2013 Predictions in Field Service

Posted by Michael Runshe

Fri, Dec 28, 2012

field service predictionsIt is time to break out the crystal ball and take a look at some predictions for the field service industry. While no one can accurately predict the future, there are some interesting trends that have started in 2012 that may continue well into 2013 and beyond.

For your business, take a look at these predictions and compare to your current business plan. Are there opportunities to adjust your plan?

  • Marketing – the field service industry has typically used traditional methods for advertising and marketing such as television and radio ads, newspapers, fliers and yellow pages. There is an exponential shift for customers of all types who are looking for service businesses. Internet and mobile advertising is taking the marketing industry by storm, and the majority retail consumers and B2B companies are searching online first before looking anywhere else. Carefully review your marketing spend and tilt the percent more towards online marketing while still keeping a modest footprint with traditional marketing.

  • Weather extremes – the United States has seen some unusual weather patterns in 2012, and these are expected to continue in 2013. Hurricanes, tornadoes, and damaging snow storms can have an impact on your field service business. Carefully consider your disaster response plans and prepare accordingly to help your community or to travel to other areas that may need your business.

  • Economy – while there have been some modest signs of improvement, 2013 is expected to be very much like 2012. Fuel expenses will continue to cripple all types of businesses, and the field service industry will continue to feel this pinch. Consider applying a temporary fuel surcharge for customers that require travel beyond your optimal service areas, and commit to removing the charge when fuel prices go below a certain threshold. Consumers will continue to postpone routine maintenance and preventative care for HVAC, plumbing or electrical work. Consider running a campaign to encourage routine maintenance and offer discounts to customers who participate in a scheduled maintenance program.

  • BYOD – a greater number of companies will adopt the bring your own device (BYOD) policy where employees can utilize their personal laptops, tablets or smartphones for business use. This will apply even more pressure for enterprise software providers to offer solutions that can run on mobile platforms, and could potentially pose some human resource or business policy issues around how the devices are managed and secured.

  • M&A – mergers and acquisitions such as the recent announcement of Citrix acquiring Zenprise will continue into 2013 as the mobile device management (MDM) market prepares for a rigorous round of consolidations. Partnerships such as AT&T and Ericsson to provide software as a service (SaaS) in the healthcare industry is another example of this trend. This may mean a lot of instability regarding pricing but it could prove to be good overall for businesses as the platforms and management capabilities stabilize.

  • Security – part of the dark side of the booming mobile device industry is the potential for security breaches, malware and viruses. Expect at least one significant event in 2013 that will adversely impact a mobile platform in some way.

The opportunities in 2013 are great, but they can also become a hindrance if businesses are not prepared. Planning is the key to take advantage of these trends and to help in building your business success.

Tags: Field service management software, Field Service Management for Enterprise, Field Service Management for Small Business, Mobile Workforce Management, Developments in Field Service Management