field service using merged reality

Field service delivery with merged reality


Learn how use of new IoT tool helps speed service calls to reduce equipment downtime.

Read time: 3 minutes

Creating innovative technologies is only part of the picture; equally important is deciding on a strategy to service your customers once they buy your product. Managing equipment and resources effectively is an essential activity for any company.

At some point, field-deployed equipment may need updating or require service. The goal of any well-run service organization is to manage customer care to minimize downtime. Promptly resolving issues increases your customer's satisfaction with their investment in your technology and builds reliability and trust for your brand. Merged Reality is a new IoT tool in a service organization's toolbox. Implementing merged reality in a service organization can help speed service calls quickly whether remotely or onsite with the field technicians.

Access to information

Merged reality systems can provide your field service personnel with exceptional levels of information about the equipment they're working on via their mobile device. By holding their phone or tablet up to the machine in question, they can receive detailed schematics superimposed over the real-life model and access to equipment notes or other configuration or diagnostic tools. The software may be connected to additional important information about the machine, such as identifying parts and part numbers. A technician could see, for example, if parts are in stock and to accordingly place a parts order directly from their mobile device, making parts acquisition a more streamlined activity. Devices may also be maintained remotely by performing preemptive service activities, or to prepare in advance of onsite visits.

Live assistance

Technology is rapidly changing, and service organizations often have new product implementations and equipment in their service and maintenance workflows. Likewise, a service organization is made up of individuals of varying levels of experience and familiarity with deployed equipment. Utilizing merged reality systems helps technicians familiarize themselves with new equipment and speeds the training process.

The use of merged reality when connected to a live support center enables an even deeper level of virtual support. When organizations connect merged reality with a live support center, an expert associate can remotely guide a field technician through a process in real-time. By hearing the technician and seeing what the technician sees on the equipment, and then superimposing directions on the screen, questions can get answered much faster. Employing merged reality in the training of new service personnel empowers the transfer of skills from the experienced employees to the new employees. Merged reality helps new technicians learn through simulations and scenarios they are likely to encounter in the field. This training provides valuable on-the-job support on field service calls, which helps foster competence, confidence, and employee retention.

Ultimately, the practical application behind the use of merged reality in service management is to make a technician more productive when it comes to making repairs on down machines and equipment. When properly deployed, this increases the efficiency rate of first-time fix rate, which in turn drives overall customer satisfaction.

At Ricoh we invest in the latest techniques in computer-based training, merged reality diagnostics and troubleshooting and knowledge management — providing our services team with the ability to resolve complex technical issues quickly so our customers can stay productive. We utilize merged reality in our service organization, and on the behalf of our customers and their equipment for approximately 10% of service calls nationwide and it is fast becoming a key part of our Service Advantage delivery.

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