As you seek to improve your business sustainability through field service management, now is the time to engage stakeholders. [Adobe Stock /auremar]
Field service business owners have a fantastic opportunity to grow their business through their sustainability initiatives, like more companies seek to reduce their carbon footprint. Companies that adopt sustainability as a strategic pillar choose partners who share the same values.
Still, that’s easier said than done. Gaining stakeholder support for real sustainability initiatives remains a major challenge for field service organizations.
Even so, the evidence suggests that the tide is turning towards a greener growth mindset. According to IDC research1, 40% of field service organizations cite sustainability as a top priority. It is clear that the field service can do more as the world grapples with environmental crises, from global warming to extreme weather events.
“The land is our primary stakeholder,” said Leigh-Anne Nugent, director of product management for Outbound Success, Salesforce Field Service. “We need to keep this in mind as we grow our business through sustainability.”
The right field service management reduces carbon emissions and builds customer confidence. Let’s see how automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and remote visual assistance in field service management can help you achieve sustainability success.
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Efficiently route mobile workers with automation
Fuel consumption is one of the biggest challenges to sustainability in field service. Think about the number of vehicles in your fleet. Each driver serves several customers per day. Last minute schedule changes, bad weather and heavy traffic all extend the time on the road.
Route optimization ensures that your mobile worker, whether employee or contractor, with the right skills and parts, always takes the most efficient route.
Route optimization ensures that your mobile worker, whether employee or contractor, with the right skills and parts, always takes the most efficient route. Real-time automation helps you scale by responding quickly to emergencies and new work requests. This saves fuel, reduces emissions and limits road impact, all contributing to sustainability. Complete and timely service improves customer satisfaction scores.
“If we can take the shortest possible route, if we can follow as many appointments as we have along the route, if we can perhaps restrict our limits from where we are going to serve – all of that can help the environment,” Nugent said.
Use AI to make sure the job is done right the first time
Mistakes in estimating travel, service time, and parts needed can ruin a day’s schedule and require another appointment. These inefficiencies increase the carbon footprint as they add up over time. This has an irreversible impact on the environment.
Mistakes in estimating travel, service time, and parts needed can ruin a day’s schedule and require another appointment.
AI streamlines field service and supports sustainability. Consider distances, traffic patterns, weather and more to predict how long it will take a mobile worker to get to work. The AI can also estimate the duration of a job based on the history of similar tasks in the past. Additionally, the AI can project the tools and parts a job is likely to require, and reduces the need for a second trip.
For example, technicians at a medical device company were coming to work without the correct parts. This resulted in a second appointment and dissatisfied customers. The company now uses AI-based recommendations to ensure its technicians have the right parts for each job, reducing vehicle wear, reducing emissions and improving customer satisfaction.
Reduce truck trips with remote assistance
Not all service requests require an on-site appointment. In these cases, agents, mobile workers and experts can use visual remote assistance to guide customers to solve problems in real time from anywhere.
Remote Visual Assistance eliminates or reduces time spent on the road. Less truck travel means less emissions and less wear and tear on the roads.
Remote Visual Assistance eliminates or reduces time spent on the road. Less truck travel means less emissions and less wear and tear on the roads. Reducing truck trips, even a fraction, can go a long way to protecting the environment and infrastructure.
A manufacturer paired its field service management solution with augmented reality when customer site visits became more challenging during the pandemic. Their engineers use remote support to guide customers on how to keep all their factories running. This helps them to quickly and efficiently inform customers whether they are on site with them or not.
Go green in field service to build trust with customers and drive business forward
As you seek to improve your business sustainability through field service management, now is the time to engage stakeholders. Consider this statistic of Gartner Research: 63% of executives surveyed in companies with sustainability programs say that the customer is the main driver of their efforts.
Customers want to team up with companies that are also working to Net Zero the carbon footprint. Their collective thought is: It’s good for the earth and good for business. Sustainability in field service protects the environment, drives return on investment and generates revenue.
“Sustainability efforts increase trust with customers,” Nugent concluded. “We’re in it for the long haul and we’re committed to it, so how are we going to make the world a better place? If I had a choice, I would go with a field service organization that has a sustainable practice. ”
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1 Source: Future Enterprise Resiliency & Spending Survey – Wave 1, IDC, February 2022