Does Your Business Depend Too Much on Online Access?

What happens when your field service technicians can’t get online?

Even in 2019, it can happen. You might be working in a remote area or underground, where you can’t get a signal. Some organizations won’t allow online access while you’re on-site, even if you do have a signal.

Hospitals are a great example of this. Technicians that service medical equipment are often asked to put their device into flight mode. In these situations, downtime is critical. A broken MRI scanner can literally impact the health of the nation. Your client needs an immediate fix and will measure your performance accordingly.

It’s no secret that poor access to technical information can be detrimental to your KPIs.

We rely heavily on that signal for so much, don’t we?

Sure, there are workarounds.

Technical manuals and parts lists could be saved as PDFs on the device, but storage space might be an issue. The technician could decide to carry paper manuals, but that seems cumbersome. Plus, PDFs and paper manuals still require technicians to search through hundreds (or hundreds of thousands!!!) of pages of information to find the answers they need. Some technicians try to anticipate the likely fault ahead of the site visit, but if an unforeseen problem arises, they’re stuck.

Bottom line is that none of these solutions is efficient and all negatively impacts up-times and service costs. Offline access is the ultimate solution.

Did you know that AnswersAnywhere works offline? Wherever you’re working, whatever the signal, you’ll have immediate access to all your knowledge and data. All in one place, available all the time.

Implementing digital knowledge management is not a quick fix, but it is a robust and long-term investment in the future of your business. And that’s why proactive organizations are talking to us about how to revolutionize their mobile knowledge management.

What are the Top 5 Most Common Knowledge Management Mistakes companies make? Watch our short video to find out!

How to Motivate Your Field Service Millennials

You’re losing your experienced workforce to retirement and recruiting younger workers. Millennials might seem like a whole different breed and there’s no doubt they are shaking up the way businesses operate!

Born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials (Generation Y) are now well-established in the workplace. They’ve grown up in a fast-paced, digital environment – very different from the earlier internet-free, job-for-life culture.

Every generation has its own strengths and weaknesses. Millennial strength is learning digital tools quickly. Considering the massive digital transformation that field service is currently undergoing, this is a fantastic opportunity for organizations!

Of course, Millennial workforces aren’t without their weaknesses and organizations are feeling those frustrations.

Many Millennials lack the in-depth knowledge needed for their role. It’s not their fault – they just haven’t had the opportunity to build up the years of experience their older colleagues have.

With the growth of machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, “human” research into problems will diminish. Perfect for Millennials! But until such technology is common-place, younger engineers will “Google” for an answer (unless they’re working with a more knowledgeable colleague). Where else can the answer come from?

Even more frustrating is that Millennials change jobs more often than any other generation. They are twice as likely to leave a job after two years and are more eager to “move up or move on” than their predecessors. In a recent survey, two-thirds of Millennial respondents said the “right” amount of time to stay in a role before being promoted or searching for a better opportunity was less than two years and a quarter said less than 12 months.

So, you risk building up knowledge in their heads, only to lose it again!

Develop Your Business the Millennial Way

Millennials are your workforce now – embracing them (and the tools they need) will enhance your productivity and put you ahead. Here are some simple actions to consider:

  • Make time for regular team feedback so that learning can be shared.
  • Buddy Millennials with older engineers (while you still have them!). Not only will this help foster camaraderie in the workplace, but it is a way to capture that valuable tribal knowledge from your more experience workers.
  • Collate your knowledge onto a shared drive, so workers know where to go for answers and won’t resort to “Google”.
  • Make your organization a great place to work – Millennials value emotional intelligence and a healthy work/life balance.
  • Involve younger engineers in shaping your future field service systems and let them know their input is valued. The worst think you can do is treat Millennials like “kids”. They have a unique set of strengths and want to feel respected.

Of course, the ultimate solution is a mobile, digitized knowledge management system that holds all the technical information they’ll ever need to access. It plays to the strengths of Millennials 100%.

By taking smaller steps now, you’ll be better placed when you’re ready to develop a more advanced system.

Want to learn more? Check out our infographic on how to get the best out of Millennials!