Field services are integral to ensuring business continuity for service providers. However, inefficiencies in field service significantly increase the operational costs. One of the major reasons for inefficient field service is repeat site visits or rework, leading to a 5X increase in repair cost and delay in order delivery time.
In the case of field surveys, data shows that 40-60% of installation orders require a site survey, out of which 18% require repeat surveys. The site survey is done manually, requiring manual data capture and physical audits leading to errors and incomplete data. Hence, the process becomes extremely time-consuming.
Field service organizations in the connectedness industry can improve efficiency by leveraging the power of video to capture rich information, intelligence, and insights. Some of these techniques/practices are listed below:
- Video capture – Move away from error-prone, time-consuming, and manual capturing of data to avoid re-visits. Video technology can capture the nuances of the site easily and accurately.
- Remote audits – Avoid sending an auditor physically after every install. Video intelligence enables remote audits and saves time, effort, and cost.
- AI-based video guide – Simplify field engineers’ work and implement a ‘right-first-time’ culture. Video intelligence can capture 100% of required data, sparing multiple site visits for field engineers.
Service providers must build an AI-powered video intelligence framework to transform the field services and create a smart field workforce. For instance, use this framework to revolutionize your traditional methods of performing a site survey. The surveyor captures a video and gives a voice over using a guided storyboard. The framework auto-captures the details and sends alerts for any missing points. A survey is submitted with 100% details and can be used as a reference for specific instances or future changes.
Use the AI-powered video intelligence framework to overcome all your field inefficiencies and challenges like manual data capturing, repeat visits, rework etc. Consider these key components to building the framework:
1 – AI-assisted video guide: Enable the field engineer to capture a guided video based on a predefined storyboard. Perform as-is analysis and process re-engineering to create and design accurate storyboards for video capturing, image capturing, dynamic workflows and automated capturing.
Figure 1: AI-assisted video guide
- Leverage video-enabled data inputs digitally to enhance and replace manual/text form fields
- Drive higher compliance and productivity with simple narration and consistent NLP (Natural Language Processing) tuning
- Ensure better end-to-end process management, timely interventions, and eliminate missing steps with planned and guided storyboards
2. Recommendation Engine: Provide AI-powered recommendations and real-time visibility into the jobs to supervisors, auditors, and field engineers
- Enable field engineers: Field engineers get auto-alerts if they miss capturing any details. In case of any challenges or roadblocks, engineers can access a repository of articles for quick guidance.
- Enable supervisors: Remote view of the status and activities performed within the jobs is provided to supervisors, making it easy to track the job location and allocate them remotely.
- Enable auditors: Auditors have access to videos for performing remote audits. As the videos are auto-tagged with annotated images, they provide details about the real issues and respective solutions.
3. Smart Dashboards: Provide end-to-end visibility of jobs, driving smarter actions for management and business. The dashboards can spot trends, predict actions and offer recommendations. Executive decisions like provisioning equipment, sending the right teams, and obtaining the appropriate permissions can be completed faster, with greater accuracy.
Figure 2: Smart dashboards
With the successful implementation of the AI-powered video intelligence framework, service providers in the connectedness industry can achieve:
- 3X acceleration of Install to Commission cycle time
- 90% less failed handovers due to digitalization
- 60% reduction in field data quality snags/issues
- 30% cost-savings across the field operations
I appreciate the efforts of my colleagues Sabharinath S- Manager, Operations; Richard Abraham- Senior Project Manager, Operations and Deesha Chaware- Manager, Strategic Insights, for their contributions and continuous support in writing this article.
By Rajesh Khanna Jalandhar
Director – Delivery Lean/Consultant
Rajesh Khanna has 20+ years of experience in the IT/ITES/Telecom Industry leads RPA Delivery & Process Consulting team in Chennai, India focusing on Automation and Transformation projects across different accounts. He is instrumental in streamlining and optimizing operations by implementing Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
Rajesh is a certified Lean practitioner and ISO auditor. He has led process improvement initiatives through lean six sigma methodologies, automation, and kaizen. Executed multiple consulting projects aiming at eliminating waste, improving accuracy, cost-benefit, cycle time reduction, productivity improvement directly impacting the bottom line.