As technology introduces new innovations, trailblazing companies are quick to adapt their services, products and offers to reflect shifting consumer needs and demands. This is currently happening in the field services industry with the concept of Crowd Service. The new technical capability of pooling together a wealth of human resources with expertise knowledge of specific fields and services is revolutionizing how companies can provide field services. It was April, and a group of the most creative minds had gathered together in California to talk about the influences cutting-edge developments were having on the industry.
One of the biggest problems currently being faced by many companies is loss of knowledge due to an aging workforce. With sometimes upwards of 30% of the workforce getting ready for retirement in the next several years, companies have to consider how to retain the years of knowledge accumulated through diverse service incidents and scenarios. This is a gargantuan and nearly impossible task. How can these companies possibly replace the knowledge of ca. 30% of their workforce spanning years of service and experience? And, more importantly, how do they accomplish this when there is no need for new training because the robust and complex machinery they employ for their business processes – which this retirement age workforce is amply trained to operate – is not set to be replaced for years to come?
At many companies, the retiring workforce has expressed an interest in adapting to a more flexible business model and working on a contingency basis that suits their schedules. And thankfully, the Crowd Service concept and innovations like augmented reality and other remote support tools provide the ideal solution. The finally piece of this puzzle is a field service management platform capable of managing this Crowd Service, automating appointment scheduling using artificial intelligence, and combining remote tools like augmented reality so field service technicians can integrate expert technicians into their field service appointments.
With all of these prerequisites fulfilled, it is possible to reduce the impact of lost expertise by integrating a retired and highly-skilled workforce on an as-needed basis into a crowd of contingent field service technicians. At no additional cost, this solution has a number of benefits:
- Retain access to invaluable field service knowledge and expertise without any additional overhead cost
- Engage these technicians on a contingency basis for field service appointments, particularly those which require specialized skills and knowledge
- Remotely support junior field service technicians by connecting them with skilled senior or retired technicians still interested in working as part of a Crowd Service on a freelance basis using augmented reality
- Transparent pricing model calculated per service incident for contingent resources
- Customer experience levels remain high as the quality of service does not diminish. In some cases, long-term relationships between customers and field service technicians are also able to endure
- Everyone wins since retirees maintain their own schedule, enjoy their retirement, and continue to contribute to a company and customers in which they’ve invested so much time and experience
As companies continue to adapt their business models and embrace opportunities offered by innovative technological developments, we will see a shift in how we work. As is obvious from this example, implementing crowd services in the field service industry is transforming the workforce to the benefit of companies, employees and customers.
For more information and deep understanding of the Crowd Service concept we suggest to read the following white paper: Understanding Crowd Service Solutions: The Evolution Of Field Service