Cashless payments, inventory management, and more: What are the field service trends for 2022? Two years ago, the pandemic changed the way we work. Every industry, including field service, had to deal with changes in customer expectations and adapt to this new reality.
More than ever, field service companies had to realize how important it is for their technicians to complete their tasks as efficiently as possible. Even the slightest issue can have severe consequences.
After all, field service technicians are the ones who come directly into contact with the customers, and they help create the company´s image. It wouldn´t leave a good impression if, for example, they had to constantly apologize for missing parts or delays caused by poorly calculated ETAs.
This, along with the changing customer expectations, gave rise to the current trends in field service management, such as cashless payments, high-quality self-service, or remote work that´s thriving thanks to the ever-present cloud. So, what can we expect from the field service industry in 2022?
1. Cashless and mobile payments
During the pandemic, the use of cash decreased due to health concerns and restrictions. That also affected the B2B sector, where we saw companies increasingly adopting digital payments. Contactless credit and debit cards, digital and mobile payments using even online banking system are more convenient, faster, and safer than cash.
Retailers are offering contactless card payments as a safe alternative to inserting the chip and swiping the card´s magnetic strip. They are faster, result in less wear and tear, and are processed with end-to-end encryption.
In 2021, the US had more contactless cards than any other Visa market – more than 300 million Visa cards are contactless-enabled, which is a significant portion of active payment cards in the US.
P2P payment apps such as PayPal, Apple Pay, or Google Pay are also becoming more commonplace among individuals and businesses who want to provide their customers with a more streamlined experience.
Thanks to functionalities such as Pay with Resco, technicians will be able to create invoices that their customers can pay on the spot in their mobile device. This can significantly improve invoicing and cash flow.
2. Remote work
Who would have thought that field service workers would once work remotely as commercial buildings emptied due to company-wide home offices?
Luckily, as field service organizations are leaving paper-based workflows behind and relying more and more on software, this change isn´t all that hard to get used to.
Thanks to cloud-based software and continuous access to data, technicians were able to become more efficient and help their companies thrive.
Remote collaboration is on the rise. And the tools & features such as augmented reality (AR) video calls enable technicians to connect with coworkers and get assistance without endangering anyone´s health.
In fact, Market Reports World predicts that the global field service management software market will grow to 3.43 billion US dollars by 2024.
3. Self-service and customer portals
Self-service portals are changing the way field service providers communicate with their customers or contractors. They are often the first contact point between the organization and its client and help shape the customer experience.
Thanks to field service automation, these portals offer self-service to customers and partially help take the burden of communication away from the technicians.
The customers can use their computers or mobile apps to report their problems, capture their details, request service, or track their issues and projects. This saves the technicians time and allows them to focus on their assignments without interruptions.
Thanks to these apps, field service workers can see customer requests in real-time, and they know what to expect from their upcoming visit. This trend will carry over into 2022.
4. Inventory management software
Due to material shortages, delays, and other supply chain issues that resulted in increased prices, many organizations had trouble managing and tracking their inventory.
That set off a trend of companies putting more effort into inventory processes – they had to ensure that they had the right amount of material at the best possible price.
For example, the shortage of semiconductors that negatively affected many global industries will not end anytime soon. Because of supply chain issues such as these, software with inventory management capabilities is in high demand.
If you are worried supply chain issues might affect your business, investing in an application that allows the user to track their assets in real-time, notify them when then stock runs low or enable you to compare pricing from various suppliers might be a good idea.
5. Building a knowledge base
One of the trends for the following year is definitely knowledge retention. “The Great Resignation” has been hitting heavy industries such as manufacturing more than others, resulting in organizations losing skilled workers with years of practice.
Employees still don’t have the same access to the management, colleagues, and experts as before the pandemic, which makes exchanging expertise and advice difficult.
Gartner recently recommended investing in a robust knowledge management system to document core business processes, as it prevents organizations from being at skill-shortage risk in the long run
This year, building a cloud-based knowledge library is especially essential to enhance remote collaboration and confront the growing skill gaps in the workplace.
6. Low-code development
Building software solutions usually takes a lot of time – the entire software development cycle involves many stages such as planning, analysis, designing, testing, integration, etc. That is starting to change with the emergence of low-code app development.
Low-code and cloud technology opens up new possibilities for developing powerful custom solutions with minimal coding. Gartner predicts that by 2025, 70 % of new apps will use low-code or no-code technologies, up from less than 25 % in 2020.
What’s next for field service?
Discover what’s next for the field service organizations and how a new generation field service management solutions can help to handle field operations.
With low-code, developers can create powerful applications much faster than “normal” software development. After all, speed is the most appreciated advantage of this type of development.
Thanks to intuitive user interfaces, drag and drop functionality, and other options, low-code streamlines the development process and can decrease its time by as much as 90 %.
Another considerable advantage is that with low-code and the right platform, companies can build various fit-for-purpose solutions for different use cases in field service.