Field-service work has barely changed over the years and is still as vital as ever. For all our revolutionary technological advances and ability to monitor, manage systems and equipment, you still need field technicians willing to get their hands dirty on the job to actually fix things.
Field Service Management (FSM) software helps you keep track of all your company’s field operations. FSM applications can facilitate inventory, customer data portals, automobile tracking, and scheduling amongst other activities. By connecting your FSM application to your existing ERP software, you can successfully integrate and automate invoicing, accounting, and other internal processes to give you enhanced visibility over all your field assets.
The advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) and automation in FSM, has sometimes brought with it fears of employees being completely replaced by robots amongst field service technicians. However, IoT has immense potential to not replace, but help field service technicians achieve more. IoT and the sensors enabled by Field Service Management software can let you know if an asset is broken, and automatically route it to the technician who has the most expertise to go on-site and fix it.
So, how does IoT benefit field technicians through FSM software? Let’s consider these 3 examples from different industries below.
1) IoT Benefits for Wastewater Management Workers
It is estimated that the global waste water treatment market will be valued at $674.72 billion by 2025, boosted by the rising demand for usable clean water for drinking, industrial development and agriculture.
Life as a field operator for a wastewater management firm is not easy. Not only is there the obvious distress of dealing with society’s mess (literally!), there’s also the need to constantly do rounds in hazardous conditions to check for flaws, clogs, checking water sample quality, and sometimes manually cleaning things out.
IoT sensors strategically placed across sewer plants, valves and pumps can greatly improve the productivity of field workers at a water treatment plant. While you still need someone to physically fix the damage/ leak, IoT sensors can alert operators to what needs to be checked. The sensors can alert a technician to the exact point of damage and reduce the need to constantly manually monitor the condition of equipment and operations.
2) IoT Benefits for Oil and Gas Field Workers
Oil and gas industry technicians have another dangerous job, where physical involvement from workers is required in dangerous scenarios. One really hazardous part of field workers in petroleum plants, chemical refineries, and natural gas processing plants is dealing with flare stacks.
A flare stack, is a gas combustion device used in industrial plants that is used to burn off excess combustible gases released by pressure valves to avoid over-pressurization of plant equipment. Workers have to undergo numerous safety and protocol checks to go near an open flare stack.
IoT sensors can reduce the risk for field workers near flare stacks and ensure that technician visits to the flare stacks are only necessary ones, where actual maintenance work has to be done. IoT enabled FSM software can shift the focus from worker danger to reducing downtime.
3) IoT Benefits for Field Healthcare Professionals
Healthcare professionals need access to critical data on patients to deliver the best possible care. If a patient has to change hospitals, and doctors have to initiate procedures on the go, they need access to all health-related data for the patient immediately. Through wireless connections to medical devices and a singular dashboard for all related information, doctors, nurses and patients can equally benefit from FSM software.
IFS, a global enterprise applications company, was named a Leader in the 2017 Gartner magic quadrant for Field Service Management (FSM). FSM software like IFS, offers embedded integration with the IFS IoT Business Connector, which allows companies to utilize the Internet of Things (IoT) to use data from connected devices and automatically turn the data into immediate predictive actions that drive major improvements in how you deliver world-class services and save money.
ProV FSM experts can deliver the insight and value you need to get the most out of your Field Service Management operation and help you integrate FSM with other enterprise applications. To learn more about what FSM can do for you in your specific industry, download our FREE Guide to End-to-End Field Service Management below, or contact us today.