28/09/2020 - 18:16

Businesses must embrace technology to survive and thrive

28/09/2020 - 18:16


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This year has been a turbulent time for all Australians. As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, business leaders are forced to re-evaluate every facet of their organisation.

Stephen Keys, Regional President for Asia Pacific & Japan, Middle East and Africa at IFS

There is a renewed focus on integrating systems that assist the economic recovery effort – maintaining operational continuity, supporting the safety of employees, establishing reliable customer service and building long-term resilience.

We have observed widespread investment in emerging technology to build resilience and continuity. IFS’s most recent Digital Transformation Investment in 2020 and beyond research revealed 58 per cent of Australian businesses are actively looking to increase their spend on digital transformation projects. Even the Australian Government is searching for opportunities for diversification, establishing a national Technology Investment Roadmap to spark jobs growth and secure long-term economic growth.

A significant aspect of strategic planning in 2020 revolves around digital transformation within field service management. But, as an essential component of service delivery, many leaders frequently fail to recognise the benefits and invest in the right areas for their business.

So, what are these key areas and why should business leaders pay attention?

Drive cost savings by investing in real-time scheduling and optimisation

Driving a significant return on investment and achieving field service goals in a disruptive market is reliant on real-time scheduling and optimisation. Investing in the latest technological solutions will improve the agility and adaptability of all processes and methods of product delivery, while alleviating the financial risks of a volatile market.

As an organisation that prides itself on a ‘For The Challengers’ mentality, IFS was recently named as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for field service management (FSM), which is a testament to its long-term product investment strategy and focus on the growth of FSM. A recent IDC report also found customers using these types of solutions experienced a 33 per cent improvement in technician productivity and a 20 per cent increase in equipment uptime.

Take advantage of intelligent forecasting tools and leverage role based operational dashboards

Having access to high quality and accurate forecasting tools amid a global pandemic is paramount for businesses looking to maintain continuity, and thrive in the ‘new normal’. These types of solutions have become more intelligent over time and allow organisations to prepare for a wide range of scenarios. Business leaders must reconsider the types of tools they have integrated to ensure scenario planning (e.g. economic downturn stress testing), is both accurate and flexible.

Effective operational decision making should also utilise role-based dashboards with real-time visibility. IFS’s Lobby solution enhances application usability by centralising data, increasing visibility of key metrics and providing real-time information. Leaders that rely too heavily on historical data will struggle to remain competitive in the modern-day market.

These tools are paramount for retaining and satisfying customers and this is especially true for businesses that need to quickly respond to unforeseen market challenges.

Invest in remote accessibility technology

Although remote working solutions have been rolled out rapidly, they are now a cornerstone of Australian businesses – as a business tool that provides resilience and flexibility. As outlined in the recent IFS and KPMG webinar, Australian companies are searching for new technology, like digital twin technology, to enhance the performance of employees – especially for frontline workers. These types of solutions deliver greater value to businesses constrained by physical distancing restrictions.

At IFS, we have seen the benefits of this digital integration approach with the swift rollout of our Remote Assistance solution for Munters, a global leader in energy-efficient sustainable air treatment solutions and customer of IFS.  With a heavy reliance on in-person interactions with customers and employees, Munters found it increasingly difficult to continue to engage with customers and employees during physical distancing restrictions. In collaboration with IFS, Munters implemented technology and practices to enable remote working and customer assistance during this period; connecting 200 employees, across 22 countries, in just two weeks.

This year, we are not only focused on helping our customers achieve continuity in an extraordinary operating environment, but are searching for opportunities to help our customers thrive in their industry sector.

The benefits of digital transformation in every aspect of FSM are clear and businesses that wish to thrive in tomorrow’s market, and accelerate beyond their competitors, must embrace digital transformation as a strategic cornerstone.


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