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A Younger Field Service Workforce Helps Firms Stay Competitive

February 11, 2015

There was a time when the field service industry worried about having an aging workforce. Those days are gone.

The Aberdeen Group recently released a report that showed the average age of the field technician to be 32 years old. Fully one fifth of field technicians now are under 30, in fact.

This has huge implications for how field service will be conducted in the coming years. Having a young field service workforce is useful given that the tools available to field service are changing rapidly, and there are new opportunities for businesses that are able to leverage these tools. Having young, tech-savvy workers makes that opportunity all the easier to seize.

Smartphones and collaborative platforms are dramatically changing what businesses can do in the area of field service.

In terms of data and information, smartphones enable field service workers to easily plug into knowledgebases and quickly grab information needed to perform their job at the top of their game.

Particularly useful is the easy access of video from mobile devices. This can help young field service technicians easily touch base with their more experienced counterparts in a company, and enable visual knowledge exchange. Telling someone how to solve a problem is useful. Showing them how to solve a problem is far better.

The value or real-time communications in the field service industry can hardly be overstated; the ability for technicians to quickly talk and chat with each other in the field is huge, and this new communication tool already is driving more efficiency at firms that use it.

Having younger workers that are comfortable with these new technologies is key, even if technologies like real-time communications are easy to use. Adoption a key component, not just ease of use. Younger workers are more willing to use technology such as real-time communications because they also use this technology at home in their personal life. They’ve grown up around it.

This is reflected in the data, too. Aberdeen found that 62 percent of top field service organizations have incorporated a bring-your-own-device strategy to their operations as a result of having younger workers who naturally gravitate toward such technologies. Roughly 43 percent are more likely to give technicians access to social media and collaborative tools to facilitate knowledge transfer, Aberdeen found.

Field service is changing, and we’ll all benefit from this trend through the improved service it brings.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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