Inflationary pressures threaten to further squeeze margins for telecom service providers. Addressing the ongoing challenges between revenue and cost is critical.

With key financial and customer satisfaction indicators only getting lower, telecom service providers have a choice: seize untapped growth opportunities, or get swamped over by recessionary realities. Faced with an ongoing economic crisis, Telcos must maintain top and bottom lines by launching more services and offerings, to attract and retain customers.

In this guide, we delve into how an all-encompassing digitization strategy, based on smart data capture, delivers real-time agility for field operations within the telecommunications sector. Our 4-step formula details how telecom operators should rise to the challenge during inflationary times by placing people and data at the core.

You’ll learn how offering instant, end-to-end inventory visibility via smart devices empowers telecommunication field technicians to deliver the best service with higher first time fix rates (FTFR). By optimizing resources, telecom service providers can track parts and assets in real-time, promptly responding to customers with improved agility and streamlined operations, whilst delivering more services to market.

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Step 1: Optimize costs with instant inventory visibility

Telecoms is an industry that’s driven innovation through smartphones, the internet, and IT technology. However, despite deploying advanced technologies to customers, most telecom operators run field operations on legacy equipment.

These siloed and often inflexible systems, coupled with manual workflows, offer only partial visibility of essential information to field operatives. The result is a lack of inventory visibility, plus delays and errors in delivering fixes. All of which increase costs, ruin customer relationships, erode revenues and damage the telcos brand reputation.

There’s an easier way for telecom operators to achieve agility in the face of inflationary and supply chain pressures: Smart data capture technology.

Smart data capture is the ability to capture data intelligently from barcodes, text, IDs and objects and access is via smart devices. It enables real-time decision-making, engagement and workflow automation at scale.

By deploying smart data capture powered-apps on smart devices to frontline workers, Telcos can unify operations, and empower telecom field technicians with real-time inventory visibility – right from the warehouse, on the road, and onsite at customer locations.

Technicians can fix fast, first time by saving time on routine tasks with a simple scan from their smartphones or tablets. They can gain real-time visibility of van stock and inventory by quickly and accurately scanning information from barcodes, text, ID numbers, and more, on parts and assets.

Reduce inventory overheads

An accurate view of inventory improves stock management and allows for just-in-time (JIT) ordering. Telcos can minimize spend on maintaining safety stock, which involves carrying costs, warehousing costs and transportation costs associated with excess inventory.

Minimize unnecessary truck rolls

Based on the customer issue needing to be solved, dispatchers can assign the right technician with the right parts, necessary tools and know-how in advance. This ensures that the fix will be delivered in a single truck roll, and reduces the need for multiple truck rolls to resolve a single problem. Telcos benefit from lower fuel consumption and mileage costs, as well reduced wear-and-tear on vehicles.

Improve first-time fixes

As technicians are equipped with the right parts and information before visiting the customer, it increases the likelihood of them commissioning equipment and delivering fixes the first time round, ensuring service level agreement commitments. Additionally, on-the-spot access to installation manuals or augmented reality (AR) overlays with instructions can offer them a quick reference to solve problems and help resolve issues faster.

Watch the video to see how Scandit Smart Data Capture allows field technicians to deliver fast, first-time fixes:

Step 2: Raise ROI using a single device

Telecom operators can unlock improved Return on Investment (ROI) by doing everything with one device. Smart devices with smart data capture deliver enterprise-grade scanning performance, are versatile and provide a future-proof platform – no need to carry multiple devices or rely on inflexible dedicated scanners.

It’s essential to maximize the output of field technicians and their equipment, mitigating unnecessary costs, reducing truck rolls, oversights, and any issues that hinder productivity. Investing in the best technology that is familiar, user-friendly and is also ready for tomorrow’s innovations is a way to achieve this.

Reduce OPEX with asset tracking

A smart data capture enabled smart device streamlines the process of monitoring field and warehouse stock, whilst also preventing theft or misuse. The real-time tracking of assets reduces operational expenditure (OPEX) and prevents loss by providing field operation teams complete visibility and higher control over them.

Cost-effectively scale resources

Telcos need to adapt quickly to changing conditions – offering a flexible solution to scale resources and address the rise in onsite service.Companies can leverage a BYOD (bring your own device) approach, combined with Scandit’s enterprise performance on even lower end devices, to further cut costs, and onboard staff quickly whilst meeting the surge in onsite service demand.

Lower TCO (Total cost of Ownership)

Dedicated devices are inflexible and have high operating costs. Smartphones or tablets equipped with a Scandit-powered barcode scanning app offer a cost-effective solution. The cost of a smartphone enabled with Scandit scanning capabilities is typically three times lower than dedicated barcode scanners.

Step 3: Elevate customer experience with enhanced services

As margins shrink, competition increases, and customer preferences evolve, retaining customers should be a top priority. Telcos must focus on minimizing customer churn by capitalizing on technology to make customer journeys streamlined and seamless.

Seamless payment processing

Enable field technicians to perform mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) and easily track all parts used for the service provided. Technicians can quickly generate invoices and provide better customer service. Shorten lead time from orders to payment and create a positive impact on cash flow. They can either email receipts to customers or print them out.

Remote assistance

Telcos can improve customer satisfaction with self-service convenience to troubleshoot technical issues and offer faster resolution to issues.

With a simple scan and augmented reality (AR) overlays added to their smart devices, customers can gain direct access to all the information they need about a product, including instructions on how to troubleshoot and fix the issue on their own. No longer needing to wait for a field technician to visit and solve the problem.

Step 4: Empower and retain employees

Equip field technicians to excel in their daily operations with a smart device pocket assistant. As an aging field workforce retires and the competition for talent with the technology industry continues to grow, a scanning enabled smartphone is the perfect device to attract and retain young, digital savvy workers.

Onboard with ease

Telcos can ramp up new employees and 3rd party contractors quickly by equipping them with an AR-enabled smart device to provide guidance and streamline onboarding – eliminating the need to send a second technician to accompany them.

When onsite, give new recruits the confidence to easily install or fix equipment with instant access to AR guidance including manuals, schematics, installation instruction prompts on their smart devices, hands-free vocal instructions and real-time remote support. Whether it’s experienced technicians or novice contractors, reduce the time it takes to upskill new employees, and minimize on-the-job errors.

Enhance proof of completion

Further enhance technician productivity by eliminating costly, error-prone manual processes involved with proof of completion. Seamlessly enable technicians to mark jobs as complete and automatically generate invoices and warranties on site.

Adding text recognition to barcode scanning with smart data capture enables the ability to capture IDs on equipment, log parts used to complete work orders and parts for return onto connected systems in real-time with guaranteed accuracy.

Telcos can combat the increasing pressure on margins by reducing costs and optimizing the efficiency of their field operations by leveraging smart devices with smart data capture technology.

Scandit Smart Data Capture enables them to deliver frictionless and intuitive user experiences that reap far-reaching productivity and customer satisfaction benefits, which go beyond short term measures to control costs.

Get in touch with us to learn how we can help telcos boost field operational efficiencies, as they navigate a challenging telecom landscape.