The Power – and Perils – of Visibility
Visibility helps everything fall into focus – just don't let it lead you astray.
Manufacturers, Are You Ready for Some Fancy Footwork?
The first step on the path to digital agility is to assess where you are today, so you can take the right steps to get where you want to be tomorrow.
Podcast: How Software Can Transform Field Service Ops
Listen to a new Leaders of B2B podcast episode featuring Zinier's CEO.
Podcast: The One with Zinier's CEO
Listen to a new podcast with Zinier's CEO Prateek Chakravarty about field service management, making an impact, and binging on Friends.
Ten Tools to Build Consensus for Your Next FTTH Field Service Solution
Bringing all your stakeholders together is a key part of the deployment of any new technology solution. Here are some resources to help you do just that.
FTTH Time to Value, Now in No Time Flat
Need a new solution for fiber-to-the-home field service -- and need it ASAP? We've got a new FTTH Accelerator Package just for you.
Three Ways Fiber-to-the-Home Providers Can Leverage AI
Find out how AI-driven tools can be leveraged in a variety of tasks.
Three Crucial Tactics for Keeping Your Customers In the Loop
Keeping your customers in the loop is easy, with Track My Technician and other essential Zinier tools.
Three Ways Remote Assistant Supercharges Field Operations
Remote Assistant is a powerful tool for optimizing your field service operations. Find out three ways it can help you boost your performance metrics.
Getting Into the Fast Track
Introducing the Z-Scale, a quick way to gauge whether your field service operation is crawling, walking, running -- or ready for a pair of rocket shoes!
Efficiency: The Unsung Hero of Sustainability
When enterprises boost the efficiency of their field service operations, they often help their organization achieve both financial and ESG objectives.
Four Keys to Customer Happiness
Are your customers engaged and enthusiastic about their interactions with your field service operation? Here are four ways to make sure they are.
Making a List, Checking It Twice
We’ve put together a checklist for field service teams working in one of the fastest-growing markets today: installing and maintaining fiber-to-the-home service. The checklist covers: Field Assessment and Survey, Field Operations System, Effective Coordination of Contractors and Full-Time Employees, Asset Views for Field Team, Constant Communication, Customer Engagement, Optimized Execution
Choosing the Right Field Service Software
A video tour of Zinier's no-code customization capabilities
Got a Minute? Watch 2 Cat Videos – or Trim $10K a Month From Your Field Ops Expenses
We recently spent a day with a leading fiber-to-the-home installer and helped them identify how to save time and money with updates they could implement in a matter of minutes – not weeks or days.
Recipes for Game-Changing Field Service
At Zinier, we create powerful field service solutions by thinking in terms of “recipes” – combining ready-to-use ZiniApps to create customized workflows in a matter of minutes.
The No-Code Customization Revolution
Why do we make it so hard for the 2.7 billion deskless workers in the world to have meaningful workflows? Although they comprise the majority of the workforce, nearly all workflow tools are designed with deskbound workers in mind. For those working in the field, the only portal they have to the digital wonderland is often their own mobile phone. No double-decker large-screen monitors. No unlimited storage devices. No printer. And no IT support down the hall. But somehow, these field workers still manage to build, maintain, and enhance the world’s infrastructure. Imagine what they could accomplish if they had workflow tools that were designed specifically for them – not just with the functionality they need, but with an appropriate user experience.
Untangling Workflow Workarounds
Every day, many companies turn operational efficiency in the field into a powerful competitive advantage. And it’s easy to see why: Efficiency typically translates into cost savings, which can give your company a price advantageWhen you reduce glitches in the field, it can translate into greater customer satisfactionWorkers who feel their contribution is valuable – and valued – tend to stick with their employer longer, a critical outcome with today’s widespread labor shortagesYou might think you’ve got a pretty good handle on efficiency – your metrics seem fine, or at least you know what areas you need to focus on. But there’s probably something lurking in the shadows that’s holding you back.
The Power of No-Code Customization
One useful way to think about your field service software solution is to break it down into a series of workflows. Field technicians perform a particular workflow, while backoffice personnel follow different workflows. There are workflows related to the details of specific assets and inventory. There are workflows that tell you what to do when a problem crops up, and there are workflows that spell out how to maintain your equipment to prevent those problems from popping up.
Breaking the Bias
March is Women’s History Month and home to International Women’s Day (IWD). This year's IWD theme is #BreakTheBias which urges an attitude of intolerance to biases, with the goal of creating a more inclusive, gender-equal world.
