9 Benefits Cloud-Based Software Brings to Asset & Field Service Management
July 18, 2022
The business world has fully embraced the value of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). AI and ML allow companies to automate operations, instantly connect team members, and predict activities when managing their resources and personnel.
As this technology improves, more industries realize the potential to digitally transform operations. Unfortunately, a lot of service oriented operations are still relegated to manual pen and paper processes which inhibit efficiency and quality customer service. However, change is coming, as field service and companies managing assets are realizing the benefits and ease of incorporating AI and ML into their business practices and the perks of utilizing a single cloud-based interface to accomplish these feats.
Industry-Wide AI and ML Advancements
A recent Deloitte survey of 450 companies regarding plans to improve customer service indicates that AI implementation is very much on the horizon. Indeed, 56% of respondents said they plan to invest in AI in the future as part of their service strategy.1 But what does that mean for asset and field operations?
Artificial Intelligence and machine learning have been transforming field service and asset-intensive industries, with the full effects and potential of this technology yet to be realized. Metrics and real-world implementation have shown great potential for AI to increase workflow efficiencies, reduce operation costs, increase asset lifespan, and improve customer service engagement and experience. The vast uses of this technology also extend to automating frequent repetitive tasks, especially those prone to human error like data entry.
Asset and field service-based organizations have a unique opportunity to leverage AI/ML to improve their customers’ experiences. A different Deloitte survey of residential utility customers found two interesting trends: customers are looking toward their survey providers for greener, more sustainable (and affordable) alternatives to typical energy consumption, and they are open to additional services from their utility companies, including improved monitoring and management of their energy usage.2
Field service organizations typically have vast amounts of customer data at their disposal, but that data is usually siloed into incompatible systems, disparate departments, or manual, paper processes.
AI provides the means to effectively gain the needed insights from this large amount of data to uncover potential opportunities for improvement. Embracing the benefits of cloud-based software helps break down data silos so AI can “see the entire big picture” by utilizing all available data and fully unlocking the potential of artificial intelligence for asset and field service management.
The Cloud Fully Unlocks AI’s Potential
AI-enabled software helps organize and share data and information that thousands of employees and subcontractors need to perform their duties properly. But certain solutions don’t make the most of this data to allow organizations to adapt alongside their evolving customers and industry. This adaptation can be achieved with a single cloud-based database. Swapping a limited CRM software for a fully integrated cloud-based solution links data that has historically been unorganized, unused, and siloed across all business segments, like billing and auditing & compliance and analytics. This allows maximum use of the data across the organization.
A single centralized model or database is the only way to obtain end-to-end automation, data sharing, and integration between field service and asset management across all parts of the business.
Cloud-Based Mobile Workforce Management
Choosing the right technology to harness the intelligence stifled by siloed systems and manual processes is fundamental to success. Cloud-based computing is a future-forward solution that allows companies to function using the latest technology, with updates remaining constant yet invisible to end-users.
For example, AI can use real-time customer usage data and energy costs and automatically adjust where that energy is being sourced (e.g., natural gas, green sources), ensuring your company is adhering to predetermined budgets without making manual adjustments. This data can be gathered remotely using mobile devices or automatically with intelligent AI sensors.
When all of a company’s available data integrates into the cloud, it allows field service and asset management to merge into a unified, efficient process.
IoT and the Benefits of Field Service Management Software
By utilizing the Internet of Things (IoT) with intelligent sensors, field service companies can automatically collect better and more accurate data. AI through ML can evaluate the current condition of assets, predict issues with specific assets before they occur, and allocate field service resources to resolve the problem through a predictive maintenance approach. This can save substantially more resources than a preventative maintenance approach and generate cost savings beyond those realized by traditional break and repair maintenance models.
The benefits of IoT for field service are possible through machine learning algorithms and data modeling capabilities that predict potential issues by comparing real-time data to historical data collected during everyday tasks. Data gathered such as temperature, fluid levels, telecommunication system indicators, and so on by dedicated sensors can point out anomalies and suggest how to fix the situation, if not make automatic improvements. 3
In simple terms, real-time data is gathered by sensors and compared to AI-gathered data stored in the cloud to automatically identify and repair issues or by dispatching the proper people and tools to the site of the problem.
