Field Service Management | Industry Blog | Viewpoint Construction Software

Field Service Management

When it comes to setting and measuring KPIs, service managers experience better results when they’re focused on the process of delivering service, rather than the results. For example, rather than measuring profitability or number of service calls per day, start by analyzing the success of the processes involved in delivering service.

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Viewpoint Development Partner, MSI Data recently interviewed analyst Michael Israel to get his take on why Field Service Managers should set goals that measure process over results. To read the entire article, click here: Top Field Service KPIs in 2016 and Pro Tips to Help Service Managers Meet Them: An Interview with Michael Israel

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This is the second post in Viewpoint’s new blog series by Richard Scott focusing on the Value of Mobile Field Technology. 

Successful Construction Starts with Usable Data

I was once told that successful construction is about effective communication and as the Field View product has evolved, this perspective has always been at the forefront of our strategy and development. That’s why when people declare, “It’s all about the data,” I emphatically respond, “Oh no, it’s not!” Data becomes useful when it is given context and has structure, or when it has transformed into usable information. “Ah, so it’s all about the information, then?” you ask. Well not quite; it’s about how that information is used to achieve the desired goal. And, in construction, that’s usually measured in terms of product quality, delivery, safety, environment, and cost. However you set about achieving these goals will be relative to your perspective, either operational or business.

The Operational Perspective
Since 2001, the Field View team has been focused on delivering benefits to the community that work within the bounds of the project. These are the people that I often refer to in terms of hard hats and muddy boots. They are the Project Managers, Construction Managers, Site Managers, Site Engineers, Quality Control Engineers and Safety Managers. These team members are primarily interested in how Field View can improve their day, allow them become more productive and provide better visibility into a project’s performance. These team members are tactical and would prefer to spend time out on the jobsite dealing with operational project issues rather than in the site cabin managing paperwork. Field View delivers productivity improvements that they appreciate and value; time savings, collaboration and project control are of the utmost importance.

The Business Perspective
With impressive feedback coming from the operational teams, it wasn’t long before Field View began to attract the interest of the broader business teams. We started talking to CEOs, CIOs, COOs and Directors who had a different view on the information they needed and the value it would bring to an organization. They talked to us about delivering process control and consistency, data integrity, business intelligence and a requirement to integrate with other business systems. They were looking at a bigger picture and wanted to know how Field View could be used to support the strategic interests of the enterprise as a whole. In 2008, we began the process of completely re-engineering Field View to address the needs of the enterprise community.

So how does Field View provide tangible value to both of these distinct groups? The answer lies in the history and experience built into the development of Field View. In my last blog post, I shared the lengthy history of Field View and the reputation we have earned. Field View is the result of 15 years of feedback and collaboration with the construction industry – listening, learning and innovating every day. Today, our enterprise customers have chosen Viewpoint to be their strategic technology partner and they realise that the value Field View brings to their business is actually greater than the Operational Value + Enterprise Value. Our Enterprise partners refer to Field View as a “Business process re-engineering tool.” I could not have defined Field View better myself and I think that demonstrates the power and versatility of Viewpoint’s products and services.

User Perspective Data Knowledge

 

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Connecting with the World about Technology: World of Concrete 2016
Contributed by: Greg Fry, Vertical Marketing Manager at Viewpoint

Viewpoint had its largest presence ever at World of Concrete 2016. With plenty of interest and traffic at the Technology Pavilion in the Las Vegas Convention Center, it felt like an excellent spot to debut Viewpoint For Field View.

This powerful cloud-based and off-line mobile solution allows contractors to capture field reports and information from anywhere – even without an internet connection – helping resolve issues quickly, eliminate paper, reduce risk, and deliver higher quality projects.

What was especially interesting to discuss with contractors stopping by the Viewpoint booth was how Field View can fit with their current processes. They see how there is tangible value and it’s immediate, at the job site and in the back office. Suited for all types of contractors as well as owners of capital projects, Field View clearly helps meet an unmet need in the market today.

Richard Scott demos Viewpoint's Field View

Others visiting the Viewpoint booth were looking for an estimating program to replace current methods of spreadsheets, pen, and paper. While learning about ProContractor for takeoff and estimating, they found it interesting that the solution can be used as a whole system that brings estimating together with project management and accounting for a compressive, bid-to-cash solution.

There was also a contingent who weren’t sure what they needed exactly, but knew that it was important to explore what technology’s available, what others are doing, and what’s involved in making a change. A question posed by the merely curious and the serious buyer alike was: How is this going to work for me and is it a change I need to make now?

