Servicing Equipment in the Field With Mobile Smart Devices

Field service is a major challenge for manufacturers and retailers—especially those relying on expensive, specialized scanning tools to assess and repair equipment in the field. To offset these costs and make maintenance cycles more efficient in general, leading enterprises have turned to mobile data capture solutions running on consumer smart devices.

By equipping your staff with inexpensive smart devices, you can fully mobilize your field service efforts while supporting faster workflows and enhanced business intelligence to guide your team’s planning and investments. But how exactly does this technology work—and how should you go about finding the right field service solution for your enterprise?

As experts in mobile computer vision and machine learning technologies, Scandit works with enterprises around the world to create advanced field service solutions that drive business results. Today, we’ll be walking you through the benefits of integrating a smart device-based field service app into your daily workflows—and how you can get started with developing your own.

Traditional Handheld Scanners vs. Smart Devices

Field service is an essential effort that spans many business sectors, including retail, manufacturing, healthcare and more. When important machines or equipment break down, it’s up to field service technicians to quickly and reliably repair them—then accurately report their work to update site records and coordinate next steps.

Some field service teams rely on dedicated handheld scanners to eliminate the need for manual data entry and improve service speeds overall. And while these solutions do improve the tempo and consistency of service workflows, they’re also incredibly pricey and inflexible. That’s why leading enterprises are swapping these tools out for inexpensive smart devices equipped with field service apps.

With a robust field service app, your technicians can leverage consumer smart devices to increase the speed, efficiency and intuitiveness of daily tasks—including equipment assessments, ordering replacement parts and completing installations. Basic smartphones powered by advanced data capture software deliver the same scanning performance as dedicated scanners at a fraction of the cost—creating a simple and cost-efficient field service solution for your team.

Field Service Apps in Action

To give you a better idea of how a field service app can streamline your daily workflows, let’s explore a real-life example:

Enphase Energy is a leading provider of home and commercial energy management technology in the US. This organization installs solar microinverters for clients, which are pieces of equipment that function as energy storage systems. Originally, Enphase technicians were forced to transfer all installation data manually—which made it difficult to confirm installation and configuration specs. And without a sufficient scanning solution, technicians couldn’t sync information with their back-end monitoring software via serial number scans.

To reduce installation errors and slowdowns, Enphase partnered with the Scandit team to create a custom mobile app that would enable its technicians to more effectively track and install microinverters. Their team integrated the Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK with their app to provide built-in functionality for reading microinverter serial numbers—significantly reducing installation times and automating data entry in the process. Check here for the full story.

Advantages of Smart Device-Based Field Service Apps

Faster Installation/Maintenance Cycles

By equipping your technicians with a custom field service app that streamlines parts location tracking, ordering and data entry, you can create significantly faster and more efficient installation and maintenance cycles. You can even incorporate in-app installation instructions, equipment illustrations and other helpful assets to foster more reliable service timelines.

Transparency

A field service app enables your team to monitor the progress of equipment or workers at any time through in-app interactions, fostering more transparent and effective operations. App users can also leverage their smart devices to check the metadata of equipment in seconds with a simple scan. The result? Actionable insights and superior business intelligence your team can use to improve your field service efforts.

Greater Customer Satisfaction

With a field service app, technicians can easily retrieve information while operating on equipment in the field—supporting greater customer satisfaction in the process. From step-by-step installation instructions to in-app options for searching and ordering replacement parts, a field service app can help streamline technician tasks and ensure fast, accurate service that exceeds customer expectations.

Reduced Training/TCO

Smart device-based mobile data capture solutions are significantly less expensive to purchase and maintain than dedicated scanners, which dramatically reduces total cost of ownership. And since most technicians already use smart device apps in their personal lives, field service apps are more intuitive as well. With low investment costs and almost no need for training, you can get your own field service app started fast and economically.

Scandit Solutions for Mobile Field Service

Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK for Android, iOS, Windows and Linux transforms inexpensive consumer smart devices into flexible data capture solutions. SDK-powered apps deliver the same enterprise-grade performance as dedicated scanners—enabling technicians to service equipment in the field even in the presence of adverse scanning conditions. From poorly lit codes to challenging angles and sizes, our barcode scanning software deliver unmatched speed, accuracy and ease of use for your field service team.

The Barcode Scanner SDK also includes premium augmented reality capabilities through MatrixScan. Augmented reality mobile apps from Scandit are capable of scanning multiple equipment codes at once, using in-app AR displays to convey information quickly and clearly to users. You can leverage this feature to make your field service app even more effective at servicing equipment, delivering installation instructions, communicating availability of parts and more.

Develop Your Mobile Field Service Solution With Scandit

Ready to see firsthand how a smart device-based app can position your technicians for success out in the field? Then check out our free 30-day trial for Scandit’s barcode scanning software. This is a perfect opportunity to see whether our software is the right choice for your field service team.

If you’re still exploring the world of mobile data capture technology, then be sure to look into our whitepapers, too. These free resources will give you a more detailed understanding of how to choose and deploy the right mobile data capture solutions for your enterprise.

Last but not least, be sure to reach out to us with any questions you have on Scandit technology, field service solutions, augmented reality mobile apps or anything else related to what we covered today. Let’s keep the conversation going.