are increasingly playing a key role in which companies are best-in-class and which are “average.”

In Aberdeen’s report, the importance of mobility tools was rated at least a 4.0 out of 5 in every category including improving customer satisfaction, reducing errors and growing service profitability. The key to improving worker utilization and efficiency, says the report, is to equip field service technicians with mobile computers, which it says will raise productivity over 23 percent.

The best companies understand how important mobile technologies are for their business and the benefits are clearly written. With more mobility options in the field service industry than ever before and with device capabilities increasing and prices decreasing, there’s never been a better time to take your business from average to best-in-class.