Just like countless other businesses in the field service industry, antenna installation has also been experiencing the powerful effects of modern technology on its day-to-day functioning. Cloud-based data storage is allowing field technicians to access crucial project information remotely; big data analytics is making it possible to predict and prevent mishaps and crises in the field; augmented reality is changing the face of antenna repair and maintenance work, and IoT (Internet of Things), or IIoT (the Industrial Internet of Things), is increasing the connectedness of teams in the space. But what about the role of technology in scheduling? What is ‘scheduling mobility’, and why does antenna installers need it?
Recent technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence are absolutely transforming the way antenna installation companies manage their teams’ schedules. This is leading to the minimisation of mishaps and hiccups and the maximisation of time and resources. And ‘scheduling mobility’ is nothing but the ability to dynamically and swiftly alter and adjust technician schedules, through the use of technology, in order to maximise efficiency and minimise downtime. But is it a necessity? It is. And here’s why:
Information and Accountability
Thanks to field service organisations’ new-found reliance on the cloud, project information is more centralised and can be accessed remotely too. This means better transparency and awareness of the schedules and availability of other team members — the surest way to ensure that the gaps in some technicians’ schedules are filled optimally while also making certain that other technicians aren’t overburdened. This is crucial in the business of antenna installation since clients can’t be kept waiting.
And with the transparency that comes with using IoT-driven techniques comes the added benefit of increased accountability. As and when they realise their teammates are swamped, unwell, or otherwise unavailable, other members of installation teams can pitch in to complete tasks. This puts the onus on them and gives them the opportunity to learn more too.
Routes and Emergencies
A major aspect of scheduling in antenna installation is route planning since the business requires workers to make trips to clients’ homes. And thanks to some of the absolute latest technologies — particularly predictive software solutions — the process is now more streamlined than ever before. With the real-time data that GPS and various apps provide it has become easier for technicians to avoid delays and jams and make it to their sites on time. This is crucial from a scheduling point of view since it helps to stick to plans and manage time effectively.
Another crucial player when it comes to handling routes and even field emergencies is artificial intelligence. AI-driven solutions can both predict and prevent, allowing installation and maintenance teams to avoid periods of downtime and better plan travel time. The scheduling elasticity that AI provides makes emergencies easier to take on too since low-priority jobs can be rescheduled on the go and workers can be redeployed to the emergency locations.
Costs and Revenue
Scheduling mobility and the role that technology plays in it are a combined necessity when it comes to mitigating lost revenues, reducing overall costs, and boosting revenue generation. First, software-based systems lower MRO (maintenance, repair, and operating) inventory and other material costs. Second, antenna installation companies can benefit from immediate maintenance savings. And third, cost-effectiveness in terms of service dispatch and delivery will start to boom since ML- and AI-backed systems will manage scheduling and rescheduling requirements, effectively eliminating the costs that would otherwise go into having resources in place for the same purposes. For instance, real-time travel data can help cut back on mileage reimbursement costs!
Productivity, Profitability, Performance
Finally, given that they work wonders in all the areas above, data-based scheduling techniques are unsurprisingly the best way to boost productivity, profitability, and performance through increased mobility. Software solutions minimise inefficiencies, such as wasted time slots in technician schedules, therefore enabling organisations to earn more and spend less. In other words, scheduling mobility enabled by IoT-based technology is a sure-shot way for antenna installation businesses to generate profit and perform exceptionally well in the field and otherwise.
Scheduling mobility is a definite necessity if a well-oiled antenna installation business is in mind. And in 2019, antenna installation businesses that are quick to adopt such smart software solutions have a much better chance to thrive and stand out from the competition.