When EV Met 5G
When new technology sparks a new opportunity, it often brings new complexities. And as new generations of the technology emerge, you might suddenly start to feel like you’re trying to fix a flat tire while the car is still cruising along at 75 mph. If things go well and demand surges, you’ll need to somehow manage to scale – while somehow still providing a top-notch customer experience.
A Valentine's Day Wish for Everyone in Field Service
Are you ready to F A L L I N L O V E on Valentine's Day? Skip the online dating apps and the magic potions. And forget the bloated custom solutions and the limited off-the-shelf software. Find your perfect dream date and you can have it all:
The New 80/20 Rule for 2022
You know the old 80/20 rule, right? ”80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.” Well, there’s a new 80/20 rule for 2022: “You can get 100% of what you need, for only 20% of the resources you expected.” How is that possible?
Managing Success at the Speed of Light
The stand-up comedian Steven Wright had a great line about success: “If at first, you don’t succeed, then skydiving definitely isn’t for you.” Sometimes, however, success can also be pretty nerve-wracking. And that’s especially true in fast-growing, highly competitive markets like providing fiber-to-the-home Internet service.
A Brief History of...Desks
In the 20th century, the image of an endless stream of people heading out to work in offices full of identical desks arrayed in endless geometrical patterns was what many people thought of when they thought of going to work. In movies from 1928’s silent classic The Crowd to 1960’s The Apartment, this image became wedged into the popular imagination.
A Brief History of...Chat
Sure, you're familiar with how chat works on your phone (even if you have no idea why one of your friends got the “happy dance” emoji you sent while another person only got a box with an X in it). But chat has been around a lot longer than smartphones. And it's used for a lot more things beyond food, pets, kids, and relationships.
The payoff from adding visibility to your legacy apps
Success brings its own unique blend of strengths and challenges. For one multinational technology company – 150 years strong with $6+ billion in revenues in 2020 – the company enjoyed a long history of innovation targeting a broad range of service providers. But while that track record has helped the company grow an enviable reputation, it’s also generated a trail of legacy apps to maintain. Over the years, that patchwork of legacy apps was further complicated by a corporate history involving many acquisitions.
Finding the Right Path for 2022
For decades, deskless workers have largely missed out on the benefits of the digital transformation of business processes. Field service technicians and others who don’t begin and end their day at a fixed location are often left out of conversations about leveraging technology to boost productivity and other crucial metrics. That often leaves deskless workers to fend for themselves, and that ultimately hurts your company’s bottom line. And in 2022, that’s not just a double-edged sword – it’s a triple-edged one. Leaving deskless workers – who actually make up the majority of the workforce – out of your analysis of business processes – undermines your company by:
3 Steps to Maximize the Profit of Your Field Service Organization
For several years now, companies have been trying to turn their field services from cost centers into profit centers. Of course, making that shift is easier said than done, and most of those companies spend years trying—and failing—to realize a profit from their field services.
Solving the Broadband Divide Starts with Infrastructure
In the U.S., broadband internet access has become essential. Quality internet service is required to complete homework, access telehealth services, and work remotely. Despite this, millions of Americans still have limited access to high-speed internet due to the broadband divide.
Time for a change with field service scheduling
Here's a simple question: "Are you ready for anything?” Sounds simple – but it can actually mean a couple of very different things. It could mean “Are you prepared for any unusual circumstances that might crop up out of the blue?” But it can also mean “Is there anything that you’re truly prepared for?”
A Conversation with Toshiba IT and Zinier on Field Service Automation
This article originally appeared in Japanese on https://k-tsushin.jp/ as well as Ishin’s Management News No. 56 (March 2021). Strengthen "Rush Support" for On-site Work by Automating Operations with AI. Toshiba IT Service Co., Ltd. handles "field services" such as inspection and construction of servers and network equipment. The company is currently working to improve the efficiency of related operations because field services that require sudden operations such as "rush response" require prompt personnel arrangements and proper management of maintenance parts. Here, we interviewed Mr. Sugiyama of Toshiba IT Service and Mr. Ono of Zinier who supports the company through business automation. They shared the details of improving work efficiency.
Uberization - The Future of Field Service Workforce?
When was the last time you called a cab company to book a ride to the airport? Feels like ages ago, doesn’t it? With the increased convenience brought about by Uber®, calling a cab is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. This is the age of ‘Uberization’. If this demand for instant service can be satisfied in the consumer market, we can bring it to Field Service too.
