Arka Dhar

Apr 5, 2019

5G and the Human Logistics Nightmare

Field service organizations face a unique set of challenges with the 5G revolution just around the corner. One of the most pressing is building workforces that can tackle the rollout and maintenance of exponentially larger, more complex networks.

To understand the magnitude of these issues, let’s look at what’s happening on the ground. Field service organizations today are heavily reliant on an aging fleet of technicians managed by frameworks out of the 90s. As a result, business leaders and back-office coordinators have little visibility into the larger system, allowing inefficiencies to run rampant.

Field service leaders are looking to a variety of solutions, one of which is hardware. As the groundwork for 5G is laid, much of the new hardware is connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). Data streams turn into torrents, adding silos of unprocessed information to the plates of IT managers.

Faced with these hurdles, companies have tried to move fleets toward better digital solutions. Unfortunately, experienced technicians tend to push back against new, complicated software that disrupts their familiar processes and previous training. This leads to every manager’s nightmare: fractured implementation. But with the current management systems, it’s an uphill battle to attract and retain younger hires on platforms wholly unintuitive to a digital generation. This creates a zero-sum game where overtaxed fleets cannot attract new hires without using systems that alienate the experienced core of the company.

5G brings this issue to the brink. The existing inefficient systems simply cannot scale to meet the maintenance complexity of running a 5G network — making digital solutions an imperative. That said, many field service processes are inherently inefficient: simply digitizing paper forms doesn’t improve or optimize work speed, it just changes the medium. Instead, organizations need a platform capable of capturing data and removing bottlenecks, freeing technicians from unnecessary manual tasks.

Across the board, technicians demand a solution that intuitively provides non-disruptive benefits – without slowing them down; companies need field service systems that can scale to demands unlike any before. This is where AI changes everything. Data entry no longer has to be a manual task, automation makes it possible to free technicians from checklist documentation. Today a technician can simply take a photo of an on-site issue and with the touch of a button, AI can recommend the needed part. Team coordinators can see when sites are likely to need maintenance due to aging, weather, or any number of monitored factors. With the touch of a button, they can dispatch a crew to preemptively stop unscheduled downtime. It enables system health to be a self monitored job, reducing the challenge of scaling from an HR nightmare to just another data point.

Ultimately, choosing a modern field service solution for your team isn’t just about pacifying the workforce or solving the technical challenges of 5G rollout. Zinier’s goal is to power this future where leaders do not have to choose between existing workforces and delivering on the future of wireless. Modern solutions should provide intuitive platforms that both empower the workforce and enable the future of connectivity.

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