Field service is an evergreen business. Most field service jobs came under the “essential” category and could operate through the pandemic. But the industry went through its fair share of disruptions. Supply chain disruptions, restricted access to offices, and social distancing disrupted most enterprises. Nevertheless, smart businesses have learned to become agile and resilient from such lessons. Here are the key changes in the field service management and the top predictions for 2022.

1. Digitized workflows will reign supreme

By 2024, the global field service management software market will rise to $3.43 billion!

Businesses that could access their data faced relatively lesser disruptions during 2020 and 2021. Taking a cue, field service businesses are lining up to upgrade their technology. Also, the pandemic has pushed everything to the digital mode and heralded a mobile-first culture. Customers now prefer to deal in digital mode. In 2022 most field services will adopt the following best practices.

  • Adopt integrated digital suites. The year 2022 will most likely see the last vestiges of paper-based workflows. Even disjoined digital spreadsheets, still in vogue among many providers, will become passé. More service providers will embrace integrated suites that digitize workflows.
  • Increased migration to the cloud. Field service databases will move to the cloud if not already there. Field agents, managers, analysts, and others will access the suite through smartphone apps. They will work from anywhere at any time.

Read more: Accelerate Business Productivity with Scheduling & Dispatching Software!

2. Business processes will become more flexible

Field service emerged relatively unscathed from the pandemic. This has led to many players entering the industry in the last two years. Increasing competition forces businesses to seek efficiency and respond to customer needs better. Field service contracts are becoming more outcome-based with pay for results rather than for efforts.

The field service management suite is becoming the chief enabler of flexibility and differentiation. A modern field service suite enables the field service business to implement the following best practices:

  • Offer differentiation. Offer value-added services or niche services not offered by competitors.
  • Enable dynamic quotes. An integrated software collects data from various databases and offers instant quotes.
  • Schedule according to customer preferences better. For instance, many providers now schedule services during holidays or outside office hours.
  • Automate routine tasks, including back-office processes such as invoices, payroll, and accounts. According to PR Newswire, the global market for field service automation was US$1.4 billion in 2020. It will reach US$4.2 billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 17.2%.

3. Better integrations

Cut-throat competition makes field service businesses seek efficiency improvements to cut costs. In 2022, field service providers will strive for deeper interactions through the field service suite. They will strive for better end-to-end visibility. Robust connectors streamline the data flow between field service and other enterprise databases.

Field service businesses will also pay more attention to managing supply chains better. The COVID-19 pandemic had disrupted supply chains. Businesses now pay more attention to their inventory. The latest field service software integrates inventory management and other connected processes.

The following best practices will become entrenched in 2022:

  • Link the scheduling software with inventory management software. Equipping field agents with the right tools and spares improve first-time fix rates.
  • Integration with maps to dispatch agents through the best routes. Making sure agents spend the least possible time on the road improves productivity and asset utilization rates.
  • Enable field agents to access customer data and service history through their smartphone app. They reach the client’s location armed with complete information.

Read more: Are Drones Changing The Game For Field Service Management?

3. Preventive maintenance becomes more popular

Increasing competition makes businesses prefer preventive maintenance. Businesses can no longer afford downtime while waiting for the maintenance crew. Instead, they sign up for regular servicing that catches faults early before it escalates to major issues.

Forward-looking field service businesses transform their business to offer condition-based maintenance solutions. They:

  • Promote routine services to keep equipment in prime running condition.
  • Enable IoT to monitor installations. Sensors emit alerts when the temperature rises, fluid levels become low, or other parameters fall outside the range. On receiving the trigger, the scheduler generates a work order. The work crew services the installation. Next-gen systems automate the entire process. The connected system auto-generates a work order, enabling proactive fixes.

4. Emerging technologies will become more widespread

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been running in the news for a few years now. In 2022 it will finally become mainstream- rapid tech advances and the mobile-first trend suit IoT adoption. The limited access to buildings during the pandemic also prompted remote monitoring systems.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Predictive Analytics, and Augmented Reality will also increase popularity. Field service businesses will adopt AI in a big way to drive intelligent automation. Advanced analytics tools linked to field service suite process data in near-real-time. Such insights improve decision-making and enhance the quality of business processes. Field agents will use augmented reality to connect to remote experts and make better fixes. AR will enable businesses to get more work done through novice agents and cope with the ongoing talent crunch.

Some best practices connected with new technology adoption include:

  • Intelligent scheduling. Algorithms assign the best field agent for the job. It considers the agent’s skills, workload, proximity, upcoming leaves, customer preference, and other factors.
  • Customer support self-service. Chatbots and other self-service options reduce the cost and resources needed for customer support.

Read more: Three Key Considerations Towards An Effective Customer Service Strategy

How ReachOut helps

ReachOut helps field service businesses embrace the latest trends and future-proof their business. The suite offers advanced automation and integrations. Scheduling, dispatching, work order management, inspections, invoicing, and other tasks become seamless. For example, advanced work order capabilities make it easy to schedule the most skilled agent for the task at the desired time. End-to-end visibility and pipeline views streamline workflows. Integrated dashboards, accessible through smartphone apps, offer transparency and visibility to data.

Field agents leverage pipeline views to improve their work. Managers leverage end-to-end views to enforce greater control. Prompt notifications keep stakeholders in the loop. Ready-made forms or the option to upload stylized forms offer ease flexibility to conduct audits and inspections. Geolocation capabilities enable real-time tracking and automated timesheets. Instant, automated invoicing and payment collection boost enterprise efficiency and profitability. In short, the ReachOut field management suite will become a valuable arsenal to gain a competitive advantage in 2022.

To explore more about the business gripping features of ReachOut Suite, contact our experts.

Digitize your field service operations from scheduling to invoicing with ReachOut. Connect your technicians with the companion mobile app to execute jobs and reduce paperwork in the field. Try ReachOut now and give your customers the fast and quality service they deserve.

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Sachin Krishna

Sachin works as a part of the digital marketing team at ReachOut Suite. He believes in a healthy and resourceful web and does his own little contributions for the purpose by creating and disseminating innovative and quality content.

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