White Paper: Top 10 Use Cases for Connected Field Service
Connected Field Service places asset data into the hands of service teams to empower proactive business models and ongoing opportunities for the companies they serve.
A key function of Connected Field Service is consistently delivering new asset data to accurately drive actions and outcomes.
Thanks to Connected Field Service, companies can finally shift from a costly and reactive break-fix service model to a proactive and predictive service model by applying powerful and intelligent rules to machine data streams.
Combining machine data with field service applications such as Bolt Data Connect and Salesforce Service Cloud creates enhancements that improve scheduling, provide proactive asset maintenance, accurate inventory, and more.
Why is Connected Field Service Important?
For nearly 20 years, service companies have invested significantly in Field Service Management solutions, standardizing business processes and critical service data capture.
In addition to operational efficiency, this shift has given field service leaders visibility into the key performance indicators of their business such as Mean Time to Repair (MTTR), First Time Fix (FTF), and a host of other data.
With accurate data on the outcomes of field service performance, the next question is “How do we improve these metrics?”
The significant rise in demand for Connected Field Service over the last few years is the answer to this question.
In addition to improvement in the metrics, there are a number of additional reasons for the rise of Connected Field Service. They include:
- More sophisticated equipment and higher performance expectations
- Rising labor costs and skilled workforce shortages
- Frequent supply chain and logistics disruptions
- Rising fuel and energy costs coupled with environmental impacts
- Pressures from the rise of inflation
- Restricted mobility of the workforce due to public safety as a result of the pandemic
- Pandemic recovery and preparedness for future business continuity strategies
When executed correctly, Connected Field Service can create a host of positive outcomes which play a major role in maintaining customer satisfaction including:
- A seamless experience that provides automation to proactively resolve issues faster, potentially remotely, and ahead of critical failures
- Service engineers are available on time with the proper skills and the right parts
- Accurately invoice customers based on usage, contract terms, and warranty
What are the Benefits of Connected Field Service?
A combination of Internet of Things (IoT) diagnostics, asset maintenance, scheduling, and inventory on the same platform makes Connected Field Service a powerful resource organizations can use to transform their service offerings.
The benefits of this solution include but aren’t limited to:
- Reduce downtime and diagnose problems before customers are aware of an issue
- Quickly address issues by remotely monitoring the health of assets and with ongoing customer awareness
- Maintain and service assets based on the individualized and unique patterns of usage
- Collect and analyze asset data to automate repetitive business processes
- Empower intelligent decisions when dispatching engineers with the right expertise, availability, proximity to the job, and the right parts
- Create new sales revenue opportunities with enhanced visibility into products, services, the company, asset performance, and customer satisfaction
- Enhance knowledge base for training of new field engineers, and with future goals of embracing machine learning and artificial intelligence models of complex equipment
As is commonly the case when assessing an innovative solution, there are use cases to keep in mind. When it comes to Connected Field Service, it’s no different. When evaluating this solution, consider the following:
Use Case #1 – Asset Failure & Anomaly Detection
At Bolt Data, we remotely monitor field-based assets to detect anomalies and automate accurate service responses in real-time.
This creates valuable opportunities to:
- Assess fault codes from assets to determine criticality and automate actions to support field service teams
- Evaluate difficult-to-detect failures based on data inputs and analysis
- Automatically alert service teams to anomalies for further analysis and response
- Automatically escalate common or recurring issues on individual machines or across asset types
- Increase asset updates and utilization
- Identify and monitor machines that have the most issues to provide better assessments for larger repairs, swapping out assets, or considering newer models that can meet the demands
- Closely monitor machines with issues to ensure peak performance
Use Case #2 – Usage-Based Maintenance
Tracking an asset’s actual usage and condition empowers maintenance that’s coordinated precisely when needed.This provides a high-level of confidence and service.
