Make a shift from reactive to proactive service and maintenance

Why it is now important for field service organisations to be proactive rather than reactive.

A new report from the Aberdeen Group, Field Service 2014:  Access to the Right Information Empowers a Results-Driven Workforce has recently been released and we’re going to look at what it means for field service organisations and those operating in the social housing sector.

In this blog we are taking a look at the importance of proactive service and preventative maintenance, something that Best-in-Class companies are actively trying to achieve. In fact, 40% of Best-in-Class companies are implementing predictive analytics to enable proactive service. 40% of top companies are implementing predictive analytics to enable proactive service.

The report says that resolving issues before customers report them should be the ultimate goal. Doing this will not only satisfy customers but surprise and potentially even delight them. Of course, reactive maintenance is never going to disappear; there are far too many variables involved in the servicing of assets for this to ever be a realistic prospect. But companies should look to move from reactive to proactive service where possible, and there are two ways in which this can be done:

Predictive analytics for preventative maintenance
By analysing data to build up a picture of when assets are likely to fail, organisations can schedule preventative maintenance visits. Doing so can reduce the chances of those assets failing in the future.

Let’s say, for example, that your company is responsible for servicing boilers. Over a period of time, your operatives could collect data on the various models they encounter*. This data could then be used to see on average how often the boilers fail or require servicing, enabling you to take a proactive approach and undertake preventative maintenance visits on an optimum schedule for each model of boiler.

*Note that when it comes to collecting this type of information, you’ll need to make sure it’s done in a consistent way and stored in a central system. Without this, you probably won’t be able to properly analyse and make use of it. Oneserve enables the easy collection, storage and analysis of such data.

M2M technology to enable proactive service
Machine-to-machine technology has been around for a while but when it comes to field service its potential is yet to be fully realised. The technology does, however, have some really exciting prospects for organisations responsible for maintaining assets in the field.

Consider a situation where the organisation is automatically notified immediately following an asset failure; they would be able to fix it promptly and ensure minimal disruption for the customer (possibly without the customer ever knowing there was even a problem).

Smart bins – M2M in action
Ecube Labs, a South Korean company, developed a smart bin that compacts its contents using solar power. But they wanted to make waste collection more efficient, so they implemented M2M technology that enables the bins to communicate wirelessly when they needed to be emptied. This allows the organisation or council responsible for waste management to plan its collections more efficiently (and make sure bins are not left to overflow). Read more

Clearly there are some very interesting ways in which organisations can evolve and improve their service delivery. And with technology constantly improving, I’m sure we’ll continue to see new ways for companies to do this emerging as well.

Right now, however, you should ultimately be working towards making sure you take a proactive approach to your service delivery. That could involve collecting and using data to work out the best approach for preventative maintenance or exploring M2M technology to see if your organisation is able to take advantage of it in any way.

If you’d like to discuss either of these things in more detail, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. You can find out more about our service management software by requesting a demo.