Visibility: The Magical Power Your Field Service Operation Needs
Field service operations would be completely different if we took our cues from the Harry Potter stories. There were few things Harry cherished more than his cloak of invisibility. Under its spell, Harry, Ron, and Hermione could zip around Hogwarts undetected so they could...well, no spoilers here. Suffice it to say that without the ability to roam about unseen, there might well have been no sequels after the first book.
Five for Friday: Top Predictions for 2021? Cloud, Cloud, Cloud...and Cloud
As 2020 slowly sails into the sunset, a few trends for 2021 are becoming clear: The impact of the cloud will expand, security risks (and solutions) will proliferate, and low-code development will graduate from a nice-to-have to a must-have approach to application development. And if you're counting down the seconds until we can finally turn the calendar to 2021, you'll be glad to learn about a more accurate way to count those seconds in this week's roundup of technology trends you need to know about.
FCC Action Underscores Need for Resiliency in Field Service
Throughout 2020, field service organizations have experienced a nonstop parade of major disruptions to their operations. We’ve had to reconfigure our standard operating procedures to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. And many regions have had massive disruptions from natural disasters on an unprecedented scale.
5 Things to Know About How Customization Supercharges Field Service
Every field service operation is unique. No doubt your operation has many characteristics in common with other operations but, like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike. The ability to create a customized solution is crucial for today’s field service operations. And it’s also a bit like a three-legged stool – it only holds up if you have all three legs working together. And there may be more than three legs involved, as you’ll discover in this quick cheat sheet to get you up to speed on several different aspects of customization.
Five for Friday: Farewell, Arecibo, and Welcome Back, Vinyl
The number of large-scale automation initiatives has nearly doubled in the past year, according to a new survey by Deloitte. Find out why in this week’s roundup of five quick reads to keep you up to speed on the latest news and notes about the technologies driving the momentum that’s ushering in a new era in field service. (New technologies like, you know, vinyl.)
5 Things to Know About Predictive Maintenance for Field Service
Predictive maintenance helps field service operations get a better handle on whatever’s coming up just down the road. If you’re not familiar with how predictive maintenance can help you, we’ve pulled together a quick cheat sheet to help you get up to speed.
Five for Friday: Black Friday Edition, Part Deux
Still looking for holiday gifts for that special field service professional in your life? (Or a few hints you can drop to your friends and family about gifts you wouldn’t mind receiving?) Here’s the second installment of our top ten gift ideas (you can find the first five here).
The Greatest Inventors You've Never Heard Of
Where does innovation come from? You’ve heard the stories of legendary inventors like Thomas Edison toiling away late at night on hundreds of failed efforts to develop a viable electric lightbulb before finally finding a filament that worked. You also probably know plenty of stories from the legendary hotbeds of tech innovation such as Bell Labs, Xerox PARC, and Apple.
Five for Friday: Black Friday Edition
Depending on your point of view, 2020 will either be one of the easiest years for gift giving – or the most challenging ever. On the one hand, it seems like many people are grateful these days for even the most modest tokens of appreciation.
ServiceMax, ClickSoftware, IFS, PG&E Alums Join Zinier to Build the New Era of Field Service Automation
To say 2020 has been full of surprises is an understatement. We’ve seen it all this year (I hope) from the expected everyday surprises to the unexpected disruptions that will shape the way we live and work for decades.
Need Some Help Planning for 2021?
Want some guidance for your organization’s field service automation roadmap? Join us for one of the following free webinars coming up this week – we’d be happy to help you ratchet up your operations.
Five for Friday: Neuromonitoring and murmurations
One thing's for sure: The workplace is changing. Between automation, AI systems giving you a friendly heads up when you're down, and MC Hammer popping up where you least expect him to, the workplace is a whole new ball game.
Five for Friday: Harmony in the hybrid workforce, and more
This week’s roundup of tech tidbits to get you up to speed kicks off with some generally upbeat news about automation offering a helping hand (rather than a threat) in the workforce, 5G providing a boost to healthcare, an AI-driven alternative to frustrating political polls, and some tips from “an MIT-trained engineer, astronomy geek, and an adventurous foodie” who, in his spare time, is also Zinier’s CEO.
