Mention artificial intelligence and many people’s minds immediately drift to doomsday science fiction movies.

But beyond the Hollywood hype lie big benefits for field service organizations. Chief among them is the ability to automate mundane tasks like scheduling, and instead enable employees to focus on more valuable — and potentially lucrative — endeavors like real human interaction with customers and colleagues.

The field service industry is primed to benefit from the automation of tasks and calculations such as scheduling and routing. But success requires business leaders to develop an artificial intelligence strategy now in order to save money and improve productivity in the future, says mobility expert Steve Mason.

(via Betabeat)

Must Reads This Week From the Field

New Apple converts in field service?: If you didn’t hear, Apple unveiled new mobile gadgets this week. The iPhone 6 comes with a modest boost in screen size (4.7 inches), while the iPhone 6 plus features a 5.5-inch screen that could be enticing for mobile workers who rely on larger screens. (via ZDNet)

Putting a premium on employee health: Officials in Stillwater, Okla., say the city’s employee health and wellness programs are saving big bucks. The city created the programs in 2012 to curb healthcare costs after discovering the top 10 drugs in the plan were for preventable conditions. The city provides a fitness center and Fitbits to all city employees and their spouses. (via Stillwater News Press)

6 keys to great customer service: Forbes contributor Micah Solomon offers six things that every company — and every employee — needs to do to provide great customer service. How does your organization stand up? (via Forbes)