Typical predictive maintenance schedules are based on “average” utilization of an asset. Consequently, over-used machines are still susceptible to unplanned downtime which negatively impacts the customer. Not to mention, underutilized assets are typically serviced more than necessary which increases service costs.
Benefits of usage-based maintenance include:
- When asset usage increases due to seasonal demands or peak levels of operations and stress, usage-based maintenance takes these demand cycles into account and acts accordingly.
- Maintenance is provided when it’s needed the most as opposed to the traditional calendar-based schedule which is low fidelity and an antiquated measure for maintenance.
- Field service teams will have a better understanding of the urgency and criticality of the maintenance demand based on real-time usage data. This data empowers proper response measures.
Bolt Data Connect provides your service solution with the actual performance of the asset. This helps teams to identify and schedule appropriate maintenance measures with minimal customer impact.
Through our Admin console, defining roles and services plans is easier and more efficient as it includes the right threshold to raise the work order and get it scheduled.
Use Case #3 – Predictive Maintenance
Once a company’s assets are connected and streaming data, software platforms can use the information to predict when an asset will fail long before the actual event.
In fact, companies that adopt a Connected Field Service solution experience a 75% reduction in asset failures. But, when assets do fail, the downtime is reduced by 45%.
This predictive maintenance provides a layer of proactivity that empowers companies to look ahead and divert potential problems. The additional benefits of this solution for the end-user include:
- Lower maintenance costs, reduced asset downtime, and identification of potential premature failures
- Process transparency allows service engineers to understand how assets are utilized which may lead to early failure or more frequent service maintenance
- A reduction in waste
- Service providers can intervene before machines are damaged or production lines are disrupted
Bolt Data Connect monitors real-time asset performance and operating trends which enables services teams to keep assets running properly by predicting failures and proactively responding.
Use Case #4 – Remote Access, Triage, and Support
Imagine what it would be like if you could remotely access assets to triage issues and deliver service without dispatching a service technician.
The fluidity of your processes and the level of customer satisfaction would give you peace of mind so you can focus on other business initiatives.
With Connected Field Service, the picture we painted is reality. Through this innovative solution field service engineers are able to collaborate with additional support resources to resolve more complex issues.
For example, if an engineer isn’t available or is en route to fix a problem, support centers can also engage with the customer to assess and even diagnose the underlying issue. These details are shared with the engineer which helps them quickly verify and repair the issue.
If the Customer allows sufficient asset access, commands can be sent to the asset remotely from Bolt Data Connect to potentially fix the problem and avoid the truck roll completely or at least eliminate the low hanging fruit for repair, helping shorten repair time.
Use Case #5 – New Service Revenue (Servitization)
Servitization is commonly called asset-as-a-service.
Through Connected Field Service, companies are able to create new revenue models by providing service-level agreement (SLA) terms that come with guarantees such as asset uptime, response time, parts availability, and more.
Benefits of servitization include:
- Provide usage-based contracts that include field service support
- Provide quotes for consumable items so the asset is focused on the outcomes it should deliver
- Sales and marketing can deliver targeted messaging to upsell equipment and services, or make clients aware of opportunities that are directly related to the assets and how they use them
Bolt Data Connect makes the asset data available not only to the service organization, but to quoting, sales, and even marketing functions of a company. This empowers companies to deliver targeted, higher margin services to their customer base.
Learn more about how to gain a competitive advantage using a servitization business model in this post.
Use Case #6 – Optimized Scheduling
Let’s say you’re standing in front of a vending machine looking over the options. You find exactly what you want, pay the fee, type in the code, and an entirely different selection from what you chose falls to the bottom.
You wouldn’t be too happy, right? You expected one item and were delivered something entirely different. In this case, your experience would be less than favorable.
Although a low-stakes example, it’s one that brings to light the power that optimized scheduling provides businesses. Optimized scheduling of Connected Field Service gives companies the exact selection that meets their expectations.
