There’s a major skills shortage that field service organizations have been experiencing over the past few years. These significant hiring challenges can be attributed to a variety of reasons – from a retiring workforce, to overall difficulties in recruiting and retaining new talent, and changes in customer requirements that necessitate new skill sets.
Field service employees perform increasingly complex tasks which makes finding and training qualified people difficult. Leaving businesses struggling to upskill junior employees, and attract new talent, to eliminate the knowledge gap that exists within the workforce.
In Switzerland for example, the field service technician’s role is one of the toughest to fill, according to the Adecco Group’s Swiss Skills Shortage Index. Such disparity between supply and demand is further exacerbated post-pandemic.
With non-essential maintenance and fixes put on hold during the height of the crisis, field service organizations are struggling to address the spikes in demand, as economies and businesses normalize. This demand spike is coupled with customer preferences for remote diagnostics, self-service and agility onsite.
Flex-up resources with cost-efficient BYOD scanning
One of the biggest challenges for field service providers is keeping labor and training costs low, while maintaining high service levels. Recruiting and training a field service technician is very costly, and given the uncertainty around the scale and timing of the spike, a cost-effective, flexible solution to support the rapid onboarding of resources is essential.
Deploying digital processes on a technician’s own device is a smart and efficient way to flex-up your field service resource and onboard people quickly to meet the anticipated demand.
With a high-performing mobile scanning app on a technician’s familiar, easy-to-use smart device, contractors and employees are trained faster in many tasks, supplementing the requirements of more formal certified training. Productivity is increased, costs are reduced and worker satisfaction goes up.
End-to-end processes in a technician’s pocket
Scandit’s Smart Data Capture scanning solutions are easily integrated into mobile apps, turning a field technician’s personal smart device into a high-performance scanner, capable of capturing barcode data quickly and accurately. This not only saves technicians from having to type in lengthy serial numbers, but the data can also be used to connect multiple processes and streamline entire workflows.
Adding AR (augmented reality) enables field service organizations to go one step further by simplifying complex workflows, which are common in the industry. On a single device, a technician can track and find the right parts, access maintenance or installation information and enable contactless proof of completion.
New or temporary technicians can set to work quickly and hassle-free by simply downloading the company’s field service mobile app onto their own smart device.
With BYOD there’s no need for dedicated devices which can save up to 70% on the total cost of ownership. And with Scandit supporting over 20,000 device models, even lower-end devices, newly-recruited third party technicians can be onboarded instantly using their own device.
Attract hard-to-find talent with BYOD digital convenience
A BYOD strategy is also a weapon in your armory for winning the field service talent war by offering technicians the convenience of using their own familiar device.
There’s no need for time-sapping multiple device use or manual paperwork, making BYOD an attractive proposition for new technicians and a greater bargaining feature for field service recruiters.
Forbes estimates that one-third of all US workers are part of the gig economy, making it a key battleground for talent, including experienced technicians. Typically, these resources work for a number of companies, and field service technicians are likely to be given multiple pieces of kit for each job e.g. laptop and bluetooth scanner per company.
Not only do workers have to remember the right hardware when they leave for work each day, but on site, the equipment can be cumbersome with inefficient processes. Offering efficient processes on a familiar, single device is likely to attract many gig economy workers. And in the current climate, avoiding the practice of shared devices helps to reduce the risk of infection too.
Extend own device self-scanning to your customers
Offering customer self-service and remote diagnostics to minimize time on site and increase technician and customer safety is important.
First-time fix rates are more crucial than ever with field service organizations preferring not to send a technician back for safety and cost-efficiency reasons. When you consider a single return visit, often needed because of missing customer information, costs around $250 per visit, it pays to fix an issue first time, every time.
Enabling customers to scan equipment themselves at home using their own mobile device helps dispatchers send the right technician with the right parts, reducing time on site – increasing first-time fix rates and boosting customer satisfaction.
Also, as companies look for ways to cost-effectively future-proof customer service, remote diagnostics is taking center stage. We envisage a new concept of ‘zero-time fix rates’, where issues are resolved by customers themselves – when safe to do so. Using a Scandit-powered mobile app, customers can access all the information they need about a product, including warranties and instructions on how to troubleshoot and fix the issue on their own. See it in action.
Talk to us about scaling up your field service operations
It’s easy to integrate our high-performance scanning into apps on everyday smart devices, so that new or temporary technicians can complete critical end-to-end workflows using their own smartphones. To find out more, contact our team today.