Synchronize its interventions in the field

Intervention in the field

In an increasingly competitive context, all companies are looking for solutions that allow them to maximize their potential and gain in responsiveness, while ensuring an irreproachable quality of service. Faced with the ambition of these challenges, it is difficult to demand all this from a single employee. All the more so as many technicians choose this job partly because of the autonomy they enjoy during their field interventions. All these issues and new challenges should lead us to rethink in depth the various operational processes of industrial maintenance, and in particular field interventions, especially since most of the obstacles to the development of professional applications have now been removed.

In this article you will discover :

1- New expectations on the part of companies towards their mobile employees
2- New technologies offer tenfold possibilities for follow-up and support in the field
3- Valuable data for companies
4- The mobile network for instantaneous exchanges

Companies are looking to become more responsive and optimize the coverage of their mobile resources. What can companies expect from their mobile employees? Very often the possibility to locate them, to quickly assign them different missions according to their location and their dedicated skills, the tools they have at their disposal, but also the necessary parts to intervene. In order to manage all these interventions in the best conditions, mobile tools are essential.

Today, it is hard to see how a technician could intervene as quickly as possible without being equipped with a mobile terminal connected to the company's computer centre. In addition, unforeseen events can occur very quickly and with a certain frequency: such as a breakdown, a cancellation, a new customer, but also a sick technician. Such events require a partial or complete reconfiguration of the assignment of the various tasks to the employees in order to be able to carry out all the tasks assigned. The tasks of each individual must therefore be reconfigured as quickly as possible, almost instantaneously: in real time. It is easy to imagine that such a reconfiguration must take into account a whole host of parameters: location, equipment, technician skills, socio-legal constraints, etc., in order to know who is going to deal with which task and which customer.

However, the monitoring of interventions does not stop at the assignment of field interventions, it is in fact more of a starting point than an end point. Mobile applications and new technologies now make it possible to follow a field intervention from A to Z, step by step. This includes the diagnosis with the possibility of implementing questionnaires to collect the relevant and necessary information for the proper establishment of this diagnosis, but also pedagogical tools, such as short tutorial videos, or technical documentation.

These various tools are intended to accompany the technician in the field. So that the technician no longer feels alone with the equipment. He is assured of being able to count on a series of decision support devices. These will enable the employee to be more sure of his decision, thus leaving less room for chance and making the field intervention more reliable. In this way, if the technician is always physically alone on the move, he can access the company's entire knowledge base from his mobile terminal. However, many companies do not yet have this type of tool.


The technology then becomes a means of supporting the employee. Gains are thus to be expected for the company, which develops its monitoring of field interventions and collects relevant data to be used to improve its industrial maintenance policies, and the employee, who benefits from everything he or she might need to be sure to make the right decision. For the employee, this translates into more responsibility, since he or she has all the tools he or she might need to make a decision, but it also means an increase in skills, a degree of technicality in the interventions that could potentially increase thanks to all these support and assistance measures.

In addition to the diagnosis, the entire field intervention is monitored step by step, via a photo collection system, before and after the field intervention, but also various value readings in customizable data collection forms from a complete back office platform. It is also possible to annotate the technical documentation, and to feed back information from the field into a collaborative system that can be used by other employees who have to intervene on equipment or on the same type of technical equipment.

3- Valuable data for companies

The collection of this data is thus a valuable tool for the company, allowing it to optimize the policies of industrial maintenance but also the various operational processes put in place. However, in order for this data to be useful and exploited, it must not remain in the employee's mobile terminal. Synchronization of the data collected by the technician during field interventions is therefore essential. In fact, in addition to the technician, who can certainly benefit from consulting his data entry history, this data is mainly used to define and adapt company policies, but also to other technicians by providing them with relevant information that can help them in turn in their field interventions.

Most mobile terminals offer technicians the possibility of automatically sending all this data to the company's central IT system without any intervention on their part, thanks to the mobile coverage of the operator chosen by the company. It is therefore much easier to understand the benefits of equipping employees with smartphones or 3G tablets, rather than simple data loggers, which can be synchronized via USB cable to a computer or via wifi to the central system.

4- The mobile network at the service of instantaneous exchanges

There is now a real issue of immediacy and speed. Mobile coverage allows real-time synchronization of this data. However, depending on the area, this can be more or less efficient, not to say totally absent, as in so-called "white" areas for example. Therefore, mobile applications must be designed to cope with this type of unexpected event, and temporarily store the data collected directly on the employee's mobile terminal for later synchronization. This later, and it is well understood, must however be done as quickly as possible, in order to limit the loss of time and therefore optimization and responsiveness. Therefore, the mobile application must include a feature that allows it to synchronize as soon as the mobile network connection returns. This will allow the technician's terminal to be relieved of a potentially relatively large amount of data.

At the moment we have talked a lot about bottom-up exchanges, from the technician to the central computer system. However, it is necessary to take into account the reverse, downward exchanges, i.e. from the central computer system to the technician's mobile terminal. These top-down exchanges fall within the framework of the employee support logic that we mentioned earlier. All of a company's technical documentation, with its various detailed plans, diagrams, decision trees, forms and operating procedures cannot be stored solely on the technician's mobile terminal. The storage capacity of the terminal would very quickly be exceeded.

The objective of the mobile application is to make all the information the technician might need accessible anywhere and anytime. Therefore, providing functionalities for early downloading of data that the technician may need before entering an area where mobile coverage is deemed insufficient may be interesting, with a view to developing these mobile uses, and the reliability provided by the technological tools. Likewise, this real-time synchronisation is absolutely necessary, so that for a task that could exceed it, a collaborator can chat and be put in contact with a technical expert. The use of a more qualified person is indeed one of the other means, allowing the employee to reassure himself: he is really not alone in the field: the whole company is behind him.

The solutions proposed by Ermeo are therefore complete from this point of view. By allowing an employee in difficulty to enter into contact with an expert via connected glasses, enabling the expert to see exactly what he or she sees. This innovation during field interventions is made possible thanks to a partnership with another startup: Expert Teleportation. New technologies offer a large number of new possibilities and opportunities for the industrial maintenance sector, particularly thanks to increasingly reliable and rapid data synchronisation.

Emma Duverne Marketing Manager