Differentiating the three Ds in field service — digitalization, digitization, and digital transformation — is critical. The digital world assists the field service industry with everything from invoices to job completion. It is a new world, where analog is replaced by digital, creating an imperative need to understand the terminology.
Today’s field service workers have digital information at their fingertips to provide high-quality customer service. Digitalization means letting go of old analog methods and embracing the new digital age. Digital hesitation is one way the field service industry can hamper growth and customer service.
Gartner defines the word digitalization as “the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business.”
Digitalization is critical to invoices and the pay cycle that keeps field service organizations in business. Shortening the service-to-cash cycle in the field service industry is essential for getting invoices paid promptly. Digitalization makes faster cycles available to field technicians. In addition, automated customer support channels help with invoicing and customer service. Digitalization means keeping current with industry standards and telemetry in a solutions-oriented manner. Digitalization makes it easier to manage and allows the tech to use a relatively low-cost automating process.
In the current economic climate, timely paid invoices are essential. Unfortunately, many companies have only digitized their invoice workflow and have yet to apply digitalization. However, digitalization allows invoices to generate in real-time at job completion. Recently published white paper, Improving the Service-to-Cash Cycle & Boosting the Service P&L Through Digitalization, from Field Service News and Gomocha states: “In a world of digitalization, if we are not providing our field service technicians and technicians with a clear and quickly surfaced overview of both the customer and the asset, then we are restricting their ability to work effectively, efficiently, and profitably – all of which adds even greater pressure on service-to-cash cycle.”
Webster’s definition of the word is the following: “Digitization is the process of converting information into a digital format. In this format, information is organized into discrete units of data called bits that can be separately addressed, usually in multiple-bit groups called bytes.”
Digitization is crucially at play in field service management. Most of the field service industry has moved away from paper-based signatures, opting for digitization rather than digitalization. According to the white paper from Field Service News and Gomocha, digitization means converting an analog process into a digital one, such as receiving a PDF of a bill online instead of a paper one in the mail. In addition, digitization increases productivity, where all information is centralized and available to team members in real-time, saving endless hours of paper-chasing.
According to Accenture, “Digital transformation is the process by which companies embed technologies across their businesses to drive fundamental change.”
Digital transformation means increasing first-time fix rates by having more digital and digitized information available 24/7, which gives field services technicians greater insight and enables them to improve first-time fix rates. Seamless ordering is a valuable tool for technicians that comes with consistent digital transformation. These empowered technicians can work more efficiently due to transformation, reducing person-hours.
Digital transformation further enhances a more robust service-to-cash cycle. New service revenue streams depend on a digital vision moved forward within the company to improve efficiency and the bottom line. Managing, mobilizing, and monitoring are three key methods for digitizing your company’s entire service lifecycle.
It’s critical to manage processes better, automate where you can, and mobilize your workflows through digitalization. It is also essential to monitor your assets, productivity, and processes while adapting to the digital world. You run at a considerable disadvantage if your field service organization isn’t evolving with digital transformation. Leaders must work with solution providers that understand their business and help them improve profitability by embracing the digital revolution.
Whats is digital transformation? Accenture, Accenture.com.
Gartner Glossary: Digitalization, Gartner, Gartner.com.