Small Telcos can use Field Service Solutions as a Force Multiplier
It’s 5:40 p.m. at one of many small telcos in the midwestern U.S. An alarm is going off in the network.
Frederick, a field service technician already out on an installation job, gets a notification on his mobile device. There’s a failed card in a multi-service provisioning platform, just a few miles from his position. And there’s no one else from the company in the area.
The field service and dispatch app installed on his mobile device quickly sends him the job location and details. It also sends a list of potential reasons for the card failure, downloadable maintenance manuals for the equipment, and directions on where to get a replacement card.
As a result the equipment is repaired quickly and efficiently. This leads to minimal network downtime, with data on the incident automatically uploaded and stored in the appropriate back-office systems.
This is just one example of how small telecom companies and service providers are increasingly using field service solutions. They include a web dispatch console, mobile apps and an open API to improve processes and quality assurance.
The perfect data storm for small telcos
Indeed, the combination of affordable cloud services, skyrocketing data demands thanks to ubiquitous connectivity and the IoT, and an uptick in extreme, equipment-damaging weather means automating and streamlining field processes is more important than ever for telecom companies and service providers.
For small telcos with limited resources, tighter margins and a relatively modest team of field technicians, the need for efficient and automated processes to ensure reduced downtime and limit human error is even more critical.
Cloud-based field service solutions can streamline auditing, installation, maintenance and repair processes, while also:
- Using automated workflows to manage work and tasks like pre-filling routine information, saving data to the network, and notifying clients and managers
- Fully integrating with back-office and enterprise systems using an easy, fast, secure, no-code connection
- Reducing data loss and errors via repeatable sections and dynamic checklists
- Making field technicians more efficient and effective, safer, and trackable via GPS and other data points
- Eliminating software, network or database maintenance by IT
But what about inspections?
Dispatching software and mobile workforce apps are also a force multiplier for small field groups, who usually can’t keep up with their demanding schedule of installations and critical repairs. Many smaller telecom companies simply can’t afford to hire dedicated inspectors. The job then typically falls to technicians who already have a host of other responsibilities.
In this environment, it’s easy for routine inspections and audits to fall by the wayside – until a major problem develops.
But when using field service software, there’s no more filling routine or repetitive information as with traditional paper forms. There’s no more dealing with not having the proper forms in your truck. Technicians can take a photo, label and upload it, and the inspection is done: there’s no additional paperwork or trip back to the office to worry about. And if connectivity is bad, they can use offline forms and upload the information later.
This all means that Frederick, to come back to our earlier example, suddenly becomes much more efficient.
It means his inspections take less time, and are probably more accurate. It also means he can do more of them with less effort. He’s also more likely to perform an inspection while out fixing that malfunctioning MSPP card, so he won’t have to come back and perform other critical repairs in a few months or so.
Because when an inspection becomes simple, while also freeing up time and making a technician’s life easier in the long run, there’s a better chance it gets done. And that saves everyone grief down the road.
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