For any company with field service teams, there are a lot of wins to be had through the implementation of intelligent service management tools. Field service management (FSM) can transform organizations and their relationship with customers. By enabling visibility and traceability of assets and optimizing service teams, FSM can help businesses baseline, measure, and manage their carbon footprint and sustainability goals. It can also help reduce carbon emissions, which equates to reduced energy consumption and increased efficiencies. In the case of service teams, that can also mean increased customer satisfaction. Here, we outline five ways service maintenance can reduce your carbon footprint.
1. First-time fix rates
At the most basic level, FSM drives better visibility into a service provider’s installed base, the maintenance history of those assets, as well as their serviceable parts. This helps service organizations get the right tech, with the right parts and the right qualifications needed to fix assets the first time. This reduces carbon emissions by reducing truck rolls to customer sites and reducing emergency shipments of parts needed for repairs.
2. Optimized scheduling
Scheduling engines in FSM solutions are becoming smarter, leveraging AI to do assisted or automated scheduling. Algorithms can support route optimization and reduce drive times, group technician visits according to proximity, as well as incorporate real-time traffic information.
With better visibility into technician skillsets, schedulers can make better decisions and ensure they are sending the technician with the skillsets needed to fix equipment the first time. Data from scheduling engines also allows service providers to make projections about how many engineers, with what skillets they will need in the future, and where to place them, to optimize resource utilization. By placing the right technicians with the right skillsets closer to the assets they need to support, service providers can further reduce their carbon footprint.
3. Predictive analytics
FSM technology combined with remote monitoring and analytics enables organizations to better predict when assets will fail. It allows organizations to implement preventive maintenance plans based on accurate asset data, reducing emergency call-outs and unexpected asset failures.
It also allows organizations to make better use of remote engineers to solve asset issues. When service providers have visibility into asset data, and can combine that information with the knowledge gained through years of hands-on experience of their field engineers, they can increase remote support of assets while at the same time helping customers make better long-term asset lifecycle decisions.
4. Intelligent inventory
Having a better understanding of why assets fail, and which parts trigger those failures, provides important insights that allow organizations to make better inventory management decisions. Parts supply chain management can be costly and create carbon impacts, so using data analytics to optimize inventory makes a lot of commercial and environmental sense.
FSM can help organizations minimize emergency shipments and the associated carbon impact by using predictive data to identify key parts needed for a service repair. With this intelligence, organizations can start to re-think inventory planning strategies, using localized stores to be nearer customers and their field engineers, or even implement on-demand printing of 3D parts.
Metso, a leading mining equipment provider, tackled global supply chain inefficiencies by moving from a location-based, on-shelf availability model, to an organization-wide parts planning system by adopting PTC’s Servigistics Service Parts Management solution. By optimizing inventory, Metso reduced its service parts inventory by €41.6 million, while increasing on-shelf part availability by 3.4%.
5. Carbon-neutral R&D
Field service teams can be a source of product and part intelligence for R&D and reliability teams. Using FSM data to identify patterns in machine performance, service teams can collaborate with product research and development departments as well as reliability engineering teams to enable improvements, including more carbon-neutral, energy-efficient designs.
This can also apply to upgrades by using performance data to identify where and how assets can be upgraded to improve efficiencies. Can products be modified or upgraded to be more sustainable? Asset data can enable a circular economy approach to products that reduces carbon impacts but also reduces cost and increases customer satisfaction by providing the data to make environmentally friendly asset lifecycle decisions. With the use of FSM technologies, service providers can baseline and measure how they are doing against carbon emission targets and provide concrete data touchpoints to validate their sustainability and carbon neutrality journey.
Companies can also leverage their FSM solutions to baseline existing performance on KPIs, such as first-time fix rates, utilization rates, asset failure rates, emergency shipments, and stranded or obsolete inventory. This has historically been challenging or impossible due to a lack of visibility and systems capability. By tracking the improvement to these metrics as they progress in their FSM usage and journey, organizations can get “real” data touchpoints to support their sustainability and carbon neutrality journey.