According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020 there were 2,654,700 non-fatal injuries and illnesses in private industry. During this same period, the total number of fatal work-related industries across sectors was 4,764.

It’s common knowledge that one of the deadliest professions is field service. In addition to trying to remain safe in hazardous circumstances, field service technicians are responsible for completing their work quickly to the customer’s exact specifications on the first visit. They’re faced with equipment and assets that are increasingly complex and sophisticated. Service has become more difficult than ever.

With the many risks and challenges technicians face, an increased number are either taking early retirement, leaving their careers early, or choosing not to enter the profession. It’s vital to embark on a strategy to ensure worker safety. In addition, it’s essential to work to retain and attract talent to avoid knowledge loss, bridge the hiring gap, and prevent slowdowns or complete shutdowns.

Mobile app adoption ensures safety and effectiveness

Empowering field service technicians with mobile apps gives these brave heroes the digital tools they need to be safe and effective.

Safety. Compliance incidents can be decreased simply by embedding asset, site, or safety steps directly into the work processes that a technician uses on their mobile device. In addition, data from EHS and compliance systems can be made available in context to assist field teams through complex and risky jobs.

Whether it’s on a remote site where a field technician is the sole employee, dealing with hazardous materials, or a host of other situations, instant access to this valuable information via a mobile app can make a world of difference even when one is offline.

Effectiveness. High complexity work demands access to contextual information to support a technician in their mission to complete a job effectively. A mobile app delivers immediate access to documentation on procedures and workflow support. In addition, essential details on an asset or a site are provided in advance, priming workers for the task ahead.

This supporting data can be ingested from an organization’s Field Service Management (FSM), Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution and made available in the hands of field technicians. The results? Superior field performance, proper completion of a job in one trip, improved asset uptime, and customer satisfaction.

Mobile apps also give field techs the ability to transfer jobs to a team member should a task require a different skillset, or if there’s a need to accommodate complex asset availability, last-minute customer updates to service requests, or manage any unexpected personnel changes.

Success stories from the adoption of mobile apps

The largest eye care device company in the world leveraged its FSM and mobile app to help field service engineers train physicians on how to use complex ophthalmic devices. From both a safety and efficiency standpoint, the organization has seen tremendous success.

  • This solution reduced the cost to educate physicians globally using multiple paper forms and assets. Training materials are now updated in real-time, ensuring compliance and safety. This is no small feat when considering ever-changing complex regulatory requirements for each unique medical device across countries.
  • Streamlined data collection has increased the company’s field service efficiency. The medical device manufacturer no longer uses paper-based solutions that require manual PDF uploads. Data accuracy is ensured, and the time to re-enter data in other systems is eliminated.

In another instance, a global medical device manufacturer, seller, and distributor wanted to digitally enable hundreds of their field technicians. They provided their field team with a mobile app that offered robust checklists for work to be performed, including detailed installation instructions and manuals.

  • Patient safety is ensured with the adoption of mobile app workflows for post-installation functional tests, safety evaluations, visual inspections, and electrical safety tests. Techs are prevented from skipping any steps and given detailed processes to follow to conform to established industry standards.
  • A streamlined installation workflow contributes to greater efficiency. Data is now easily captured offline. This empowers the organization’s field service engineers to successfully install complex medical devices in locations lacking cellular connectivity.

Are you ready to amplify your field service platform’s capabilities? Do you want to find a way to ensure your technicians are better prepared to work in a safe environment and supported with the context and intelligence they need to complete complex work? If you answered yes, then it’s time to embrace mobile apps as part of your digital transformation initiatives.

ABOUT Huberto Garza

Huberto Garza is the alliances manager at ProntoForms for the Premier ISV Partnership with ServiceMax. He works with channel partners, customers, and prospects to unlock the value of ProntoForms integrated with platform solutions like ServiceMax and Salesforce for service organizations. Huberto has performed customer-facing roles in sales engineering, customer success and service delivery focused on business transformation through SaaS and mobile technologies.