Through this solution, scheduling is based on asset information that allows managers and dispatchers to assign the right engineer for the job. Because the asset communicates the issue with accuracy and validation from tiered support teams, an engineer with the right skills and certifications is assigned the job.
Additional benefits of this component are:
- Engineers can see and update schedules in real-time and while in the field
- Shifting schedules are more effective since notifications are sent to engineers and new routes and workloads are refactored
- Improved optimization accuracy as its based on the criticality of the issue, terms of an SLA, and knowing that parts are available for repair.
Use Case #7 – Empowering Field Engineers
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
These wise words from Benjamin Franklin are in alignment with this use case as visibility to real-time and historic asset data enables technicians to know ahead of time what they’re up against and prepare for the job.
This detailed information prepares engineers with the insights required to assess a situation and devise a solution. Everything from asset data, customer information, work history, knowledge bulletins, guide work, and on-demand assistance from other tiers of support are readily available and at their fingertips.
The modern and next-generation workforce expects technology like Connected Field Service to be one of the tools in their arsenal to diagnose problems, find solutions, and determine the root cause.
Powerful visualizations of asset telemetry data in real-time also empowers field engineers to properly assess performance while assets are in motion.
Asset managers and services leaders can harness the power of Bolt Data Connect’s data from their mobile device. The convenience Bolt Data Connect offers companies doesn’t stop there. Teams have access to the data the machine’s producing. Remote access helps improve service speed and having access to knowledge articles can make the fix faster.
Finally, Bolt Data Connect gives new engineers the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in the field. This gives senior engineers flexibility to work on other high-priority tasks and to reserve their resources only in critical situations.
Use Case #8 – Improve Customer Experience
Companies that are able to consistently provide a positive customer experience better their chances of growing their revenue faster than companies that don’t place an emphasis on customer experience.
In fact, according to Forbes, businesses that focus on improving customer experience see an 80% increase in revenue.
With all this in mind, companies that leverage Connected Field Service put themselves in a better position to reap these benefits as this solution can:
- Improve asset uptime and service response times
- Enhance call center support which provides a modern service experience that improves customer satisfaction and retention
- Meet or exceed customer SLA terms and expectations
- Address issues faster and resolve problems before they compound
And, when a field engineer does have to go on-site, the customer will know it was necessary and all the information, parts, and details are in place to promptly resolve the issue.
Use Case #9 – Field Service Automation
Perhaps the most important outcome of Connected Field Service is the ability to automate processes that weren’t always possible.
Through asset conditions and alerts, companies are able to drive automatic actions and processes such as:
- Auto case and work order creation and closing
- Identification and assignment of knowledge articles
- Automatically escalate issues or assign resources based on skill levels
- Development of consumption orders based on actual usage
- Compliance and safety adherence based on asset condition
- Quoting and invoicing based on real-time usage data
Even remaining manual processes are enhanced with data, such as being able to deliver contracts tailored to specific customers, their assets, and how they’re utilized. This allows your customers to achieve higher asset utilization, and clearly understand cost expectations.
Happy customers are the gateway to opportunities to expand within those accounts and industries.
Use Case #10 – True 360-Degree View of the Customer
Francis Bacon once said, “Knowledge is power.” And, for equipment and service providers, especially, knowledge is their superpower.
But, acquiring that knowledge can be difficult. This is where Connected Field Service comes into play to provide a true 360-degree view of the customer which is the ultimate goal.
This vantage point provides a true and holistic view of customer health in real-time and takes into consideration relevant information including physical asset data.
All of this information can be used to forge a new foundation for understanding the true condition of the situation.
Bolt Data Connect & Connected Field Service
Bolt Data Connect is an out-of-the-box solution that integrates with the Salesforce platform through native connectivity to Salesforce Field Service and ServiceMax Field Service applications.
By viewing common problems and use cases through the perspective of field service professionals, we created a solution that automates these practices.
Bolt Data Connect gives your data the power to speak and solve complex field service challenges in the process.
Interested in learning more? Contact our team today.