Field Service and the World Series – Watch Out for the Mobile Revolution

Field Service and the World Series – Watch Out for the Mobile Revolution

The last three nights have been “Must See TV” for any sports fan (a bit tough for me as a Dodgers fan). If you haven’t noticed, the World Series is going on right now, and the series has been riveting. There have been close games, blow outs, great defensive plays, pitcher’s duels, and the always intriguing random Marlins fan sitting in the expensive seats right in the middle of our TV screens (NOTE: The Marlins are not in the World Series this year). But despite ALL of this excitement, you will see posts all over the web discounting this World Series as ratings once again show that we as a society prefer to watch football on TV, even if there is only 11 real minutes of action in NFL games compared to the 14 minutes in baseball. The outdated narrative that baseball is a slow, no excitement sport which you only watch if you are in the stadium with your kids, a few hot dogs, and cracker jacks is no longer true. The next generation of viewing has begun for baseball, and shows that our pre-conceived notions and narratives often tell a story that no longer exists. Mobile devices are revolutionizing the way we consume baseball games and critical to the sport’s chances of thriving with the next generation of fans. In a similar way, mobility is having a large impact on field service. Much like for the MLB, field service sees mobility as a strategic part of its future. As seen in Aberdeen’s recent research, Service Mobility: The Right Technology for the Tech (August 2014), eight out of...
Choose the Right ERP for Your Manufacturing Operations

Choose the Right ERP for Your Manufacturing Operations

My recent 2014 Business Management and ERP Benchmark Survey finds that the top pressures facing manufacturers today include unpredictable demand, an increase in the volume and complexity of data, and an inability to collaborate and share data with the extended enterprise. These pressures place increased importance on the technology environment that supports the average manufacturer. Naturally, 97% of Leading manufacturers are utilizing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions to manage their business. But not all ERP is created equal. Top performers must select a solution that can combat manufacturing pressures and emulates a modern technology environment. This means selecting functional, usable, and collaborative solutions that support agility and decision making through capabilities such as mobility and analytics. I’d like to invite you to an upcoming webinar that I will be presenting in partnership with Epicor. It takes place on Thursday, October 30 at 1pm EST. In this presentation I will be addressing: How analytics and mobility can support agility and better decision-making How top performers combat manufacturing pressures with modern technology How Best-in-Class companies collaborate and share data with their extended enterprise If you’d like to participate, please click here. I hope you can make it. Nick Castellina  Research Director Business Planning and...
Four Topics I am Looking Forward to at this Year’s Field Service East

Four Topics I am Looking Forward to at this Year’s Field Service East

In one week, I will be attending this year’s Field Service East event in Atlanta (September 15 – 17). Often times, trade shows can be viewed with a sigh as just another excuse to sneak away from the office and rack up a modest expense bill (not me of course). But I am not so cynical (at least with this event). In looking at the agenda, I am intrigued by a number of timely topics which will be highlighted over the two and half day event. Field service continues to be at the forefront of transformation for many organizations across industry segments. As seen in my 2014 field service research, the field is looked to in order to combat challenges such as reduced margins, changing customer dynamics, and competition. A field tech not only turns wrenches, they also play an integral role in delivering a customer experience that stays in the mind of one of your most important stakeholders (i.e., the customer). For this reason, a few sessions and themes caught my eye and I look forward to sitting in on them: Sales needs the field. Many organizations have been driven by their sales teams, and have neglected to capitalize on the valuable insight coming from front-line employees (e.g. field technicians). Technicians have the ability to capture information on customer habits, use behavior, needs (current and future), while also building a rapport as the hero of the day. Could this information not help to close a few more deals in the future? Some compelling data points if you have interest in how the Best-in-Class align the sales and field teams. Still...
Is Your Mobile Device Making You More or Less Productive?

Is Your Mobile Device Making You More or Less Productive?

How often do you look at your phone in a given day? How many apps do you flip through on the train ride into the office or while you consume your morning coffee? Mobility has rapidly seeped into our lives and often times we are oblivious to the level of comfort having our smartphone or tablet next to us makes us feel. But similar to the importance of our mobile devices keeping us “sane” during the day, mobility is continuing to play a major role in the lives of field service workers. One of the top strategies addressed by the Best-in-Class in my recent Field Service 2014: Access to the Right Information Empowers a Results-Driven Workforce report (January 2014) was the investment in mobile tools to provide technicians with better access to information in the field. Unlike our mobile devices, which are often used as a distraction from our work, mobile tools in the hands of technicians can dramatically improve their ability to be productive, and more importantly, resolve customer issues more quickly. Without needing to call back to the home office for instructions, search through antiquated manuals for work instructions, or sift through paperwork to close out a work order, mobile devices can help technicians actually do work! Because this topic is so integral to the lives of a technician, I just launched an updated survey to capture some new data. Unlike previous surveys, this survey will not only look at adoption rates of mobility or the number of devices being used by a given technician; I also explore topics tied to the ROI of a mobile deployment, connected...
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