5 Reasons to Prioritize Digital Transformation in Your Field Service and Asset Management Operations
July 1, 2021
For equipment rental, sales and service companies, there are many complex service delivery aspects that can affect operations and profitability. While equipment availability may be top of mind, service contracts, work orders, field technician availability, customization, and work status tracking are of equal importance.
With so many moving parts, when your data resides on paper, whiteboards, spreadsheets, and compartmentalized systems, the risk of errors, miscommunications, and mishaps exist at every stage of the process. Reliability, consistency and quality will vary from day to day and from employee to employee.
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation is certainly not a new idea. It has been a major topic of conversation, articles and conference presentations for years, but what does it really mean for your operations? If you Google digital transformation, you will uncover a plethora of definitions. In its simplest form, digital transformation means replacing non-digital or manual processes with digital processes (Wikipedia). Replacing paper timesheets with an app for employees to record their time is a simple example of digital transformation.
Transforming your operations to digital may seem like a major undertaking with high costs, but the cost in delaying can be higher. As your business grows, manual processes and aged systems can lead to friction for employees and customers and increased risks to the business.
The cost of doing nothing can result in bigger issues, such as:
Difficulty delivering the right service the first time
Inefficient use of capital
Losing bids to competitors
Failure to bill for services rendered
Missed opportunities for contract renewals and add-on services
It may be later than you think
Is it time to start or expand digital transformation for your field service and asset management operations? Here are five signs that indicate it is time to make a move.
Losing track of equipment
Have you spent hours on the phone tracking down a piece of equipment? Have you ever thought an asset was in one location, only to find out it was in another? The adage, “time is money”, was never truer than for the equipment business. Time spent tracking down assets is revenue lost or delayed by not having the equipment in service.
While work orders, work summaries, and timecards are necessary for billing customers, paying employees, and tracking job status, using paper to track these can be troublesome. With employees on the move, in and out of trucks and job sites, it is no surprise that paper gets damaged or goes missing. Beyond the risk of damage and loss, the transfer of information from paper to other systems is also time consuming and error prone.
Delays in invoicing
Does it take weeks to compile and enter timecards, invoices, and expense reports into your financial system to create invoices? Do you have to access more than one system to gather information? The more complex your business, the easier it is for revenue to get delayed by cumbersome paperwork, data entry and reconciliation of work to service contracts.
Delays communicating with the field
Your field organization is the delivery mechanism for your service and your primary interface with customers. Yet they are often left to their own devices once they leave for a job, armed only with a work or delivery order and the knowledge in their heads. Changes in schedules or work orders, special delivery instructions, or emergency protocols can be difficult to communicate and easily missed when workers are in the field.
Painful business growth
Many equipment businesses are adding or enhancing services to drive revenue and deepen relationships with customers. Yet, this added complexity can be the breaking point for businesses tied to paper and siloed systems, requiring more back-office personnel to handle scheduling, tracking, work orders, manual processes and data entry.
If these signs look familiar, it is time to bring your business fully into the digital age. By digitizing your end-to-end process, you eliminate weakness and gaps existing in your systems and processes that can cause inefficiency and inhibit growth.
Time to reap the benefits
Now for the good part – what’s in it for you? Here are just a few of the benefits that you will enjoy following your digital transformation.
Unlock the power of the data currently trapped in service contracts, work order summaries, spreadsheets, and compartmentalized systems.
Gain real-time visibility to equipment and field crew locations and status.
Invoice customers as soon as work is complete with real-time work execution status and accumulated material and labor costs.
Deliver information to the field team when and where they need it including customer and account details, schedules, directions, work order instructions, steps, and manuals.
Easily reconfigure service lines with new offerings and unique workflows. Rapidly onboard merger and acquisitions.
For more information on how you can quickly transform your processes, customer experience and worker productivity, click here for a consultation with one of our industry specialists.
KloudGin is the only combined, industry-focused, one-cloud field and asset management solution that automates work management processes, enables customer self-service, and increases worker productivity. Serving companies with complex asset management and field service requirements, KloudGin connects customers, employees and assets with AI-powered access to information on any device.
Vikram Takru is CEO of KloudGin, Inc. He co-founded KloudGin with the vision of creating transformative field service and asset management technology that eliminates silos, connects people, process and technology, and creates access to information where and when it is needed. He is committed to delivering solutions that work for field crews in the toughest conditions.