Field Service Management (FSM) requires close collaboration between multiple personnel and companies to reach optimal outcomes for their customers. Also, Field Service employees regularly coordinate activities with other staff and complete a wide range of duties by leveraging each other’s expertise, while multitasking, and often switching between paper and online work. This can slow down even the simplest processes and strain team members who become less productive.
An abundance of software solutions on the market can help organizations manage some of these activities, but new technology equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) can take things further. Most of these daily activities, especially those that are repetitive and error-prone, can be performed by AI tools. With AI-enabled software, companies can lighten employee workloads, enhance worker safety, and focus their time on other efforts, like improving customer satisfaction.
AI and ML allow businesses to automate operations, instantly connect team members, and predict activities when managing their resources and personnel. As this technology improves, more and more industries are realizing its potential to digitally transform their operations. In this blog, we discuss the potential of AI and ML for FSM digital transformation. It can be especially beneficial for cost savings, optimization, and providing better insights that can help create and offer new products and services and therefore more value to their customers.
Artificial Intelligence vs. Machine Learning
AI and ML are often discussed in tandem; many assume that they’re the same thing. However, there are distinct differences between these two fields of computer science: AI is the capability of a computer system to mimic human cognitive functions such as learning and problem-solving; whereas ML is technically a subset or application of AI and is the process of using mathematical models of data to help a computer system learn without direct instruction. ML enables a computer system to continue learning and improving on its own, based on experience. Essentially, artificial intelligence enables human-like cognitive decision-making while machine learning interprets data and learns to act or make decisions. By leveraging these modern technological advancements, field service management organizations are undergoing a broad and impactful digital transformation that is changing the industry in every sector.
Here are some reasons why AI & ML are key components of the fields service industry’s digital transformation:
- Streamline Tasks
Leveraging AI in Field Service Management can first and foremost, streamline and condense tedious tasks that would otherwise need to be completed manually. Examples include data collection or meter-reading. Instead of sending a technician to retrieve information physically, AI can be programmed to gather and organize this data remotely and automatically.
- Improve Resource Utilization
An AI-based asset management system improves your organization’s grasp of your on-hand resources and can interpret historical data to improve headcount forecasting and better predict maintenance schedules and other potential actions that need to be taken. In comparison to using a technician to gather all this information, these digital methods are much more time and cost-efficient.
- Efficiently Manage Personnel
AI-powered software can help optimize the coordination of personnel. AI can create, track, and manage work orders with customized workflows while simplifying case creation by eliminating the need for manual data input. AI-powered FSM software can also provide real-time monitoring of crews and work order status, allowing overrides and digital communication with field crews.
- Enhance Communication
AI-powered remote assistance is improving communications for both customers and field service companies. When queries are input and automatically answered by chatbots, it expedites turnaround times for solving problems and completing projects.
- Introduce Mobility
Due to the global pandemic, advancements in remote interactions make completing tasks virtually more accessible than ever. With intelligent and secure AI technology, field service technicians can remotely access customer information and troubleshoot or repair anomalies without the need for in-person interactions. This is safer and avoids expensive and time-consuming appointments .
- Intelligent Scheduling
AI-powered software can utilize historical data to get the right people, parts, and equipment to your service calls through automated scheduling decisions, optimized work routes, and enhanced visibility into inventory.
- Route Refinement
Location intelligence is a powerful AI tool that optimizes service routes and predicting unforeseen circumstances to save both time and money. It also improves customer service by providing more accurate arrival estimates and increased efficiency. This ensures the correct personnel, parts, and equipment make their way to the correct destination.
- Predict Maintenance Needs
AI through machine learning can evaluate the current condition of assets, predict issues with specific assets before they occur, and allocate field service resources to resolve problems through a predictive maintenance approach. This saves substantially more resources than a preventative maintenance approach and cuts costs beyond traditional break and repair maintenance models.
- Accurately Estimate Expenses
Capital asset and field service-intensive organizations can now find ways to extend asset life through AI and ML. This creates savings potential in extending the time cycle of required investment into replacement equipment and/or infrastructure. This allows for a more accurate prediction of when and how much money a company needs to spend on replacement or preventative maintenance.
- Upgrade Customer Service
Finally, all the aforementioned benefits of AI and ML for FSM culminate in an enhanced customer service experience. Customers can utilize self-service portals powered by AI and contact automated chatbots for troubleshooting purposes. ML can also gather customer data to improve their user experience and inform the AI. This digital revolution will make the entire customer experience faster, easier, and more efficient.
Moving Forward with AI
Artificial intelligence is the future, and its potential to digitally revolutionize the field service industry is shaking up every sector. AI provides a competitive advantage, and companies that choose not to embrace it will simply not survive in this new digital era.
Join us in our next blog where we discuss how cloud-based solutions like those offered by KloudGin are improving business for our customers and their clients.
Ready to revolutionize your field service management processes? Contact us today and see what solutions we have for your business.