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3 field service innovations to ease today’s market pressures

July 18, 2022

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By Wael Mohammed


The field services industry is in the midst of a perfect storm. Demand is at an all-time high as clients invest in digital transformation. At the same time, the skilled labor shortage, rising pay rates, higher gas prices, and supply chain delays create persistent challenges for service delivery organizations.

But our customers’ challenges inspire us to innovate. We’re excited to share three of our latest innovations related to sourcing technicians, finding parts, and scaling to meet demand. These new features and capabilities will help our customers navigate market challenges and take advantage of opportunities.

 

1. Network enhancements to help find qualified talent faster

Over 1 million work orders have been completed on the Field Nation platform in the last 12 months, giving us a unique opportunity to understand the types of work and skill sets that are in demand.

This year, we’re analyzing millions of work orders to benefit technicians and service organizations. We’re using machine learning and natural language processing to break work into its component parts. Plus, we’re tapping into subject matter experts who specialize in each type of work. Our team is analyzing:

  • Required skill sets
  • Devices being worked on
  • Services being performed
  • OEMs, makes, models, tools, licenses, and locations

This analysis enhances how customers search for technicians, find pay rates, and align them to market rates. For example, instead of searching for broad categories like “point of sale,” customers can identify technicians who have experience installing or uninstalling “traditional point of sale devices” or “self checkouts.” Below, you can begin to see a more complete breakdown of these granular skillsets across point of sale (POS), cabling, and networking. 

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Our enhanced coverage discovery tools will help customers:

  • Understand available coverage by tapping into more granular coverage maps.
  • Access more accurate pricing by types of work and skillset.
  • Reduce vetting time by identifying the right technician with the right skills faster.

Now, as part of a beta release, customers will begin to see this data put to work in MarketSmart Insights. This pricing and coverage tool allows Premier users to see these more granular categories as they prepare an RFP response or create a plan for existing projects. Initially, we are focusing on three types of work: networking, point of sale, and low-voltage cabling. 

In the second half of the year, customers will begin to see the new categories as they create work orders and templates. We will continue to complete this analysis across all types of work on our platform.

 

2. Streamline parts and materials purchasing

We also recognize that getting the required parts and materials on-site is more difficult than ever. Supply shortages, rising component prices, and logistics costs add to the challenge. As a result, many technicians source parts themselves, which can exacerbate delays and cost pressures.

To address these needs, we recently partnered with Graybar, a leading component, equipment, and materials distributor, on a beta program. As a part of this beta, technicians don’t need to source parts on an ad-hoc basis. Instead, Field Nation customers can order from Graybar’s library of 10,000+ parts and materials. Plus, customers can save up to 15% off of list price with our pre-negotiated pricing.

Through this partnership, the Field Nation team assists with planned procurement by shipping parts and materials directly to a job site or a technician. Our team handles all the details of getting parts and materials to the right location at the right time. Stay tuned for announcements regarding this offering’s official release.

 

3. Expand dispatch and project management capacity

We’ve also heard that some clients’ project management and dispatch resources can’t keep up with the volume of on-site work. Our Service Partner Program connects our customers to a bench of qualified service partners.

These partners extend an organization’s capabilities without requiring additional headcount, and can scale up or down based on business needs. Customers can engage them for a single project, over a fixed period, or across their entire operation.

For example, Worldlink Integration Group, a provider of IT deployment services for retailers, works with a Field Nation service partner for technician vetting, work order management, and dispatch management. By leveraging a Field Nation service partner, Worldlink reduced the time spent on project coordination by over 80 percent. The partnership has helped Worldlink ramp up new clients more quickly, reduce errors, and focus on more value-added work. 

Unlike other field service marketplaces, we continue to aggressively invest in the breadth and depth of our on-site IT network. The strength of our network and our continuous innovation help clients thrive despite today’s market challenges.

 

Looking for more information on how the Field Nation platform can help simplify finding the people and parts you need? Reach out to your Field Nation representative, or contact our sales team for a personalized demonstration.