Zinier CEO Prateek Chakravarty

It might be hard to rely on your crystal ball for signs of what might be in store in the coming year, since there’s a good chance that it got shattered when you threw it against a brick wall at some point in the last few years. Between COVID, Brexit, and supply chain breakdowns, crystal balls haven’t been much use lately.

But – fingers crossed – the world is getting back to normal. We took a look around the field service industry and spotted 7 trends coming our way:

Strike Up the Bandwidth 

Demand for bandwidth for both home and business applications will drive demand for fibre-to-the-premises. In the business world, new applications for analytics and business intelligence driven by big data, glitch-free video, and emerging applications using technologies for enhanced realities continue to drive ever-greater levels of bandwidth.

Meanwhile, on the home front, factors like the sustained popularity of remote work will continue to drive demand for the highest possible bandwidth and reliable up time. (Entertainment applications will also drive demand as well; video games such as the latest releases of Warzone and Call of Duty in November led to the busiest traffic days ever for Virgin Media O2.)

Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real-Time Thing 

Field service operations will increasingly expect real-time functionality that delivers immediate and sustained productivity gains. For example, dynamic audits streamline the workflows of time-consuming reviews, with tools that automate the process of cataloging audit-related documentation and analysis and recommendations based on those documents.

Stand By Your Plan

Going hand-in-hand with real-time optimization and real-time collaboration are tactics for improving your capacity planning processes ahead of time, so you find yourself in hot water much less often. For example, Black & Veatch highlights one of its key strengths as an infrastructure engineering and construction contractor: an approach that “simultaneously manages the delivery of entire project portfolios, benefiting our clients in ways that wouldn’t be possible if managed individually.” The company has developed a blended capacity model in which B&V employees, its customers' employees, and third-party contractors are all factored into the overall project plan.

With a similar objective of providing robust demand forecasting and capacity planning, Zinier has developed products geared specifically toward automating and optimizing capacity forecasting, planning, and utilization.

It’s Not So Cheesy Being Green

ESG and sustainability goals will drive many companies to seek out ways to modify their field service operations to reduce their carbon footprint. Community Fibre’s commitment to its ESG goals starts at the top, with CEO Graeme Oxby chairing the company’s “Green Team.” The company is migrating its diesel vans to electric vehicles, and is seeking ways to improve the way it manages inventory.

In addition to enhancing its inventory management product, Zinier offers tools for resource and scheduling optimization to help turn these goals into a reality.

‍Getting Better All the Time

Many of those same ESG goals will support improvements in efficiency as well. As broadband provider Midco notes on the company’s website, “innovation is helping Midco become more socially responsible – from using more energy efficient equipment, logistics improvements to get more trucks off the road, and testing energy efficient power solutions for our team members in the field.”

Why Don’t We Do It Without Code?  

The value of low-code and no-code customization capabilities will drive expectations among operations seeking to liberate themselves from lengthy time delays and expensive development cycles that limit their agility or their ability to quickly adapt to changing business requirements – especially as they race to scale quickly.

As Community Fibre’s Head of Quality and Operations Improvement Tom Heywood noted at the Connected Britain expo in September, “When you’ve got small customer numbers, it’s very easy to develop small workarounds…. What became apparent to us was that if we were to continue with homegrown systems, we would very quickly essentially need to turn ourselves into a software company.”

With the advent of no-code customization, on the other hand, field service operations can implement workflow changes in a matter of minutes.

Keeping the Customer Satisfied

As the ISPA UK has noted, there’s a shift taking place in the fibre-to-the-premises marketplace. In previous years, investment in the sector has been driven by a simplistic gold rush mentality, with success gauged solely on total homes and businesses passed and the cost to provide service to those premises. That doesn’t mean the race to capture market share is slowing down – it just means the tactics are changing. Increasingly, “investors now take a keener interest in the relationship between providers and their customers.”

For field service operations, that translates into ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction which, in turn, is driven by greater visibility into customer-facing operations, improved performance in being on time for those appointments, and improved first-time fix rates to avoid frustrating your customers.

Get in touch with the Zinier team: doug.mccullen@zinier.com