An inability to provide real-time asset information to engineers in the field, combined with a lack of flexibility to reschedule their work dynamically, could be costing European businesses five billion Euros each year, according to pan-European research from LogicaCMG.
The report reveals that field service crews in the telecoms, utilities, transport and allied service industries spend over a third (39 per cent) of their time back at base or en route to jobs, and only 61 per cent of their time performing tasks in the field. By reducing travelling time and increasing productivity, companies with 500 field workers could achieve annual cost savings of almost two million Euros each.
Survey respondents felt that remote access to real time information on the location and status of assets could solve the productivity problem. They believe that this would save eight per cent of travelling time and increase overall productivity in the field by nine per cent.
There are big differences in productivity between the industry sectors analysed by the report. For example, European utility field service teams spend a lot more of their time (42 per cent) on non-productive tasks compared with telecommunications companies (34 per cent).
The study highlighted the top concerns of European field managers. An inability to reschedule workloads while engineers are on the move (80 per cent) was the highest frustration overall causing a negative impact on productivity and customer service. This issue was highest for field managers in utility companies (83 per cent) and lowest for those in road and rail (76 per cent). The inability to get real-time information to engineers was the biggest concern for airports (84 per cent) and improving customer information while at a call out was highest for utilities (84 per cent) and for telecommunications companies (86 per cent).