It’s that time of year again. We are preparing to host leaders across the service industry at the global Maximize Tour 2018. As I think about the kinds of conversations and topics that are top of mind for those joining us, I reflect on where the industry has been and where we are going. 2018 is a new era of field service, one marked by productivity, connectedness, and complex machinery. But for those of us who have been in the industry long enough, we remember that for a long time, field service was simply about fixing machines when they break.
Modern Field Service
When the “things” came online, there was an opportunity for field service to become connected, too. Several key technologies enabled a new era of field service, from mobile to the cloud. Ultimately, the IoT began to provide service professionals with enough proactive information about the equipment so that service could be delivered in a vital moment: before a machine breaks. This is the primary principle of proactive service.
Proactive service completely reimagines the way we think about repair and maintenance. Instead of fixing equipment when it’s broken, it is ensuring machine uptime. Sensor data allows technicians to deliver more intelligent and agile service, transforming operations in the field while improving the quality of service they’re able to provide. Modern field service doesn’t just fix machines – it delivers an outcome and that outcome is usually dependent on machine uptime. This is a metric that the entire C-suite is paying attention to and one that elevates the importance of field service from a necessary afterthought, to a major strategic lever for the company.
The Future of Field Service
Moving from reactive to proactive service opens up the opportunity to raise the bar to yet another level: predictive service. It hinges on the advancement of IoT combined with powerful predictive analytics technology. Rather than delivering service proactively based on a time schedule or a set of rules related to the condition of the equipment, predictive service has the ability to determine the best possible time and scope of service to be delivered to avoid any unplanned downtime while optimizing cost of service.
IoT might still be in its early stages but it represents one of the greatest technology disruptors in the history of digital technology. We know that one of its most promising use cases is predictive service; leading us to a future where there is not equipment repair but simply intelligent equipment upkeep.
As we gather some of the brightest minds in field service at Maximize Tour 2018 across the country in the coming months, I look forward to discussing difficult questions like this with you. Register for one of the events below and I’ll see you there.