Sustainability has become an increasingly critical initiative for businesses worldwide — and across every sector, including the global field service management (FSM) industry. In fact, according to the IDC’s 2022 Future Enterprise Resiliency and Spending Survey, 40% of field service organizations have named sustainability as a critical priority now and going forward.
Like many industries, field service management stands to benefit from improvements to its operations and workflows. The industry’s carbon footprint is large, stemming from:
- Many technicians driving trucks to and from appointments
- Service appointment redundancies
- Inefficient inventory management
- Reliance on physical paperwork systems
Fortunately, the FSM industry can adopt best practices that support and advance sustainability initiatives, benefiting businesses and customers alike.
Sustainability practices in field service
Ready to champion sustainability? The right tools and software contribute to driving sustainability in the field service industry. Technology can replace slower, error-prone manual workflows with more efficient, streamlined practices.
Harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). AI and ML-driven software leverages historical and current field service data to optimize workflows. When equipped with the right AI technology, FSM software can automate typically complex scheduling tasks and process data more quickly for better productivity — and fewer errors. The field service software also leverages ML and algorithms to plot more efficient travel routes, reducing gas and vehicle wear and tear — reducing carbon emissions significantly.
AI-powered FSM software helps technicians verify they have accurate information, the right parts for the service appointment, and the correct procedures to diagnose and fix the problem the first time. This tool also helps organizations ensure the best-qualified technician for resolving a customer issue is the person sent to the site. Improving first-time fix rates cuts down on repeat trips that increase carbon emissions, reduce productivity, negatively impact customer and employee satisfaction and shrink profits.
This real-time inventory tracking approach, facilitated by FSM platforms, also helps service companies save money and reduce carbon emissions by enabling inventory teams to order and restock parts in bulk rather than relying on one-off parts orders. From mapping the most efficient route to automatically assigning jobs based on location, skill and inventory — AI and ML are critical when it comes to selecting a field service partner that supports sustainability efforts.
Streamline processes and eliminate physical paperwork. Field service management software empowers organizations to embrace and thrive in a digital environment. This technology forms a solid foundation for supporting sustainability practices, with features like automated dispatching, inventory management, route optimization, scheduling and reporting. It also facilitates communication between customers and technicians, should anything change about a service job — removing the need for a robust call center to field and communicate customer requests.
The software also eliminates the need for hard copies. Technicians and customers can search for relevant information and access and manage digital forms anywhere via mobile devices. Going digital facilitates the collection of real-time data and the insights they generate, helping increase efficiencies and improve sustainability processes.
Choose an FSM partner with an eye on the future. Technology is rolling out at record speeds. To stay relevant, provide customers with optimal experiences and ensure that your company is set up for long-term success, identifying an FSM provider with a pulse on emerging technology is vital.
As homes, appliances and machinery increase in ability to provide real-time feedback about technical issues or malfunctions, FSM providers should be turning their attention toward leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT). For pieces of equipment that are driven by IoT, predictive maintenance can identify when smart homes or appliances need service. Thanks to remote monitoring, technicians can diagnose — and even resolve — issues without having to drive to the location.
When paired with Internet of Things (IoT) devices including smartphones or other smart devices, field service software empowers technicians to manage their inventories, track, predict and schedule vehicle maintenance, and anticipate — and address — potential equipment issues before they escalate into larger problems.
As AR continues to evolve, FSM could also see impacts on how technicians and customers troubleshoot challenging service issues by overlaying visual instructions in their environment. By eliminating the need for large, printed field tech manuals for technicians and allowing customers to troubleshoot without a live technician the number of on-site visits could be significantly reduced.
Start onboarding an FSM platform with a sustainability mindset. Organizations worldwide have recognized the need to embrace sustainability measures. A 2022 IBM survey found that over 50% of the respondents said sustainability was more important now than in 2021.
A strong FSM platform should empower field service companies to develop and sustain more efficient, green workflows for business operations and their technicians that align with global sustainability initiatives. With a clear picture of what goes behind the scenes to drive sustainable field-service practices, identify an FSM partner that aligns with your company’s unique goals and objectives.
By creating a solid foundation for supporting sustainability practices, with features like AI-powered dispatching, inventory management, route optimization, scheduling and reporting, customer portals and more, FSM helps companies reduce field emissions, fuel consumption and truck rolls — all primary drivers of carbon consumption.