Updated: Jan 20
The use of augmented reality in field service operations has been proven to be valuable by a growing number of organizations.
Safety is enhanced, productivity is increased, travel costs are reduced, and employees and customers are more satisfied, all while accelerating process times and upskilling individuals by wearing smart glasses.
The field service industry is perhaps the most successful in implementing AR in practice. How does an organization determine which augmented reality solution is right for them when augmented reality comes in a variety of forms on the ground?
There are many challenges involved in the implementation of new technologies. The installation, configuration, testing, and training costs are in addition to the initial investment for the technology. Lack of leadership and incompetent project management can lead to delays, missed deadlines, and even project abandonment after much absorption costing has been applied.
To deploy new technology successfully, an organization must realize both the upsides and the downsides. Providing remote and on-site solutions via augmented reality (AR) for field service is no different.
How does the Solution Work
These are the top 7 reasons field service organizations should use AR
Head-mounted devices for augmented reality (AR)
Smart glasses technology makes it possible to interact with the world without using your hands because it uses augmented reality. By wearing them like eyeglasses, technicians can also add computer-generated information to their viewpoint while viewing video and digital content.
Mobile AR device
With AR field service solutions, users can interact with video and digital content overlaid on a real-life image with their mobile devices or tablets. In apps such as these, the users can take advantage of the camera, GPS, and touch screen on their mobile device, which improves their experience.
Customer visit reduction
Sending our entire team to a customer's location to diagnose and repair equipment is one of the most expensive elements of product support. A visit to a customer is associated with travel expenses, fuel costs, and time spent with that customer. In addition, maintenance, transportation, and purchases of equipment and vehicles are included. To pay for these costs, businesses normally swallow considerable portions of their profits.
This cost can be reduced by using smart glasses with remote expert capability. As most mechanics work in the field, a mobile device provides a real-time video feed from the equipment, allowing the technician to guide customers through the process while in the field.
As much as 71% of site visits can be reduced with augmented reality in fields service, according to the Technology Services Industry Association
Less time and money spent on training
The experience of experienced techs can be transferred to the next generation of technicians by recording virtual service calls with AR systems.
The systems can also be used for collaboration along with providing visual support for fieldwork. When a newly trained technician makes repairs at a customer's site, he or she can be guided by more experienced technicians back home.
By using an AR system, both technicians can work on the same issue at the same time, and it is more cost-effective than sending both technicians to the job site at the same time.
The number of older professionals retiring is increasing, and they take their decades of experience and knowledge with them. To close the productivity gap, younger generations must quickly leapfrog older generations.
70 per cent of field service organizations are concerned about retrenching their employees, according to the Service Council(1).
Utilizing augmented reality (AR) for knowledge transfer can prove effective. AR allows senior technicians to document and record proper procedures, which younger technicians can retrieve and use as training materials.
Using AR smart glasses, a field worker can receive live audio and video instructions from a remote expert via augmented reality smart glasses that let them see the world through their point of view (POV).
As the remote expert can see and direct employees as they progress through the troubleshooting process, troubleshooting can be speedily sped up utilizing the overlay of precise and real-time data overlaid on the technical picture.
First-time fix rates that are higher
Field workers can fix more problems the first time with the assistance of AR technology. Profitability and customer satisfaction improve as a result. A client's first-time fix rate affects the number of referrals and renewals.
Workflows and schedules can be managed more effectively while more tasks can be accomplished more quickly. A study by Aberdeen Group shows that companies whose first-time fix rate was over 70% boasted an 86% customer retention rate, while those at the upper end of the first-time fix rate scale also experienced an 8% rise in revenue."
Gartner estimates that 19% of service companies have already implemented outcome-based agreements, and another 26% expect to do so within the next year.
By implementing remote AR assistance, result-based service has been made possible. After the early detection of issues, technicians can carry out simple or complex repairs under the guidance of remote experts.
Through AR glasses, field technicians can perform complex tasks, perform routine maintenance, and reference important documents, visuals, and checklists while closing out work orders from home.
Thanks to the hands-free technology, technicians can document processes and procedures live on the job even as they close out work orders from home.
A machine's uptime and travelling expenses
After the recent pandemic, many field service companies began to consider how much they could do remotely.
Even though AR cannot replace face-to-face service visits, it can be used to provide remote diagnosis and resolution.
It has been demonstrated that the turnaround time from the first call to fully restored service is significantly reduced when customers are provided with visual instructions for making repairs instead of having to wait for customer representatives to travel to their sites.
Even a few-day outage can be resolved in just a few minutes in some situations.
Augmented reality, internet-of-things diagnostics, and video tools enhance remote support, giving more options for use as well as improving return on investment (ROI).
We have an ROI calculator that directly compares employee travel to employee travel costs associated with AR smart glasses for more information about calculating the ROI of implementing AR technology field services.
Even though augmented reality is an emerging technology, field service organizations need to evaluate its ROI and have a plan of action, since early signs suggest augmented reality can increase KPIs, lower travel costs, and streamline training.
Let's Wrap Up
By adding augmented reality to field service operations, companies can improve productivity and reduce costs, while enhancing quality.
With smart glasses that support AR and mobile devices that facilitate AR, technicians are more capable of performing performance-related tasks more quickly and efficiently.
Field service teams will be trained differently with the new system and maintenance will be easier as well. To decide what type of AR device to deploy, an organization's needs and requirements must be considered.
Get a closer look at how assisted reality wearable solutions can improve business. Connect with us.