Field Service Management in Australia presents a number of challenges including the weather conditions and demographics of the field service technicians and their managers. The sun, heat and remoteness experienced in many parts of Australia make it challenging. The FSM software and hardware used needs to be built to withstand these conditions.
Typical conditions include bright sunlight, 40+ degrees, heavy rain. Australian technicians often need to work at heights (e.g. up a poll), deal with dogs or various (sometimes poisonous) wildlife. Other times they need to work in a lift shaft or inside a scorching roof.
Mobile device screens need to have good contrast to be seen in the bright sunlight. Users shouldn’t be required to put their device on maximise brightness to be able to see the screen outdoors. If they do then it is going to drain the battery pretty quickly and they are not going to be happy.
Mobile applications need to be able to work offline as mobile coverage can’t be assumed. This is especially the case in remote areas but even in the larger cities like Sydney, mobile coverage can patchy at the best times. Using web-based applications just doesn’t cut it in most cases. You need something native.
Field service technicians in certain industries in Australia are dominated by males over 40 with often literacy issues. These workers also haven’t grown up using Smartphones so can sometimes be slow to adopt new technologies. For these reasons, it is imperative that the mobile applications are easy to use and they match the workflow that the users follow.