Advanced AI is rapidly transforming the technology landscape in ways that most of us couldn’t have predicted just six months ago. Soon, GPT will power the next evolution of field service work. But how?
Generative AI has the potential to revolutionize the field service industry, offering myriad benefits for worker safety, asset management, and overall efficiency. However, it’s essential to design for trust, prioritizing ethical considerations and adhering to best practices to ensure the responsible and sustainable use of this powerful technology.
Ways GPT can power field service
GPT-powered AI has the potential to optimize a wide variety of field service tasks from knowledge and asset management to scheduling. For example, a mobile worker could get a starting summary of their shift, in simple natural language, without having to scroll through pages of info to pick out what’s most important. Operations leaders can further shift from reactive to preventive maintenance of their equipment, using predictive models and asset history – which reduces downtime and lowers maintenance costs.
But to get the most out of GPT for Field Service means designing and implementing strategically to supercharge your teams and their productivity. I recently had the chance to chat with Nick Mraz, Strategic National Install Manager at Pella Corporation, to get his thoughts on how generative AI will affect his coordinators, installers, and factory workers. He told me that, at Pella, there are more than an octillion (you read that right!) different permutations of their custom products. So, using generative AI to assist coordinators would 1) improve accuracy and efficiency and 2) improve coordinators’ day-to-day experience.
Making GPT for Field Service Human-centric
At Salesforce, we design and build ethical and inclusive field-service management tools – and generative AI is no exception. Asking field service teams to lean into such a pivotal new technology requires a massive amount of trust. So, all of our GPT for Field Service features use the groundbreaking Einstein GPT Trust Layer to ensure accuracy, safety, and privacy. GPT-powered field service can bolster worker safety and job satisfaction by:
Helping workers better manage their day.
Research shows that mobile workers value autonomy and flexibility over their schedules. As use of drip-feed increases, workers don’t get a good picture of all their jobs for the day. That can have a negative impact on job satisfaction. Use generative AI to design a daily pre-work summary to give technicians an overview of their full shift as they start their day.
Delivering mission-critical information at exactly the right time.
Generative AI can bundle all the relevant information for a job and deliver it to the technician ahead of time. This means technicians don’t have to hunt for knowledge articles. Mraz asked: “How can we present information so that employees can spend time making decisions and preventing issues rather than firefighting and jockeying the system?” Bring your teams into a design sprint to help you right-size the information you share with technicians to avoid cognitive overload.
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Assisting with hazard identification.
Generative AI models can analyze historical data and real-time sensor information to identify potential hazards – like extreme weather or exposed wiring. This helps technicians take proactive measures to minimize risks. Build in a feedback mechanism so workers can help fine-tune when the model generates a false positive or an inaccuracy.
Optimizing routing for safety and efficiency.
Generative AI can analyze traffic patterns, weather conditions, and other factors to create optimal routes for field technicians. And unlike traditional mapping tools, companies can use their own historical logs and set constraints within a GPT. This can minimize travel time, improve fuel efficiency, and protect drivers from unsafe situations. You can even provide workers and dispatchers autonomy to fine-tune routes based on on-the-ground knowledge.
Improving customer satisfaction.
Field service workers, more than any other frontline worker, consider themselves as brand ambassadors and customer advocates. Generative AI can anticipate equipment issues to minimize service disruptions and extraneous service calls. Proactive maintenance ultimately leads to higher customer satisfaction.
And remember: GPT can’t do field service directly, but it can augment and empower the people who do. As Nick Mraz said, “Reducing the mental load makes happier, more consistent workers. [But window] installation is not going to be ‘robotifiable’ anytime soon.”