From The Editor

  1. Balancing Today’s Struggles With Tomorrow’s Opportunities

    As a field service leader, one of the biggest challenges you may face is finding the right balance of tackling today’s issues effectively while keeping your eye on how to evolve and innovate your business to take advantage of tomorrow’s opportunities. This balancing act looks different depending on the size of your company and your exact role, but I think it’s a common challenge that any of you could sit down with a beer and commiserate about.

  2. Innovation Apparent At Field Service USA 2018

    It was a lovely week in Palm Springs last week at Field Service USA (especially since I left four inches of snow in Erie, PA). The consensus at the event was that there was an energy about it quite unlike previous years, and I think that the energy stemmed from a field service audience that has become truly ready to embrace innovation. We talk about the shift from cost center to profit center and the view of the field service function as becoming more strategic, and I think this evolution is why the 2018 event seemed so much more energetic

  3. The Building Blocks Of Predictive Service

    Today’s field service organizations are on a mission to migrate from the traditional break/fix service model to a predictive service model — it’s simply what customers expect and where the industry is headed. As Jack Rijnenberg, director of global customer service at Markem-Imaje put it when I interviewed him recently, “There’s a clear movement in the service industry toward predictive service, and that’s the direction we need to move in.” But the reality is, a successful transition from break/fix to predictive service requires well thought out strategy and execution.

  4. Digital Transformation: Balancing Speed And Execution

    As companies adopt various digital technologies along with new strategies in an effort to make operations more efficient and to provide better service to their customers, determining the appropriate balance between speed and thorough execution is sure to be a challenge. Field service organizations especially are under a lot of pressure to optimize productivity, to deliver a superior customer experience, and to become a profit center. Under the weight of that pressure, it’s easy to race through your current initiative in an effort to “check the box” and move on to the next phase.

  5. Samsung Adds A Rugged Tablet Option To Consider In Your Mobile Device Decision

    Last week, Samsung announced U.S. availability of its Galaxy Tab Active2 rugged tablet. Samsung says in its press release that the device “is designed for mobile workers who conduct business outdoors or beyond office walls, including in the field, industrial locations, and harsh weather.” Based on a survey we conducted last fall, 36 percent of our respondents’ companies are using a combination of tablets along with a handheld device, and another 23 percent are using tablets exclusively. While the device selection process can already be overwhelming, I thought it would be worthwhile to talk with Samsung about its Galaxy Tab Active2 so that you can determine if this device should be added to your shortlist. Here Jennifer Langan, senior director, mobile computing product marketing for Samsung Electronics America shares some key insight on the device.

  6. Making The Move To Agile Software Development

    The topic of shifting to an agile software development methodology has come up in a few of my conversations with field service leaders recently. I’m no software developer, so I first had to learn exactly what an agile approach was and how it differed from some more traditional development methodologies, such as waterfall. Using a traditional approach, such as waterfall, the project is put into sequential, predefined phases and worked to completion before being fully deployed to the user base. The agile methodology is built on the concept of giving a self-directed team broad goals and then allowing them to work to meet those goals. Agile uses incremental planning whereby detail is added and revisions are made throughout, versus identifying all of the detail of the project from the outset.

  7. Fresenius Kabi Modernizes Service With Augmented Reality

    The use of augmented reality (AR) in field service has shifted from hypothetical to reality with companies experiencing benefits such as remote resolution and stronger training and support of field workers. Fresenius Kabi is a global health care company that specializes in lifesaving medicines and technologies for infusion, transfusion, and clinical nutrition.

  8. Q&A: Navigating Today’s Field Service Challenges, Opportunities, And Trends

    Michael Blumberg is the president of Blumberg Advisory Group. He is a certified management consultant, a recognized expert in field service and reverse logistics, and a regular contributor to Field Technologies. I recently sat down with Blumberg to get his take on the biggest challenges field service organizations are facing, what he sees as the opportunities to seize, and his take on some of the biggest trends.

  9. 4 Companies To Emulate With Your Customer Experience Initiative

    Blake Morgan, customer experience futurist, wrote an article recently for Forbes titled The 10 Most Customer-Obsessed Companies In 2018 where she highlights “the 10 most customer-obsessed companies of 2018 that are setting the gold standard for what it means to put customers first.” She selected her list based on these companies being “most cited in reviews and the business press and were included because of their industry-leading focus on customer experience.”

  10. Q&A: Diversifying Your Field Service Workforce

    Steve Dreifuerst is the U.S. field service manager for AF solutions at healthcare solutions company Medtronic. Dreifuerst has a team of ten field service engineers (FSE) that travel across the country to service more than 800 large, capital equipment units. In talking with Dreifuerst, one of the things that stood out to me is the effort he’s put into building a diverse field workforce.