However, it was evident that the most innovative companies are investing in the latest technology now. For the most part, these were Viewpoint customers visiting our booth to see what’s coming next and to explore new ways to further leverage their existing Viewpoint solution, since the goals they have for their business align with our vision for adaptable and collaborative software.

It was also fascinating to see that the World of Concrete really does bring attendees from all around the world. The Viewpoint booth hosted visitors from Nigeria, Pakistan, Latin America, and all over who were very curious about construction technology. As Viewpoint has swiftly grown from its offices and world-class technology center in Portland, Oregon to having offices in the UK and Australia, it appears that further growth will be well received while we continue to serve customers located across the globe in more than 28 countries.

The Viewpoint Team The Viewpoint Team

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Joanna Rotter, MSI Data, a Viewpoint Development Partner msi-logo

In 2015, field-based businesses saw the expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the boom of Big Data. The growth of new business practices and technologies this year have made it easier for construction and service organizations to gain greater insight into project details, streamline the scheduling and service process, and deliver greater equipment uptime.

Now, looking forward to 2016, we’ll see a continuation of those trends as businesses scramble to take advantage of the newest and best mobile and back office software, become early adopters of IoT, and make sense of the recent influx of access to valuable data. But there are some new field productivity trends you should be aware of as you as you plan for success in the new year.

Work Crew
Here are the top trends we’ve identified as key areas contractors and service businesses should be aware of going into 2016:

1. IoT/ Telematics Will Automate and Inform Engagement with Customers
The IoT has been on service businesses’ radar for a while, so the trend isn’t exactly new, but as more businesses invest in connected technology, we’ll see it become an established industry best practice in 2016. Smart, connected products and access to in-depth equipment telematics data will provide a number of benefits for service businesses including:

• Added value for equipment users who will be able to see into the health and operating efficiency of their machines.
• Better machine availability and less downtime because preventive IoT data allows service providers to resolve problems proactively.
• Improved data analytics so contractors are more informed about project status and equipment performance.

2. Augmented Reality Will Inform Complicated Service Processes
Augmented reality is a natural fit for construction management heading into 2016. Field workers will use augmented reality devices, like smart glasses, to guide them through a project and put them in communication with equipment and other connected products on-site. Workers can pull service records, telematics records, report of out-of-order equipment, and identify performance or safety warnings signaled by machines.

3. Building Information Modeling (BIM) will help contractors produce better projects
Eventually, thanks to BIM, contractors and project managers will bring 3D models of construction sites to the field and be able to look at exploded drawings of a component while they’re in the field.

“A new market research report says the Building Information Modeling (BIM) market will be valued at $8.6 billion by 2020. That is a nearly 70% growth in market share,” said a recent article from Whatech.

4. Advancing Fleet Management Technologies Will Improve Safety, Fuel Efficiency, And Cost Savings
From self-parking to self-driving, the focus has been on autonomous vehicle systems that can utilize Big Data and next generation fuel systems. Harnessing the processing power of workstation grade chips in vehicles creates equipment capable of internal health detection, blind spot monitoring, collision avoidance, lane departure warnings, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, and more. Add to that vehicles with new efficient fuel systems and you’re looking at big things for the future of fleet management and maintenance.

5. Field Workers’ Roles Will Become More Technology-Centric
As projects demand deeper insight to stay on track and equipment is built with more high tech sensors and screens, field workers’ skills will have to shift as well. Not only will incoming technicians need to understand the high tech that’s in the equipment, they’ll have to be able to use the field service management and construction project software to streamline the process.

6. Mobile Field Service Management Will Continue To Expand
While mobile field service technology has been a trend for a while, it’s not going away any time soon.
Gartner has made the following predictions for the state of mobile in field service by 2016:
• 2/3 of the mobile workforce will own a smartphone
• 40 percent of the workforce will be mobile
• field service organizations will purchase 53 million tablets in 2016
• approximately 56 percent of smartphones purchased by businesses in North America and Europe will be Android devices

Conclusion – Ask Yourself These Questions
As more organizations rely on mobile to automate the project management process and eliminate duplicate data entry, those who stick with manual, paper methods will get further and further behind.
As a construction leader, ask yourself the following questions to prepare for the year ahead:
• How will your organization exercise its digital advantage going into 2016?
• What are actionable steps you could take to get your business on the right track to take advantage of your opportunity in product support?
• What will your company do to grow and expand to take on greater challenges in 2016?
• What new strategies will you try in order to tackle growing competitive challenges in 2016.

 

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