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Week of Aug. 19, 2019

Tesla gets beat out by Daimler, Salesforce acquires FSM software, and more field service news

Move over, Tesla, Daimler is coming through with the first all-electric semi.

Daimler’s Freightliner eCascadia semis will be the first all-electric semis to be in full-time use. The company used a $16 million grant to develop the vehicles. They will operate in southern California to test how well they function in large-scale fleet conditions and to answer remaining questions regarding their range. [Read more]

Salesforce acquires field service company ClickSoftware for $1.35 billion.

The move may be intended to help Salesforce compete with Microsoft, which acquired FieldOne in 2015. It signals a recognition that field service and customer service units are not so different. Your field service team provides the opportunity to differentiate your business by offering excellent customer experience. [Read more]

Your business needs to take a closer look at the security of connected devices.

A study involving 83 million IoT devices found that in North America, two-thirds of homes have IoT devices, and many of these were found to have weak security. As IoT becomes a more central approach to field service operations, businesses are advised to focus on the security posture of their client’s in-home and in-office devices. [Read more]

Week of Aug. 5, 2019

Drones take on undersea repairs, maps to get an AR update, and more field service news

Undersea drones to inspect and repair oil and gas platforms

FlatFish, an autonomous undersea drone powered by batteries, will use AI to inspect oil and gas platforms. The 3-foot long, 12,000 ton drone will be able to identify potential issues and call in other drones to make repairs; all while navigating the intense deep sea pressure and debris that can cause oil spills [Read more].

Crowd service can help your business deal with technician shortage

36% of Americans are doing some amount of freelance work, and industries that rely on field services such as construction and maintenance make up a large portion of self employed workers in the U.S, so why not tap into this workforce? If your business is looking to expand to other geographies, experience fluctuating demand, or has encountered a shortage of technicians, tapping into the crowd might be the way to go [Read more].

Driving will change forever as Apple AR brings maps to real life

Apple is working to patent an AR device that could superimpose route and navigational information to the images/video that the device captures—in other words, drivers will see the road ahead with street names, directions, etc, simultaneously. Using built-in AR devices, AR glasses, or an AR-enabled iPhone field teams can get detailed assistance in getting where they need to go, reducing errors and distractions [Read more].

[PODCAST] Data is your business’s most valuable resource; use it wisely

Businesses used to live by the adage “no news is good news,” but with the ubiquity of data came the expectation of constant connectivity and increased visibility. This podcast from Future of Field Service discusses why your business can’t ignore the importance of data any longer. To harness the power of data, first define success, establish a business need, and identify key KPIs [Listen here].

Week of July 22, 2019

Musk and Bezos ready for 5G, new funding for technical education, and more field service news

Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are preparing for 5G

Amazon’s Kuiper Systems has plans to launch 3,236 low-orbit satellites to offer broadband connection around the world. This initiative joins Musk’s Starlink, which plans to launch 12,000 satellites—60 of which were launched last May. In the short term, these projects would increase connectivity in remote and rural areas, helpful to field workers on the move. The long-term plan for these satellites is to enable 5G—the key to sky-rocketing the potential of predictive maintenance and other IoT-enabled processes. [Read more]

Field service’s last mile gets the Uber treatment

Customer experience relies heavily on transparency. Localz, a last-mile communication solution, aims to fill that gap in field service, providing day-of-service assistance. Instead of providing a suite of functionality, its solution is meant to complement existing solutions to offer location-based tracking and notifications. Customers can see where a technician is and when they will arrive, and technicians can more easily collaborate with colleagues. [Read more]

Will funding for technical education programs address technician shortages?

On July 1, states began to implement the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, also known as Perkins V. The act increases funding for technical education with the goal of giving more students access to high-quality programs. The program has only just approved transition plans, so its effects remain to be seen. But field service businesses may stand to gain from a new generation of skilled workers. [Read more]

Dip in oil and natural gas job openings

According to an analysis conducted by Thinknum, leading oil field services companies have slowed hiring, reaching a 12-month low. Oil prices have slumped in recent years, and although there’s been some rebound, U.S. companies haven’t seen the benefits. Concerns of oversupply have led companies to pull back job postings, reducing these by a third. [Read more]

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