How Integrated Solutions Yield Superior Medical Device Field Servicing

8/12/2019 / Field Service / Katia Loboda

Highly specialized medical technician in sterile coveralls, safety glasses, and gloves holds microchip showing image of brain.

Physicians, hospitals, and patients call on medical device service organizations to keep equipment functioning properly and safely. But an increasingly crowded marketplace means medical device field service companies face mounting pressure to cut operational costs while delivering the higher value service consumers expect, including:

  • Maximized equipment uptime
  • Decreased time to resolution
  • First-time fix
  • Remote and self-service resolution

To overcome industry challenges and meet customer expectations, these companies need to use integrated solutions for field services.

Facing Challenges in Today’s Medical Device Industry

In the medical device industry, customer experience is all-important, even more so than in other field service verticals.

Why? Because the difference between a successful and unsuccessful customer experience can literally be the difference between life and death.

Physicians and their patients want speedy test results, accurate analysis, and diagnosis. Equipment malfunction and downtime are unacceptable.

Servicing complex medical devices typically requires great expertise and training from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Due to these special circumstances, the medical device space feels the field service industry’s skilled labor shortage more acutely.

The industry’s current period of consolidation only compounds medical field service businesses’ difficulties. Mergers and acquisitions are at an all-time high. To survive, companies must struggle to differentiate service offerings, retain and retrain skilled technicians, cut operational costs and increase field service revenue.

Integrated Solutions Help Overcome Field Service Challenges

To take on today’s challenges, many companies servicing medical devices turn to robust field service management (FSM) software programs that bring visibility and efficiency to the entire service lifecycle.

Let’s look at four specific ways you can use an investment in FSM mobility solutions to improve your business and its results:

1. Empower Technicians with Mobile Solutions

The desire to equip and empower field technicians with specialized information is a main reason companies adopt advanced FSM solutions, according to an Astea co-sponsored WBR Insights Report. That same report finds a majority of service companies believe field service has a direct or indirect impact on patient experience.

To ensure the best possible service outcomes, and by extension patient outcomes, field staff must not be in the dark. They need remote access to your organization’s knowledge base of customer and asset information.

A fully-featured FSM solution like Astea’s Alliance Enterprise makes this level of connectivity between field and back-office staff possible through a mobile app designed specifically for technicians. Through it, technicians can check:

  • Repair and maintenance histories
  • Scheduled maintenance
  • Contract and warranty information
  • Previous job notes and customer interactions
2. Grow Revenue with the Help of Remote Connectivity

The knowledge base your technicians hold in their hands can also serve as a springboard to revenue growth.

Customers receive technicians in the field as on-site experts and masters of their trade. Empowered with a 360-degree picture of the customer history and asset lifecycle, they’ll know what additional services the customer may find beneficial, and can offer them on the spot.

When technicians use an FSM software to draw up contracts, create invoices, and process payments, they can easily and quickly close sales in the field.

3. Retrain Staff Using New Digital Tools

Male medical field service technician in safety goggles uses precision tools to repair a circuit board from a healthcare robot. Your technicians may need additional training before you integrate sales responsibilities into their jobs. They’ll need to practice making a basic sales pitch. They’ll have to learn the soft and persuasive skills required to upsell and cross-sell.

Instead of hosting time-intensive workshops that eat into technicians’ productive hours, you can upload on-demand videos and tutorials to your knowledge management system so staff can complete training at their leisure. You can take advantage of these same knowledge management features to train staff in new technical skills too.

And many FSM platforms can integrate with augmented reality technologies, allowing technicians to learn through simulated repair scenarios before they perform complex fixes in the field.

4. Optimize Your Workforce to Cut Operational Costs

To deliver higher value service without blowing up the budget, you must manage your fleet and workforce as efficiently as possible.

Astea’s customer self-service portals and auto-populated work orders reduce labor, duplication, and error in scheduling.

In addition, Alliance Enterprise’s automated dispatch scheduling engine uses demand forecasting, technician profiling, and historical patterns to remove scheduling inefficiencies.

It also analyzes such telematics data as fuel consumption, miles covered, idle time, and routing to help you further optimize scheduling and reduce the cost of fleet management.

Stay Ahead of Your Competition with Integrated FSM Software

An integrated field service solution helps you achieve end-to-end visibility and a greater level of efficiency in your service operations.

The right field service solution helps your organization:

  • Cut your field service operations costs.
  • Meet the market’s demand for maximum equipment uptime.
  • Capitalize on your opportunities to grow revenue.
  • Sharpen your workforce’s ability to meet evolving challenges.

Want to find out more about how important an integrated FSM solution for medical device servicing is? Download the Astea-WBR Research report, Benchmarking Medical Field Service Management and a New Generation of Integrated Solutions.

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