Cost savings and improved efficiency are just two rewards. Service companies that utilize this data and tools have a competitive advantage because this detailed insight saves time and optimizes everyday work, improving quality and customer service.
The following are additional benefits of implementing a cloud-based solution for field service and asset management for digital transformation.
9 Benefits Cloud-Based Software Brings to Asset Management & Field Service
Cloud-based solutions bring desirable benefits to field service companies undergoing digital transformation, all of which lead to a competitive edge over companies that are still holding on to dated, manual processes.
1) Low Implementation Costs
The most attractive benefit of implementing cloud-based asset & field service management software is the potential for cost savings across your company. Cloud-based software negates the need for IT infrastructure and saves money by eliminating labor for repetitive tasks that involve extra staffing and travel. Field service and asset management through the cloud make all processes more efficient and, therefore, less expensive.
2) Effective Mobile Workforce Management
Mobile workforce management allows employees or contractors to access essential data from any remote device (e.g., smartphone, tablet, laptop) at any time or place with an internet connection. When valuable information is readily accessible, workers in the field can remain productive without being tethered to a specific physical location. This cloud-based accessibility allows for higher levels of customer service by decreasing wait times and miscommunications. The best solutions allow for offline use and upload data to the cloud when a connection is available.
3) Real-Time Collaboration
Cloud-based solutions allow remote collaboration to occur more frequently and easier between management, technicians, workers, and customers. With real-time access to accurate inventory counts, staffing levels, and work orders, operations run more smoothly. For example, multiple users can edit and update the same file at the same time, increasing efficiency and transparency, which are essential to the success of any field service organization. By eliminating internal friction caused by antiquated workflows, internal collaboration is encouraged, leading to higher customer satisfaction.
4) Automatic Software Updates
Updating all systems directly through the cloud saves valuable time and labor by negating the need for IT or other professionals to manually update each device in your organization’s network. With minimal intervention, updates can be sent at any time to add features and prevent hiccups or service disruption from manually upgrading hardware.
5) Secure Data Protection
Keeping data secure is necessary for any business, and data stored in the cloud is encrypted and secured. In fact, 94% of businesses saw security improvements upon switching to the cloud.4 This protects company and customer data and is essential for any digital transformation.
6) Professional Data Recovery
Data loss due to a system failure or any cause is an inconceivable nightmare for most companies and individuals. Luckily, most cloud-based services are equipped with data recovery capabilities. This is one of the most significant advantages of moving away from hardware-based systems.
7) Operation Flexibility at Scale
It’s easy to update or expand cloud-based software to match demand. Extra bandwidth, computing power, and storage are expandable in a cloud system.
8) Increased Customer Satisfaction
Cloud-based customer portals are more relevant and needed than ever before. Customers want to be actively engaged in their experiences. Connecting them to a portal where they can access their information instantly and connect with chatbots or staff is crucial to providing quality service.
9) Competitive Advantage over Traditional Processes
With progress comes competition, and companies that continue to rely on dated, manual processes will find themselves at a severe disadvantage. Modern cloud software is safer for data security, increases the ease of collaboration, is more user and customer friendly, and is much more time-efficient. This leads to happier customers and more successful business practices.
Cloud-Based Software in Action
These are just some of the benefits of this developing and ever-changing technology that is bringing the asset management and field service industry into the future. Companies that lean into this digital transformation will be more successful and provide an unbeatable customer service experience.
To pave a path to well-managed maintenance and field operations, organizations must take a data-driven approach to connect the ecosystem of employees, sub-contractors, assets, and customers in real-time through a common language. This feat is only possible with the assistance of AI-enabled, integrated, cloud-based tools. Read our customer stories to see real examples of our services at work.
At KloudGin, we’re modernizing the industry by providing intelligent, cloud-based solutions to improve our clients’ operations and customer service. Contact us today to see how we can integrate our services into your operations and digitally transform your company.
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.