Mobile technology and the field services sector have been intertwined for many years. First we saw a revolution in real-time communication with the popularized use of pagers and early mobile phones. Now we are seeing further innovation with the use of wearable mobile devices, IoT-enabled sensors and endpoints and the ability to deliver remote support anytime, and from anywhere.
So, it’s somewhat surprising to learn that:
- 52% of companies are still using manual methods to handle critical tasks such as creating work orders, scheduling and dispatching, and invoicing.1
- 28% of organizations have equipped only half of their field department with mobile devices and technologies.2
- 45% of field services technicians say their current tools and processes aren’t fast enough.3
Those statistics become even more baffling when you consider that 63% of field services organizations who have adopted mobile technology report an increase in worker productivity and customer satisfaction rates.4
It all begs the following questions: Why are some field services organizations reluctant to adopt mobile technology despite the proven value of its use in the field? And what benefits are they missing out on that could significantly improve their business performance?
Why Aren’t Some Field Services Companies Using Mobile Technology in 2020?
Investing in mobile technology is a long-term strategy. Yet 17% of field services companies haven’t budgeted for these deployments or associated solutions5:
- 13% of field services organizations haven’t budgeted for tablets.
- 41% haven’t budgeted for remote diagnostics.
- 46% haven’t budgeted for a connected service system.
- 52% of organizations aren’t using field services software of any kind.6
Much like in emergency services, healthcare, and transportation and logistics, success in the field services industry is predicated on employee safety and productivity.
And for some field services leaders, those are the reasons why they are unwilling to fully embrace innovative mobile technology.
- The average field services employee spends 25% of their workday (two hours out of eight) using mobile technology to engage activities unrelated to the job.7
- Companies believe it’s acceptable for hard-working field techs to spend less than an hour surfing or browsing8 – when it’s appropriate – but they don’t know how to manage that balance.
- For field services managers, texting while driving is a top safety priority as 40% of all accidents are caused by cell phone distractions.9 Meanwhile, vehicle crashes are the number one cause of workplace deaths.10
- In some jurisdictions, the employer is responsible and liable for distracted driving incidents.11 When drivers make over 200 decisions per mile traveled12, taking mobile technology and apps out of their hands is a logical safety choice for field services companies to make.
Another reason nearly 50% of field services companies are resistant to adopting a mobile solution13 is a belief that the cost of technology is too high while the projected return on investment (ROI) is too low.
However, many of these commonly faced challenges don’t have to be barriers at all. Combined with an integrated mobile and IoT technology strategy, and backed by the right management solutions, field services organizations can gain end-to-end visibility and control over the mobile technology they deploy in the field.
5 Field Services Mobility Challenges and 5 Solutions from SOTI
When it comes to the shift to digital, 72% of field services firms claim that zero unplanned downtime is their number one priority.14
And with the SOTI ONE Platform, field services organizations can take a significant step towards reaching that goal.
The SOTI ONE Platform: Keeping Field Services Workers Safe and Productive
The SOTI ONE Platform is an integrated suite of seven products designed to make managing mobility in field services easy, effective and efficient:
- SOTI Snap allows you to build and deploy apps field services workers can use to accurately capture and share data. Take critical documentation like work orders, purchase orders, timesheets and inspection reports from paper to digital without the hassle of complicated code or pricey app developers.
- SOTI MobiControl lets you deploy, manage and secure a wide range of business-critical field services devices like smartphones, tablets and rugged devices. And with SOTI XTreme Technology, you can distribute apps, data and other important updates up to 10X faster than before.
- Approximately 31% of mobile device issues are simply due to an incorrect setting.15 With SOTI Assist, you can remote into the device to diagnose and change settings in minutes, and without the cost and time associated with shipping it from the field to IT.
- A long-lasting battery and strong network connections are critical to field services mobile technology. SOTI Insight lets you see the health of your mobile device deployments and what, if any, factors are negatively impacting their performance. With this data, you can make informed decisions on how to maximize their effectiveness.
- For 55% of field services customers, their biggest complaint is when an issue can’t be resolved due to a lack of parts.16 Conversely, one of the biggest future trends for the industry is onsite 3D printing technology to replace the need to order parts from suppliers.17 SOTI Connect provides complete lifecycle management of IoT devices such as industrial or mobile printers. When a printer issue is detected, SOTI Connect uses automation rules to send remediation actions to resolve the issue fast.
Finally, SOTI Identity gives you secure access to the SOTI ONE Platform through a portal with single sign-on capabilities. And SOTI Central is an online community of worldwide SOTI product experts you can access anytime, anywhere and with any questions you have.
Contact Us to Learn More
Looking to bring mobility into your field services organization? Want to know how the SOTI ONE Platform can support your initiatives?
Contact us with any questions or comments you have. We’ll get back to you ASAP with the answers and information you need.
- Fieldpoint, Field Service Management Stats to Keep in Mind Heading into 2020
- Logistics Management, Zebra Study: Number of Field Service Providers Operating Predictively Will Double By 2025
- TimeLinx, 20 Field Service Statistics You Need to Know
- Capterra, A Guide to Going Mobile With Your Field Service Organization
- Field Service USA, Future Trends in Field Services
- FieldPoint, Field Service Software Statistics to Make You Rethink Your Process
- FSD, How Much Time Do Your Field Techs Waste Each Day?
- FSD, How Much Time Do Your Field Techs Waste Each Day?
- CorvusGPS, Distracted Driving – How Dangerous the Phones are for Drivers?
- Lytx, Distracted Driving Statistics and Tips
- SHRM, Employers Can Be Liable for Distracted Driving
- SHRM, Employers Can Limit Cellphone Use to Reduce Distracted Driving
- RazorSync, 5 Benefits of Taking Your Field Service Mobile
- Business Chief, The Elephant in the Digital Room: Unplanned Downtime
- WDS, ‘No Fault Found’ Returns Cost the Mobile Industry $4.5 Billion Per Year
- Middlesex Consulting, 3 Most Important Reasons Customers Complain About a Field Service Visit
- Task4Work, 9 Trends in Field Service for 2020