3 Ways Augmented Reality Helps Telecom Field Operations Overcome Inflation
The telecommunications sector continues to be plagued with flat or declining margins. Geopolitical disruptions, global hikes in energy prices and demands for increase in employee salary all have a direct impact on revenue.
However, there’s an opportunity for telecom operators to protect and restore revenues through enhancing and optimizing existing field operation functions by leveraging the combination of augmented reality (AR), and smart devices.
Research indicates that from an average of around 84,000 service incidents per month over 40% require an in-person on-site dispatch to resolve. Minimizing these in-person visits can make a huge difference to the bottom line of telcos.
So let’s look at three areas where a smart data capture enabled smartphone can help empower customers and employees using augmented reality. We’ll explore how to increase first-time fix rates, cut downtime and costs, whilst improving service and productivity.
1. Help Telecommunications Reduce Truck Rolls with a First-Time Fix
With the rise in fuel costs, telcos can make significant savings in fuel consumption by improving technician productivity.
According to estimates by the Technology & Services Industry Association, the real cost of a single truck roll is around $1,000, which factors in:
- The technician’s labor
- The cost of running and maintaining the vehicle
- The opportunity cost i.e. where field technicians are responsible for profitable tasks such as installing new equipment.
Based on the customer issue, the first step is to ensure dispatchers assign the right technician with the necessary tools, parts and know-how to resolve it. Once the technician is on-site, they can rely on their AR-enabled smartphone to help them troubleshoot the issue.
By scanning barcodes on equipment, the technician can receive actionable insights via AR overlays, such as live information about parts needed, service histories or maintenance schedule. They can also use AR to quickly locate the right parts in the van, scanning multiple parts and having the needed one marked by AR in their smart device screen.
This all helps ensure that the fix will be delivered first time, improving customer satisfaction and minimizing the need for multiple truck rolls to resolve a single problem.
2. Scale Resources and Upskill Telecoms Technicians with Minimal Investment
AR-enabled training supports the use of an on-demand workforce, to help companies grow without capital investment and protect their margins. Telcos can ramp up resources quickly by equipping new recruits with an AR-enabled smart device to provide the intelligence to upskill them – often eliminating the need to send a second technician to accompany them.
Whether it’s experienced technicians or novice contractors, reduce the time it takes to upskill new employees and minimize on-the-job errors. By providing new recruits AR-aided access to manuals, schematics and installation instruction prompts on their smart devices, they can perform more effectively in no time.
When onsite, give them the confidence to easily install or fix equipment with instant access to AR guidance, including hands-free vocal instructions and real-time remote support.
Seamlessly Bridge the Talent Gap
Additionally, as a skilled yet aging workforce approaches retirement, there seems to be a shortage of younger resources to replace them. This is inevitable in an industry where demand has outstripped supply.
Of service leaders are concerned about the knowledge loss from a retiring field workforce.
As new technologies disrupt field service operations with innovation and productivity, the industry is ripe to embrace a younger workforce. Augmented reality offers a viable knowledge transfer mechanism to help bridge the knowledge gap.
Inexperienced or new recruits can quickly and effectively get up to speed with an AR-enabled smart device – accessing asset manuals, engineering data, repair scenarios, or track project dependencies.
3. Lower OPEX with asset tracking
A smart data capture enabled smart device streamlines the process of managing field and warehouse inventory, whilst also preventing theft and misuse with real-time visibility. Capture multiple parts in a single sequence, with AR overlays providing clear visual indicators to confirm whether everything has been scanned, for ultimate efficiency and real-time information on parts tracking.
For example, Scandit MatrixScan Count enables any warehouse worker with a smart device to speed up receiving and inventory counting workflows by up to 10x by capturing multiple barcodes with a single scan – while maintaining accuracy, automating these tedious tasks and enjoying a superior user experience. Watch it in action.
This tracking of assets in real-time reduces operational expenditure (OPEX) with round-the-clock equipment monitoring, and also prevents loss by providing complete visibility and greater control over assets to field operation teams.
Helping Telecommunications with Smart Data Capture
Want to reduce downtime, improve technician productivity and customer satisfaction?
Check out our guide showing how Telcos can reinvent field operations with the capabilities enabled by smart data capture technology, from AR instructions to remove assistance.