Article contributed by Brad Hawkins, Senior VP of Products and Solutions, ServicePower
From autocorrect to facial recognition, artificial intelligence is rapidly growing — touching multiple aspects of individuals’ lives.
However, not all are eager to utilize this emerging technology. According to a 2022 study, less than 7% of businesses have adopted AI technology. Whether it’s fear of the unknown, hesitancy to buy into a trend too quickly or concern about how deploying new technology could impact the company; clearly business leaders should consider all aspects of AI before rejecting or accepting an AI-based solution.
AI-driven field service management solutions for food and hospitality appliance maintenance are evolving alongside technology, enhancing processes for the field service industry and, in turn, elevating customer experiences. For field service managers looking to level up processes and customer experiences, these are just a few examples of how an AI can help improve the field service fulfillment process:
Reduce human error
One of the biggest draws of AI is its ability to decrease the opportunities for human error to be introduced. In field service management, this can look like predictive and proactive maintenance. By tracking service parameters with IoT triggers, a field service technician can be notified and proactively informed about the necessary repairs or maintenance, reducing the pressure on restaurant and food service managers to describe what indicators flag maintenance. Additionally, AI can scan for redundancies — ensuring that the technician has a clear picture of the job and can make the repair efficiently.
Eliminate scheduling headaches
AI scheduling allows field service managers to leverage data to make the best decisions for allocating technicians based on availability, skill set, supply inventory and how long it takes the technician to arrive at the job site. By ensuring the technician is the best possible fit for the job and arrives at the food service site with everything they need, jobs are smoother and faster.
Scheduling changes for appliance repairs are annoying for both technicians and food service managers — costing valuable time and resources to communicate and coordinate rescheduled appointments. AI scheduling tools remove this headache by simply running a technician search through the algorithm to find the next best technician with the resources to complete the job. With a customer portal, the food service manager will receive real-time updates, with visibility into who their new technician is and when they will arrive.
Communicate with ease
Food service managers want maximum visibility into when repairs or maintenance will occur. With an intelligent and secure technology solution, technicians can access information about service jobs from anywhere, on any device. With the ability to answer questions from food service managers on the go or provide updates about what to expect upon arrival, progress toward a repair can start before the technician even arrives.
Most importantly, food service managers can provide images of broken appliances for field service managers to review when assigning technicians. With a clear photo of the repair, the technician is empowered to speak directly with the food service manager to resolve the issue without depending on administrative assistance to coordinate communication.
In addition to saving communication time by removing the need for multiple phone calls between administrative assistants and technicians, AI powers route optimization tools for technicians. Instead of wasting time comparing routes, AI uses traffic and weather data to identify the most time-effective way for technicians to arrive at their job site.
Additionally, AI helps technicians keep track of inventory in their vehicles and ensures that the technician assigned to the job has what they need to complete the repair in one visit. By removing the need for multiple visits, both food service managers and field service technicians benefit, reducing costs and saving time for both parties.
Across the board, AI undeniably holds the potential to simplify the appliance repairs process for food service managers — saving valuable time and money. When considering what appliances warranties to purchase or which company to service broken machinery, identifying a maintenance provider that invests in AI technology can pay dividends.
Brad Hawkins has been with ServicePower since 2004, where he currently serves as Senior Vice President of Products and Solutions and oversees operations, development and product management. A long time veteran in the world of field service technology, Brad brings more than 20 years of experience in work force management software.