The aging workforce has been a growing concern across field service organizations as many experienced field technicians are set to retire over in the next 5 to 10 years.
As per the research from the Service Council, 50% of service organizations indicated that they were facing a shortage of skilled workforce to adequately meet service demand. In the same research, 70% of the respondents indicated that they fear knowledge loss from the retiring field workforce in the next 5 to 10 years.
Adding to the issue, it is becoming more challenging to fill these vacancies due to the shortage of talent that has the right skillset and knowledge on the field. Having too many inexperienced technicians will result in lower productivity and first-time fix rates, poor customer service, and impact the bottom line as these organizations will have to heavily invest in attracting, training, and retaining the new hires to avoid the talent crisis.
As a result, combating the talent shortage is increasingly becoming a strategic priority. This blog highlights some of the strategies field service organizations should employ to address the Aging Workforce Crisis:
1. Centralized Knowledge Management Platform to document the tribal knowledge
When experienced field service workers retire, they take intangible assets like invaluable tribal knowledge, decades of know-how, and experience handling in complex processes along with them. This knowledge will get lost if it not documented properly overtime.
To mitigate operational risk due to knowledge loss, systematically record them in a centralized knowledge management platform. It may be a challenging and costly exercise, but this way you will build a comprehensive knowledge base with easy access for your inexperienced technicians or those working in the field.
2. Leverage Mobile Applications to access Knowledge Base in the Field
As most of the field technicians carry a mobile device, mobile apps can play a key role in providing access to a centrally stored knowledge base like FAQs, service manuals, maintenance& installation processes, and standard operating procedures.
3. Augmented Reality (AR)
AR can be used in multiple areas to increase the efficiency of field service:
- Employee Training: AR can be used in training and assisting new technicians. 2D diagrams of complex equipment can be converted to 3D models so that they can gain a better understanding of the equipment components. This delivers in-depth training with higher information retention.
- Remote Assistance to On-site Maintenance Workers: Field technicians may face a situation where they need expert support to fix complex or unknown issues. With an AR app, they can get live support from an expert, improving the first time fix. With AR, field technicians can view the 3D model of complex components, infrastructures such as pipelines and cables, etc.
- Inspections: AR can be used to perform inspections and report the issues with pictures, videos, and attachments for better contextual information. This enables the field technicians to look for the right spare parts, capture the GPS locations information, and collaborate with other teams to right materials onsite for maintenance/repair activities.
Unvired can help you in aligning your business strategies with the field-focused solutions that empower field service operations. We would love to hear about the steps your organization is taking to combat the aging workforce. If you have any ideas to share, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks in advance.