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Operational Intelligence Uses in Field Service Management


Welcome to the third instalment in our Operational Intelligence series. Previously, we have taken a deep dive into the definition of Operational Intelligence and the differences between OI and Business Intelligence (BI). We have also looked at how OI works and why it is important to field service management organisations. It is only fitting that this third instalment will outline what operational intelligence in field service management can look like and what specific use cases we feel are most relevant to you.

Gathering Field Service Data

Field service capabilities such as mobile apps and IoT solutions are enabling organizations to capture more data about field service performance, equipping management with more information of field operations over time. In essence, having access to vast amounts of quality data on all aspects of field service delivery should be a huge competitive strength… right? Well, interpreting big field service data to support real-time decision-making is growing harder every day.

Field Service Intelligence: Operational Intelligence & Business Intelligence

With big data, the sword cuts both ways. Traditionally, any increase in the volume of data captured requires equally more resources to extract business value from it. Although various intelligence and analytics solutions have made their way into market to help simplify this, they tend to focus on providing a Business Intelligence (BI) capability exclusively.

BI interprets historical information captured, stored, and processed by the organisation. By analysing historical data, trends in performance data will emerge and management can therefore implement changes to daily operations in response. In principle, this is very useful to field service managers and is a desirable component of a field service intelligence solution. The picture however is incomplete as potentially detrimental issues are only flagged later, generally after the damage is done.

A true field service intelligence solution compliments Business Intelligence with Operational Intelligence (OI). In essence, OI moves business intelligence towards the holy grail of ‘here & now’. OI as a methodology enables management to drive immediate action in response to real-time performance intelligence. If you’re reading this and you happen to be a field service manager, here is the key takeaway from this article: OI when combined with BI drives significant improvements in the management and performance of your field workforce. Armed with detailed field service intelligence, volume of jobs, SLA compliance, first-time fix rates and customer satisfaction rates, operational efficiencies can be optimized as daily operations take place. This greatly improves productivity, responsiveness, profitability, and the quality of work delivered to your clients.

OI Features for Field Service Management

Using Operational Intelligence in field service management seems like a match made in heaven. The five features which we feel really exemplify this are real-time monitoring, KPI & SLA compliance, on-demand report generation, obsolescence monitoring and predictive analytics. Below are a couple of scenarios based on our Insight solution which put these OI features into context.

Scenario One: KPI & SLA Compliance

A potential SLA breach in the making is flagged to a service planner before it happens. This notification is supported by the necessary information required to reprioritize and reassign work, and ultimately resolve the open issue. Assuming this predictive notification prevents your organization from suffering even one SLA breach in a day, this quickly equates to tangible improvements in customer satisfaction while enhancing service quality and profitability.

Scenario Two: Real-Time Monitoring of Availability

A worker has completed their requested work order ahead of schedule, clearing the morning and early afternoon work quickly and efficiently. A co-worker at another nearby site takes unwell during the day and must suspend completing work at their site immediately as part of the organizations’ duty of care. A second site-visit being arranged for another day will inconvenience the customer and waste time. To avoid this, the nearby worker with a clear afternoon schedule is actively reallocated to the co-workers’ tasks in real-time.  This maximizes worker productivity whilst delighting customers and easing pressure on future workloads needed to play catchup.

Scenario Three: Training and Development

A field service planner uses an operational intelligence solution to gain visibility on team performance by comparing one region against another over a set time period. The planner can see in real-time that technicians completing the same work in region one are significantly outperforming technicians in region two. By identifying this lapse in field performance, the service planner can compare factors such as first-time fix rate, job duration, training completed and tenure there and then. By measuring this in real-time, an opportunity for training and development emerges. The planner can now arrange for this training and anticipate future performance based on this, driving continuous improvement of service delivery.

Real World Examples of Operational Intelligence

As these scenarios show, the ability to take corrective action before a problem occurs is incredibly powerful in the management of field service. OI saves wasted time and resources whilst fostering a more productive mobile workforce who can provide a superior customer service. Having an OI solution set up to meet your specific needs allows benefits to be experienced immediately. This also provides an opportunity for your organization to fine tune the understanding of performance data and how to use it.

To close out this article, we have pulled together specific, real-world examples which show the benefits using operational intelligence can bring to a variety of field service sectors and industries.

Industrial Imaging & Manufacturing: Konica Minolta

Konica Minolta, Inc. is a multinational manufacturing company of industrial imaging products for a global customer base. Konica Minolta implemented our Insight field service intelligence solution to monitor company KPI performance against predetermined thresholds. A particular focus was placed on ensuring daily first-time fix rate target was met, alongside task completion tasks. This was measured on a by team and by worker basis.

The results? With Operational Intelligence, Konica Minolta found an estimated yearly Roi of £5.5million. Staff performance was enhanced with a 33% increase in tasks carried out per day. The average work score metric increased by 10% and staff attrition reduced by 50%. Overall, the increased output was equivalent to 100 extra workers (with none of the associated costs). Read more on Konica Minolta here.

Housing & Facilities Manufacture & Install: Baxi Heating

Baxi Heating is a leading smart energy provider based in the UK. As providers of integrated solutions for domestic and commercial heating, Baxi implemented Insight as a complete field service intelligence solution. Insight measures technician performance against set standards and escalates in real-time any issues that require attention from management. For Baxi, having an OI solution is core to keeping customer SLAs and ensuring high quality service and engagement.

The results? OI has facilitated a 25% improvement in visit response time. This was met with a 21% increase in workforce productivity, providing the additional capacity of 40 additional staff. Baxi have reported advances in NPS scores and call center response times. Site revisit times fell from 6 days to 3.5. Read more on Baxi Heating here.

Closing Thoughts

Operational intelligence perfectly supports and enhances field service management. For the savvy field service organization who is looking to the future, OI represents an incredible competitive advantage. ‘How will I know it’s working?’ I hear you ask. Your customer retention and satisfaction rates will speak for themselves. This is thanks to a more effective, more productive mobile workforce who can complete more jobs in less time. The bottom line: better service, delivered more efficiently while requiring fewer resources. If you’re feeling energized and ready to demo an operational intelligence solution, we can naturally only recommend one… Insight by Totalmobile.

Totalmobile ‘Insight’

Insight by Totalmobile is a complete field intelligence solution. Insight specializes in providing in-depth access to real-time data and visibility to all aspects of service delivery. Sound good? Check it here and as always, thanks for reading.

For further information on our products, demo's and sectors we serve :
Edward Bell

Edward Bell, Totalmobile's Content Strategist, shapes and delivers compelling content spotlighting their unique SaaS solutions. With 6+ years in MarComs, his journey spans diverse marketing roles, driven by tech passion. Edward fuels Totalmobile's mission, educating and advocating for impactful solutions across sectors, ensuring ROI for customers.