When it comes to field service, companies are judged on the service they provide. The top two factors used to measure great service are the speed of service (is this going to take days, hours, minutes?) and first-time fix rate (is this going to be fixed right the first time?).
In order for field service technicians to achieve this, they need all the help they can get, whether in the form of knowledge or external resources. Knowledge might include manuals, how-to guides, audit trails, and truck stock inventory, while external resources might include support calls to outside experts.
While all this helpful information exists, it remains difficult for technicians to access it in a timely manner. For example, sometimes different manuals are housed on multiple online portals, making them hard to find. In some cases, service requests contain no audit trail, leaving the technician no way of knowing whether the product has been serviced before or what was done to it. As a result, customers incur longer product downtime and organizations incur a loss in productivity and higher costs.
Fortunately, there is a solution. With increased development of digital technologies, field service technicians no longer must rely on archaic means of gaining access to knowledge or expert help. Instead, everything they need is right at their fingertips on their mobile device.
In the latest webinar hosted by Mize, Inc. in partnership with Help Lightning, viewers got a firsthand look at a solution which integrates all knowledge resources and allows technicians to interface with cutting edge knowledge tools, such as augmented and merged reality. If you didn’t get a chance to attend, we highly recommend you watch the Webinar recording at the bottom of this page because you must see it to believe it! Otherwise, keep reading for a glimpse into what viewers saw.
All Knowledge, All in One Place
The solution - introduced by Andrew Thomas, Product Manager at Mize, Inc.- is a native mobile application which a technician can use to gain access to a central knowledge repository. Inside this one-stop-shop, technicians can quickly find what they’re looking for, including operator manuals, fault codes, schematics, knowledge objects, and service bulletins.
When technicians first start to build a support case by entering basic data like product / problem information, a built-in smart panel displays knowledge relevant to that subject. In doing so, the technician may find the answers he/she needs without ever having to file a case! Thus, eliminating customer and company costs with unnecessary service repairs.
Additionally, because parts are integrated with service requests, technicians can easily lookup parts availability. For example, technicians can access and manipulate the bill of materials (BOM) and schematics diagram. In the diagram, technicians can zoom in and click on individual parts to investigate available quantities or add them directly to the service order.
When technicians have real-time mobile access to a central repository of knowledge, they can provide a more accurate assessment of the issue leading to increased first-time fix and shorter repair time.
Augmented and Merged Reality in the Field
Sometimes, even with access to copious knowledge resources, technicians need an outside expert to solve a problem. This is where augmented and merged reality enter the scene.
Using the Mize native mobile application in partnership with Help Lightning, technicians can begin video sessions to directly connect with expert help. But, more than just a video session, Help Lightning provides knowledge tools, such as augmented and merged reality, to aid in repair services.
For example, when a technician calls an expert, a video session is created so the expert can see what the technician is seeing. Both parties can annotate using drawing tools on screen to accurately point to critical areas and hotspots.
Not only that, but experts can upload their own materials to the screen, so technicians can see what the expert is seeing! For example, experts may have a diagram in mind to share with the technician and, using merged reality, the expert can virtually point to different parts of the diagram via the computer camera.
Experts and technicians can work together on screen in real-time to solve the issue. Below, the virtual expert is guiding the technician to unplug a particular cord and place it somewhere else. No longer does the expert have to painstakingly explain which cord they meant when they can simply show the technician virtually. And, the risk of the technician misunderstanding the physical concept is eliminated when they are working together on screen.
The Future of Field Service
This is just a glimpse into how augmented reality is revolutionizing field service. Knowledge tools like the ones shown above will become ubiquitous within the next 5 years. In fact, 92% of service executives want to transform their service models to keep up with consumer needs, and 72% of field service organizations are more likely to use visual collaboration tools to do so.
If your company would like to test-run the knowledge platform and tools above, contact Mize for a 30-day free trial.
In the meantime, watch a recording of the Webinar to view the full demonstration: https://bit.ly/2HN0cia