There’s a lot of truth to the maxim, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But a new industry study suggests that field service managers might not even know what’s broken within their organizations. The reason? Many haven’t bothered to review how their day-to-day processes are actually working. Those outdated, inefficient processes could be costing your organization time, productivity and money. Here’s a look at how a little tinkering could improve service operations, and other news from around the Web this week:
Study: Improved Workflow Saves Big Money
When was the last time you reviewed your workflow? If it’s been awhile, here are 875,000 reasons to do it now. A new study by The Service Council and Honeywell found that field service organizations that review and improve their workflow processes expect to save at least 30 minutes per technician per day. What’s more, the study of 260 service executives worldwide found that workflow improvements could save those companies $875,000 per year.
The bad news is that 25 percent of companies surveyed hadn’t reviewed their processes (schedule management, parts inventory, etc.) during the past year. The takeaway for field service managers is that if their processes worked in the past, that doesn’t mean they’re still working or that they’ll work in the future. Review what’s going well, what’s not and how your organization could do better. The payoff could be improved productivity, higher customer satisfaction and better profitability.
Read more at Mobile Enterprise
Google’s Next Big Thing in Field Service Mobility
Google’s modular smartphone concept, codenamed Project Ara, has lit up the enterprise mobility world. The completely customizable phone could have a big impact on field service. Here’s how it works: the phone allows users to swap out pieces to fit their needs. If a technician’s screen cracks, there’s no reason to throw it in the trash. Instead, the tech could snap in a new screen. If the battery dies, a tech could just grab a spare from the truck. Users could also upgrade the camera or add a front-facing camera to collaborate with managers or colleagues in the field.
Google expects to ship the modular phone in January 2015. In other news, Google Glass is now available to anyone in the U.S. with $1,500 to spare.
Read more at Wired
SmartVan Roadshow Hits Houston June 4
If you’re in the Houston area, mark your calendars. Following stops in London, Boston and Orange County, the SmartVan Roadshow is coming to Houston on June 4. The free half-day event at the Hotel ICON will feature field service experts eager to discuss ways to grow revenue and improve customer satisfaction. The speakers will also demo the latest technologies that are reshaping the service industry. For more information or to register, click here.
Cloud Computing Knowledge: The Latest Must-Have Field Service Skill
These days, field service techs must be adept at much more than just fixing broken equipment. They need to sell, provide great customer service and have the technical know-how to fix problems correctly the first time. Add cloud computing expertise to the list, as well.
“Cloud computing may have been designed and initiated by tech professionals, but it’s something in which everyone should be involved,” writes Forbes contributor Joe McKendrick. “It doesn’t matter if you’re in accounting or market research or field service — having knowledge and experience with the right online resources is a powerful capability to bring to any employer or client.”
McKendrick identifies five reasons why a familiarity with the cloud is an important resume builder. His top reason is that cloud technologies are a foundational element of the future across industries. “Many leading cloud offerings offer pre-designed industry templates that offer the latest thinking in processes and practices,” McKendrick writes. “Cloud helps you keep up to date with the latest thinking.”
Read more at Forbes