Five for Friday: Extra-spooky Halloween edition
It’s going to be one of the spookiest Halloweens ever. In addition to the general weirdness in the air, watch out for digital ghosts, an arms race among our robot friends, the nightmare-inducing memory of a great white shark, and children with scary names.
Five for Friday: When big data filled the entire room
This week, we’re flipping around our customary five tidbits from the week’s news about AI, IoT, 5G, and related topics and turning them into quiz questions you can ask your friends and family.
How to Think About Low-Code Technologies
When many new technologies first arrive on the scene, they’re often ushered in with the expectation that they can (or should) only be used by specially trained personnel. That usually changes once a technology becomes successful. Somewhere along the line, the technology evolves into something that just about everybody can use on their own, without requiring any special skills or training.
Coping with COVID-19: A Conversation with TCS
As announced last month, Zinier has partnered with TCS to launch a digital solution built on the Zinier platform to provide functionality that helps field service teams adapt to new requirements driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. TCS has extensive depth and breadth of experience helping customers in a broad range of industries respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
The New Resiliency
You’ve heard the phrase “the new normal” many times over the past several months. You know that many things about your life and your work will be different, for a long time to come. But what exactly does this new normal look like?
Five for Friday: In-space field service, some light calculus reading, and more
Here are a few after-hours ideas from the worlds of field service, technology, and startup life.
180 Days Later: Lessons Learned From COVID-19
Today, we’re facing a global health crisis unlike any in our lifetime. And while it might sound a tad draconian to describe any aspect of COVID-19 as ‘good’, it has forced us to adapt and innovate at a pace that would have been unthinkable just six months ago.
Don’t Let Your Field Operations Turn Into a Rube Goldberg Machine
COVID-19 has revealed a lot about the way we live and work. Some of these lessons (“washing hands actually works!”) are obvious. Others are a bit more surprising, like our ability to become Zoom experts overnight. And some – like our sudden appetite for Rube Goldberg machines – are completely out of left field.
Doubling Down Before the Double Whammy Hits
I’m an optimist at heart. It seems like we’re turning the corner in our response to the pandemic. We’re not out of the woods, but the business world is re-engaging some practices that have been on hold for months.
Smarter Hardware Needs Smarter Software
Electric utility companies are projected to install over one billion smart meters by 2024. And that is just the top of the iceberg — driven by smart energy initiatives, utilities are transforming how power is managed.
What COVID-19 Means for Electric Utilities
Our world runs on power. That reality has never been more evident — or starkly presented — than in the last three months, as the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the world and forces billions of people indoors.
NATE Unite: 5G, Workforce Development, and Building a Culture of Safety
As wireless carriers race to deploy 5G networks, field service organizations are being pushed to do more than ever. There’s just one problem – an entire generation of technicians is nearing retirement age, and it’s creating a shortage of experienced workers.
The Next Generation of Field Service: Training Strategies for Millennial Workers
This article originally appeared in the January – February issue of Tower Times, the official magazine of NATE, the Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association.
Building a More Flexible Workforce With Uberification
The workforce is changing. Over the last decade, field service has gone from an industry that relied on the skills and expertise of grizzled veterans to one that is increasingly turning to contractors and on-demand workers.
Five Digital Transformation Mistakes to Avoid
In 2012, Procter & Gamble set out to become the “most digital company on the planet.” The consumer goods giant invested heavily in new technologies and advanced analytics, hoping to transform every aspect of its operations – from the way it managed relationships with retailers to the way it created molecules in its R&D labs.
Three Things Field Service Organizations Can Learn From Black Friday
Thanksgiving Day, 2008. Hundreds of people began lining up outside a Walmart in Long Island, New York. By Friday morning, the crowd had swelled to more than 2,000 people.
Getting Executive Buy-In On AI And Emerging Tech
Driving north on the 101 from Silicon Valley to San Francisco, there are dozens of billboards promoting new artificial intelligence (AI) ventures.
Get More Out of Feedback Loops With AI
On a crisp winter morning in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Wilbur and Orville Wright made history when they achieved the first powered flight. With Orville behind the stick, the plane traveled nearly 120 feet on its inaugural flight.
Introducing ISAC: AI-Driven Insights & Recommendations
The field service industry is at a pivotal crossroads. Margins are shrinking, the volume of work is increasing, and customer expectations around the speed and quality of service have never been higher.
Predictive, Not Reactive: The IoT and Field Service
Predictive maintenance is the future of field service — and it just may be the present. Here’s what you need to know about implementing predictive maintenance in your organization.