Feeling the sting of falling prices pre-Covid and the subsequent degradation of demand, thanks to fewer planes in the air and fewer vehicles on the road, gas and oilfield services are reeling. International behemoth Schlumberger cut roughly 21,000 jobs in July with reported second-quarter losses of $3.4 billion. Between March and August 2020, the oil and gas sector in the U.S. eliminated approximately 107,00 jobs according to Deloitte.
More than halfway through 2020, cracks also started showing up among power plant operators, utilities, and energy efficiency sectors. The New York Independent System Operator says power demand in New York City, for instance, has dropped more than 20%, resulting in hefty job losses, procedure changes, and scheduled maintenance delays. One can only imagine how these major revenue sources and their maintenance deferrals are impacting original equipment manufacturers and independent service providers. To compound matters, field workers are dealing with kids out of school, fear of contagion, quarantine, illness, and stress. The result? Chronic absenteeism which leaves skill set gaps, impacts work timelines, and puts pressure on your field people to tackle projects beyond their areas of expertise.
There’s a bright spot
While it’s a tough time to be in field services, it’s not all doom and gloom.
The International Data Corporation (IDC) says it’s seeing manufacturers and service organizations condense two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months and reminds us that equipment will continue to break or work less efficiently. Customers will continue to need help. And products will continue to be purchased, installed, monitored, and supported.
The benefits of digital technology
Companies looking for ways to improve field service productivity and drive new revenues are turning to digital technology. And the benefits are multifold:
- Technicians, who are not salespeople but have developed relationships with customers as valued advisors, are equipped with the tools that can nurture and grow field teams into powerful incremental revenue builders.
- Easy-to-use digital mobile apps enable field workers to identify and upsell products and maintenance services – which can drive substantial add-on revenue.
- With the best field service productivity apps, you can embed product manuals and step-by-step safety protocols into your digital work orders. Technicians of different tenure and skill sets can access this information from the field and handle new or complex work reliably – making the difference between profit and loss.
- Built-in logic automatically skips unnecessary form fields so field workers need only input pertinent information while on the job. The rest of the form populates instantly – reducing administrative time and costs better spent improving customer experience.
- Data collected from the field can be used to drive management decisions around productivity, customer satisfaction issues, and new service offerings. These powerful analytics let you focus efforts on improving service delivery and increasing revenue.
- Instead of manually updating multiple systems of record, digital software uploads information automatically, giving real-time access to every department that interacts with your data, extending internal capabilities, and achieving full digital transformation.
Optimize your organization with field service productivity apps
As IDC researcher Aly Pinder suggests, “with enhanced digital tools and an integrated technology infrastructure, the field service interaction and work completed on a work order can be analyzed in real, or near-real time to be used by product design, engineering, marketing, supply chain, and operations to make improvements in the product and [service] experience,” – ultimately leading to lower costs and higher revenue.
Bolster your ability to weather the challenges that have come as a result of COVID-19. If you’d like to learn how to use our field service productivity apps to improve your processes, reduce costs, and maintain revenue during this period of disruption, sign up for a demo today.