Tightening the loop between back office and the field

In the past, there has tended to be a chasm between the back office (eg network design) team and the field work force. The back office team prepared design packs and A0 prints. The field workforce marked up these design drawings with as-built versions. Feedback tended to be paper-based (ie needing transcribing) and was often delayed until the field worker returned to base to lodge their jobs.

There are two technologies that are narrowing the chasm (potentially*). Firstly, mobile technologies can provide field workers with real-time access to data about a site / design. Even more exciting is the ability to use augmented reality (AR) technology and real-time video footage of site conditions to inform designers back at headquarters. This in turn allows designers to update designs on the fly and re-publish to the field technician quickly, possibly preventing future truck-rolls.

As a more youthful and digitally savvy worker cycles into the field workforce, it’s inevitable that digital tools will accommodate their preferences whilst also closing and tightening the loop between the back-office and field-workers. So naturally mobility tools will gain increasing importance into the future.

* I say “potentially” because these technologies are only as good as the processes and systems that are designed to take advantage of them.

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2 thoughts on “Tightening the loop between back office and the field

  1. Don’t forget the willingness of an organisation/people to embrace new technology. Why have an OSS than can graphically reproduce data when an organisation cannot move past old legacy processes of “but we have to have drawings, in triplicate, approved by an engineer etc etc “

  2. Hi Mark

    So true! I’ve definitely seen that same phenomenon as you out in the wild!

    New tech / tools allow for newer ways of working, but even mention of the phrase, “new ways of working,” scares a lot of people. Which brings us back to change management doesn’t it?

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