The Importance of Autonomy in the Field

Having worked together on an exclusive new Field Service News White Paper, Kris Oldland joined Martin Knook, CEO of Gomocha, to discuss the autonomy of field technicians in the field.  

In this engaging, long-form discussion, the two discuss the modern tools available to field service organizations as we see the emergence of next-generation field service management software and how combining both centralized and decentralized approaches to field service is increasingly possible.

In this part of the discussion, the two explore how providing our field service engineers and technicians with autonomy on-site can drive efficiency and delight customers – a vital benefit of the decentralized approach.

This interview is part of the FSN PRO library of premium content. It is available in FSN’s free subscription tier FSN FREE. Make sure you log in to view the complete whitepaper and videos.  


The following is an excerpt from Field Service News’ video: Interview: Centralizing Decentralization, featuring Martin Knook, CEO, Gomocha

Kris Oldland: And then where the decentralized aspect of this comes in is making sure that the technician has support with all the remote capabilities. We can have all of the data that we can give them, we’ve put everything in their power to help them make the right decision. But ultimately, we’ve also given them, and perhaps this is where it comes down to a more strategic level, we’ve given them the autonomy to say, right, this is the final decision that needs to be made. And let’s bring that back to a service discussion. We’re given the autonomy to say, these are the parts that I need to order to get this fixed. We’ve done all the triage by everything we know we can’t fix this remotely, is essentially no-fault. We’ve isolated the number of options that are here, we need hands on site. Friend, I want to get credit for so many smart homes, on site that fully empowered with that can then have that autonomy say, right, I need to do this, I need to this this asset needs to swap out. I can get this run into the client for the next two weeks, whilst we keep things interesting. But if you’re on a six-inch capacitor, whatever it is, that layer of autonomy, that’s that kind of it’s the last mile of the marathon. Almost. Your thoughts on that?

Martin Knook: So, it’s very interesting, but unfortunately, we do know Neil Armstrong’s decision, and we do not know the centralized decision. So, it would be a fantastic case to discover what kind of criteria with decentralized data set, the knowledge that that we got at that moment in time, what would be the decision that that had been made from the centralized perspective? And what would have been the decentralized decision? So, the decentralized decision is known. But the other, not to me; maybe NASA knows, but they haven’t made that publicly available. But it’s an interesting kind of comparison there to make. Because, indeed, my point is, I see our field service technicians as Neil Armstrong’s right, they are extremely knowledgeable, they are extremely important for our industry, they are in the field providing that service, ultimately, but with the advanced technologies that we currently have, we’re basically putting higher requirements because we can provide them with more information. If we know the root cause we can send them the spare parts, head off where they are. And that’s what I see some of my customers really aiming to organize or have already organized; where spare parts are readily available for a technician to come on site and solve the problem at a first-time fix. So not to make an assessment, but you bet you can stretch that knowledge that digital knowledge you have, because you basically have a digital twin there for, the assets you have. And if you have a digital twin, you can basically decide what needed to be replaced, or what are the two or three most likely scenarios that need to be replaced. So, you can organize that in a much better way. But in the end, the autonomy on what to do in that situation is still with that individual that kind of is there. And can just sense and see and hear, and can apply his knowledge to that moment in time and make the right decision. And that’s I think we’re really the comparison, but Neil Armstrong goes into the real kind of benefits from all the technology. So, you can become much more efficient by getting your sub processes to support the field engineer with data with spare parts with knowledge with alternatives, but even kind of options to replace and upsell the situation to your customer. But in the end, the decision is there and that needs to be a certain autonomy because you expect more knowledge to be available there in the field. You will only keep knowledge when there is some autonomy; there are no people that are well-educated and say, I will do exactly what the computer says. Right so that’s where I think the tradeoff there you know comes to play you know you need to kind of rely on the expertise of your field service engineer based on that moment in time.

End of Transcript 

This blog was originally posted on the Field Service News blog, The Importance of Autonomy in the Field