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Responsive field service: the right model to keep operations moving

Responsive field service

Service organizations typically provide field service through either centrally managed technicians dispatched from a principal location or regionally managed technicians based locally. Each approach offers benefits but also fundamental disadvantages that can prevent a swift resolution to critical service issues.

In the event of an unplanned outage, the mission-critical nature of automated systems magnifies the cost of downtime. Beyond the cost of equipment repair and idle workers, the loss of throughput levies the highest expense. Minimizing downtime requires a quick, effective service response from technicians with a specialized skillset and high degree of operational, mechanical and controls system familiarity.

Existing field service approaches are limited
Centrally managed programs leverage an extensive maintenance database with service logs and equipment performance data to determine the best solution for a particular issue. However, drawing from a central pool means a technician who may be unfamiliar with facility staff and equipment arriving late to the scene due to travel time.

In contrast, regional operations offer lower travel costs and faster response times, and often deploy technicians familiar with the facility. However, these local operations fall short due to inadequate central oversight, often lacking consistent quality control, scheduling efficiency, technical training and system knowledge on par with large national operations. The right skillset to address the issue may not be available, causing longer repair times or inferior work.

The solution: robust central management and responsive local support
With advances in cloud-based databases and scheduling systems, innovative field service providers can now offer a regional model that blends the intelligence of central management with the quick-response of regionally-located technicians. 

Central management can remotely connect with technicians strategically-located in logistics hot spots to quickly respond to a service call with a local technician backed by a robust depth of knowledge based on the service provider’s entire installation base. This not only provides the fastest response time and highest quality work, but is also a cost-effective option thanks to reduced travel requirements and lost productivity due to downtime.

Response time and travel cost
Response time plays a critical role in minimizing the cost of an outage. See below for a comparison of response time and cost for centrally and regionally based programs:

Central (6 hours, $670)

  • Last-minute airfare ($500)
  • Ground transportation ($90)
  • Lodging ($80)
  • Transportation to and from the airport, boarding and flight time (6 hours)

Regional (1.5 hours, $30)

  • Ground transportation ($30, 1.5 hours)

For more information, read the Honeywell Intelligrated white paper "Responsive field service: the best of both worlds" and contact us to find the best field service program that fits your operational needs.