The Role of Technology in Field Service Management
By Sudheer Kumar Shetty, Director, Service Transformation, Otis Asia Pacific
1.How IoT is Changing the World of Field Service Management (FSM) Across Industries
New technologies are transforming the way we move, and rapid urbanization has made elevator and escalator technologies more critical. At the same time passengers have new expectations for their residences, workplaces and recreational spaces and as a result our customers need service that is faster, more customized and more digital.
In today’s Smart Cities, everything is being tracked using the Internet of Things—from automobile traffic to package deliveries to air pollution. In our industry, we are uniquely positioned to really understand traffic patterns inside the walls of a building. We collect significant amounts of data to understand how buildings operate, how buildings are used, how people actually move through buildings; so we can get them to their destinations quickly, safely and comfortably. Data can move between walls, but people cannot. How we utilize this information as an industry is something we’re after.
Signature Service is the reinvention of how we offer service solutions for our customers.
• It is more than a philosophy or brand—it is personal service designed to deliver the functional building blocks customers need in today’s digital age.
• Signature Service is built on our investment in three core areas:
• Personalized and unique services designed for and in collaboration with our individual customers that blend modern intelligence with our legacy of personal touch.
• The creation of safer and smarter workforce.• Intelligent technologies built on the backbone of IoT that can predict issues before they occur, diagnose issues remotely and better connect our workforce to our equipment and customers.
2.How to Use Big Data to Improve Field Service
Since the ‘80s we’ve been remotely monitoring elevators and we already have more than 300,000 units connected around the world. We’re leveraging this experience to offer IoT-based products that use data from the world’s largest elevator service portfolio to predict maintenance needs, address issues before a breakdown and respond faster when a customer needs us.
We surveyed our customers and aggregated their feedback to understand what is most important to them:
Uptime, transparency and personalization emerged as the biggest customer needs.
We are also inventing a new generation of elevators that are connected, smarter, data rich and more efficient and comfortable. Using sensors and new digital technology, our next generation of elevators will be an integral part of the connected building and enable even more proactive service solutions and remote capabilities to reduce downtime.
3.The role of AI in Field Service Management
Our new digital platform, Otis ONE, offers proactive data analytics and predictive maintenance to help avoid equipment disruptions and reduce downtime. It is the result of deep industry research and Otis’ technology expertise.
Otis ONE offers users an integrated digital package of proactive data analytics, maintenance services and predictive capabilities that improve maintenance, transparency and traceability with a faster return to service.
• 24/7 active monitoring offers real-time elevator status and proactive action to keep customers’ equipment up and running. Otis contacts customers to alert them to issues and solutions (instead of customers calling Otis).
• Embedded IoT tools enable a personalized experience by making management easier, system performance better and putting relevant information at your fingertips, whether you are the passenger, a facility or building operator, or maintenance personnel.
For example with Otis ONE Campus View, the health report for the full customer portfolio of elevators and escalators can now be viewed instantly on a single graphical map, including real-time positioning of each unit so customers can check portfolio health at a glance. This can be multiple units in a single building or units across multiple buildings.
Future proof: Built as a “living” product, Otis ONE was designed using direct customer and passenger feedback and over time will continue to add new capabilities based on emerging customer and industry needs.
• For example, we are currently piloting voice and voice assistant technology to improve the way our elevators interact with disabled passengers and to become an entertainment and information source for passengers during their ride.
4.How Mobile Technology is changing the Field Service Industry
Our new service digital ecosystem is powered by 68,000 employees, including 33,000 technicians and mechanics, and accelerated with the strength of UTC, including its United Technologies Research Center and Digital Accelerator resources.
• In the field we have deployed smart phones and applications to many of our mechanics around the world including Asia Pacific key countries.
• Our team has built, piloted and continues to enhance our service apps portfolio with tools that help technicians be more proactive and effective by utilizing apps that expedite and enhance parts ordering, customer communication, predictive maintenance, and ride quality as well as apps focused exclusively on employee safety by empowering our technicians to work smarter for our customers and safer for their own and family’s well being.
• As part of our smart phone deployment, we’ve deployed a digital collaboration app to mechanics to aid communication and global collaboration by removing language barriers and helping customers reap the benefit of the knowledge of our more than 33,000 technicians and mechanics in real-time.
We lead from the bottom up—field employees surface ideas to make service smarter, easier and better for the customer and then they support global teams to create and implement solutions. We now have more than 1,000 employee champions to help deploy new technologies and support change management.