As we recently discussed, field service organizations (FSO) have been early adopters in Internet of Things (IoT) technology. So it is no surprise that FSOs are also staying ahead of the curve in adapting their IoT deployments to keep pace with the ever-changing nature of the technology.
Along with more dynamic sensors and connectivity options, new and exciting IoT device options are emerging, making field service delivery – regardless of industry – more efficient. Additionally, these devices are arming FSOs with more usable data analytics than ever. Here is a look at innovations that are helping to move FSOs forward:
Rugged tablets/smartphones: While these devices are not new, advances in the technology are making them easier to use and offer more computing power than ever. Even for those who may not be “tech-savvy,” today’s rugged tablets and smart phones have a very easy learning curve, allowing techs in the field to put the technology’s power to use quickly.
Wearable scanners: Every opportunity to create efficiency is key in delivering exceptional field services. Wearable scanners, worn on the wrist, hand, or finger are designed to scan 1D and/or 2D barcodes to quickly access up-to-date inspection and maintenance history. No more pulling out – or looking for – a bar code scanner. It is right there.
Navigation technology Similar to rugged tablets and smartphones, navigation is not new – but it is more advanced. Today’s navigation systems more easily and quickly identify roads in less-populated areas, getting field service technicians to and from their destinations with less delay. And hands-free options allow drivers to make changes while maintaining safety on the road.
Voice-activated wearables: Completing a task in the field often requires uninterrupted diligence – and both hands. But sometimes, a field service technician may need more information to complete the task. Voice activated wearables – liked smartwatches and smart glasses, for example – allow them to access the information they need without stopping and easily view it while working.
Connected payment devices: For some FSOs, payment will be required from a customer. Traditionally, a bill would be sent after the service is complete, but that is no guarantee of timely payment (or payment, at all). A connected payment device – similar to ones in busy retail stores – simplifies the billing process and, for many customers, improves the overall experience with the company.
Biometric-enabled devices: Field service often offers no protection from the elements. This is especially evident during the summer and winter, when long hours in extreme conditions can take a toll on a field service technician’s physical well-being. Biometric-enabled wearables can gather and note changes in vital signs to help prevent overextension and possible health problems.
Cutting-edge devices combined with advancements in IoT capabilities are simplifying processes related to field service delivery in unprecedented ways. The key to using them to your FSO’s advantage is understanding your own capabilities and determining IoT readiness.