Bridging the skills gap in field service with AR Remote Assistance

Linda Malecaj Article

The skills gap is one of the major issues that many field service companies are facing nowadays. The skill gap in field service is defined as a lack of fundamental knowledge of employees and has huge importance for work efficiency and operational processes. This gap leads to revenue losses and makes it difficult for companies to meet their desired goals. Besides the lack of education, the skills gap might also be associated with a lack of basic communication skills between field workers. The skills gap poses a big problem, and companies operating mostly in field service are on the frontlines of this battle for minimization of it. In these circumstances, companies are trying to adopt new ways to facilitate the hiring, training, and retraining the skilled workforce.

Augmented Reality is being implemented as a fast and efficient way to help in solving the skills crisis in the field service business today. In other terms, Augmented Reality enables Remote Support that is providing technical support in a situation where the experts and the field workers are located in different places. Remote Support, a collaboration between experts and field workers, can expand workers’ skills, resulting in dramatically improved performance, greater safety, and higher worker satisfaction. VSight is a great example of this AR-Remote Support, by providing solutions for manufacturing, warehousing, and field service environments that overlay images, 3D objects, or text information onto physical objects. 

Augmented Reality has the potential to close the skill gap that has been accelerating in recent years in three main effective applications:

Visual Knowledge Base: Augmented Reality product visualization utilizes augmented overlays of information, in this way the company eliminates the need to carry the physical prototypes to the field workers as they can visualize it through Remote Support. This method can be used for both training and guidance. VSight Remote provides field service companies with the ability to start collaboration through images collected from remote visual sessions, on-field recordings, and interactions with experts to build a visual knowledge base. This knowledge base shows potential as an efficient training method in building skills faster and for the long term. VSight Remote helps field service companies to replace the traditional training method by reducing the risk of training in hazardous environments.

Remote Assistance: Augmented Reality enhances the collaboration between field workers and contact centre experts. Field technicians that often face unexpected situations while performing their task, through AR-Remote Support at a real-time can receive instructions from skilled experts. Step-by-step repair instructions that are given by experts help to guide a field worker for better job performance. VSight Remote provides video/audio chat enriched with AR annotations that are highly effective for ensuring collaboration between workers. VSight Remote allows experts to share expertise, without physically having to travel on-field. 

Technical Guidance: Using Augmented Reality helps field workers on learning work procedures while receiving technical instructions and performing their complex tasks in a safe environment. Technical guidance provides field workers with instruction and data for more effective field performance, with reduced risk of human errors. Usage of VSight Remote for technical guidance translates to companies in reduction of the cost for providing long-term and expensive workers’ training. 

As technology advances, field service tasks are becoming more complex and require high-level service expertise and skilled employees in maintenance, operation, assembly and field servicing. Embracement of AR as a way of preserving skills and staying competitive is showing real benefits for field service companies that are dealing with the growing skills crisis. Augmented Reality has the power to decrease the skill gap in field service and boost workers’ productivity by enabling remote collaboration. VSight Remote is empowering this remote collaboration, bringing new solutions and increasing productivity of workers while making them more skilled and efficient by providing real-time access to contact centre experts and facilitating training programs.