Field force resources represent a massive cost to infrastructure providers. Not only are the out of pocket expenses for sending experts into the field high, but after adding in the time it takes to mobilize, travel, and repair issues, the lost revenue resulting for service interruptions could be massive.

The term field force refers to the experts and technicians that go out and perform both routine and emergency maintenance on equipment in the, you guess it, field. Logistically, you can’t always predict when and where experts will be needed, and many times, it is not cost effective to keep SME’s on hold.

Oil and gas companies have it especially difficult. Out at sea, oil rigs may be staffed with as few as a couple dozen people at any given time. When something goes wrong, really wrong, and the rig is shut down, experts need to be flown in, sometimes resulting in costs upwards of $60,000 a day!

This is where field force optimization comes into play. Enterprises are already equipping resources with tablets and applications which improve ticket issuing and resolution, but this is only one step towards the goal of achieving a Zero Labor Model. What if, you didn’t need to send experts to the field? What if you could guide less experienced technicians through more complicated tasks.

Here is where the power of wearable technology comes in. Smart glasses, such as Google Glass, are uniquely equipped to solve the key challenges facing today’s field force

  • Ticket issuing
  • Guided procedures
  • Over the shoulder coaching

Using platforms such as APX Labs Skylight, enterprises can easily locate and issue support tickets to the nearest technician, providing step by step instructions for completing the task, as well as enable the technician to video call an expert for advice in real time.

By creating these quick feedback loops, technicians can get more done, in less time, at a significantly lower cost than sending SME’s on-site to make the repair. Wearable technology is here to stay, and we are seeing the industry shift towards rugged, field ready, enterprise grade devices.Enabling the field force to do more with less, is a huge leap towards our goal of Zero Labor, one that should not be taking lightly, but at the same time, can provide an enormous return on investment.

If your company is managing a large field force, maybe it’s time to start thinking about ways to optimize your processes and maximize the returns on your field force resources.

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Twitter: @aj_bubb
Blog: AJBubb.com
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