AI in Field Service Management: Buy Vs Build

While discussing modern field service management with prospects and existing customers, one question that is often asked, especially by internal IT teams is “Can’t we build it ourselves?”

Great question! A classical ‘buy vs build’ scenario for field service management software!

Let me share some thoughts. Theoretically, most of our customers had the technical capability to develop their own field service management application. But they were not satisfied with just a “good enough” field automation solution. Our customers realized the value of digitizing field service requests and managing them on a cloud-based field service automation platform. The imperative was a best-of-breed solution to match that huge potential so that their own team is not bogged down by such a humongous task and have bandwidth freed for other strategic work and keeping the lights-on!

Today, more than 40000 mobile workforce, field engineers and service technicians use the Dista platform for orchestrating various field operations. In addition, over 280k jobs per month are allocated through our platform. Many of our customers are large enterprises with operations across diverse geographies. They have vast technology teams with expertise across multiple hardware, software and platforms. However, they recognize that something as critical as field service management needs a dedicated platform, with continuous improvements that stand the test of the ever changing tech landscape. An in-house field service application would never scale as it becomes legacy as soon as it is released.

The Age of Artificial Intelligence in Field Service Management

This merit of buy over build in field service management becomes even greater with the introduction of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Why? It goes back to those monthly 280k work orders or jobs that are managed on the Dista platform.

For AI, data is fuel. You need a certain level of data to train statistical and mathematical models and write machine learning algorithms. This means that the ability to deliver this is always skewed in the favour of independent software providers whose storage of relevant data is huge as compared to what any service organization may have in-house. In addition, the cross utilization of best practices from other industries as well as geographies is something that best of breed software companies possess for their particular solutions.

The terabytes of service requests executed through Dista include work orders from different industries and every business use case in field service (on-boarding, sales, service, delivery, repairs, maintenance, renewals, replacements, etc.). This allows the AI-infused Dista field service platform to continuously learn and identify—quickly and at scale–field service more accurately than any company could hope to develop in house.

Apart from automating routine field tasks, AI can empower service organizations to graduate to the next step of field service maturity by providing the ability to answer questions like –

  • Do I see a spike in service requests in the holiday season?
  • Do I need to consider hybrid labour model?
  • How can I reduce back and forth communications by personalizing field service?
  • What is the likelihood of a first-time fix?
  • Can I predict equipment failure and proactively alert the customer?
  • What spare parts do I need to stock up on in winter?

Agile Deployments

In today’s age, you not only need to have advanced capabilities but you need to deploy them quickly. Gone are the days of lengthy procurement cycles, heavy infrastructure set-ups and going through multi-year implementations. Our customers swear on the fact that they saved years of development time by deploying Dista’s platform instead of building a system in-house. Dista is an AI enabled intelligent and easy to use platform with agile deployments where you can go-live in weeks not years.

Field Service Management Software - Buy vs Build: Takeaways

The up-side of buying best of breed applications is that you get a focused set of features to take care of specific tasks related to your business. Rather than compromising on functionality, independent software players have modular applications, easy integrations, wide range of upgrades which are automatically applied to your system. This means that companies can make use of a future-proof solution that is insulated from being obsolete technologically due to other business priorities. And with the next wave of technological breakthrough, you can be sure that you’ll be one of the earliest ones to have that for improving your field service!

The future of field service management is artificial intelligence driven by data. Therefore, companies should take advantage of the massive benefits SaaS providers that already have that data can deliver for their enterprises. Buy it, because you can’t build it! Given the complexity of the field service, better sense will prevail in purchasing a best of breed software.

Want to experience how intelligent your field service can be? Get a look at our field service management software today!