The simPRO Blog

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The future of field service with the Internet of Things

Isn’t it funny how quickly science fiction can become reality in today’s world?

In 1966, Star Trek first showed us the ‘communicator’, then, in 1973, Martin Cooper made the first phone call on a portable cell phone. In 1870, Captain Nemo travelled on the Nautilus, a submarine, in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and in the 1960s, The Jetsons used robotic vacuum cleaners.

We first started talking about the idea of smart devices in 1982; the first internet-connected device was a modified coke machine. How many internet-connected devices have you got within a five-meter radius of you now?

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Making metrics honest with the internet

Almost every product or service imaginable these days has a website where anyone with an opinion can rate or comment on the product they purchased or service they received.

And thanks to the smartphone, this can be done instantaneously.

A movie-goer can tell anyone interested if a flick is a dud or a must-see before they’ve even finished watching it. My wife and I love how we can check a restaurant’s rating while sitting in the carpark trying to determine if we should dare venture into a new place to eat.

This has put a lot of power into the hands of consumers, which I’m very much in favor of. My question, however, is how are rating sites going to affect field service companies, and should these companies be worried?

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Google’s ‘Jacquard’ meets field service

I recently came across an article about a new product that will premiere in the spring of 2017. It’s Google’s ‘Jacquard’ and it’s the first (but certainly not the last) piece of connected clothing to hit the market.

In a partnership with Levi’s, Google has created what they call “interactive denim” – indistinguishable from Levi’s traditional denim but loaded with sensors that can detect hand movements.

The pitch is that a wearer can interact with with Google Maps, Spotify, phone calls, texts (and many more apps to come) by simply touching the sleeve of their jacket.

After I finished reading the piece, my tech-curious mind immediately asked: “How will this technology find its way into the field service industry?”

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Five (other) reasons to consider GPS fleet management in your business

Think you know all there is to know about the benefits of GPS fleet management software?

Now that the GPS tracking industry has matured and most businesses have been approached by GPS tracking vendors, many business owners and managers know the core functions of GPS tracking that provide the ROI (return on investment).  

But you might not be aware that there’s more to tracking than these core functions.

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Empowering your managers to create autonomy

If you’re seeking to achieve business growth and expansion, it’s likely you’ll look to leverage the passion and talent of your employees. This might mean looking to your star performers, and it might mean looking for new hires.

The ultimate outcome here is to create autonomy within your workforce – you’re seeking to create a capability that works as if you were controlling it but with little need for your input. Think about that for a moment.

When autonomy is reached, things will just flow and you are free to turn your attention to higher level strategic matters to promote growth and expansion.

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How to attract, create and keep exceptional employees

Great employees are made up of two foundational elements: enthusiasm and teachability.

The former denotes a passionate individual, while the latter is one who wants to develop and progress, who is hungry to learn, and who evidences the trait of humility.

If you can find an individual with these two traits as well as highly developed skills, then you’re on to a winner. And, even if the skill levels are less than required, their rise to skill mastery will be much faster if they already have these two foundational traits.

The following are my key tips to attracting, creating, and keeping exceptional employees.

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