The Impact of COVID19 on Field Service Industry
The impact of COVID19 has been huge on so many types of industries in such a diverse range of ways. From businesses closing down completely to prevent the spread of the infection, to finding new ways of operating or adding new services, this has certainly been a very challenging time for the majority of businesses.
Whilst there are very few benefits to the pandemic, some businesses will have found that the restrictions imposed to protect people has forced them to look at new ways of operating, with many of these new solutions bringing better long-term results.
In particular, more businesses are turning to technology to help them to navigate issues such as not having face to face contact. Retail companies are exploring how they can utilise eCommerce better and they are learning more about what technology is out there and available to use.
The field service model is one that has been highly impacted by COVID19 restrictions, from travel bans to employers not wanting to risk their staff by sending them out to remote locations, with the increased infection risks attached to doing that.
Video technology is changing how businesses operate
There are many technology solutions that can provide workarounds for performing tasks that form part of the field staff’s roles. For example, video technology can be incorporated to replace face-to-face meetings and even for product/store inspections to some extent. We have seen examples of vehicle engineers conducting inspections to explain to drivers how they can fix an issue, or whether it is necessary to call in an expert.
Similar solutions are being used in hospitals, where technology is enabling doctors to consult or even operate remotely. If you consider that a potentially life-saving operation can be performed by a person remotely, every other industry should take a lot of inspiration from this, as many tasks will not be a fraction as important.
Other technology solutions available
Many tech companies have rushed to develop social distancing solutions, such as apps for using inside restaurants and also wearables that send alerts when employees are close to breaching the required distance.
There are lots of businesses who have changed their working model to allow employees to work from home rather than go into the office or other workplace, using technology to share work and stay in constant communication. This has been integral for many businesses to stay in operation but for many, it is only now that they are really looking at how tech can improve the ways they work.
Software to help field managers
Field service technologies such as Lena Field is another solution that is helping businesses to work better and smarter, with fewer store visits and face to face meetings required due to an improved way of managing field staff and conducting audits with tablet application. Field managers are able to send tasks using the solution and collate performance data, rather than needing to physically visit the office, store to discuss with staff.
The data is all stored centrally, so that management teams who would usually be based at headquarters can review the data from wherever they are working, most probably from home right now. This means that the field manager does not need to travel to headquarters to share the audit data or other performance data with the relevant people in the company. Every person with a requirement to see the information can simply log on and see the data remotely.
Although the overall impact of COVID19 has been devastating, one small thing we can be thankful for is that advanced technology has been able to provide support to businesses and help to reduce the risk of spreading infection.