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How AI and automation are bringing more sustainability to field service

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Guillermo

The effects of climate change are becoming undeniable. Weather patterns are changing, seasons are becoming wildly messed up, and entire ecosystems are dying. And the problem is not just environmental, but economic: when we can’t live in certain areas due to weather patterns, or whole cities are destroyed from storms, that harms business. 

The challenge: the old business model depends on carbon emissions

A lot of businesses recognize their role to play in sustainability and have environmental goals they try to achieve every year. But some industries - like field work - rely on greenhouse gas-emitting practices more regularly than other businesses. It’s significantly more difficult to just “do better” when your entire business model depends on transportation, an industry that contributes 28% of total US greenhouse gas emissions. 

The easy fix: remote video-powered field work 

The COVID-19 pandemic forced everyone to work remotely. For field work, that opened up a fantastic future opportunity. Unfortunately, many retail apps like FaceTime or WhatsApp are not built for field workers. However, purpose-built video technology for field workers now exists on the market. 

Using video, field workers can talk directly with customers and either solve their problems without a truck roll, or better prepare so you can solve the problem with only one visit. ICwhatUC customers are able to eliminate 50% to 60% of their trips by using ICwhatUC purpose-built video technology embedded in their work process. Further, they’ve found customers are happier and more satisfied with remote service than they are waiting for a truck roll to get scheduled on a busy day. Our clients also noted that remote service is safer for technicians, since they don’t need to be on the road as much.

Here’s how purpose-built video technology helps field workers both save money and contribute to environmental sustainability goals: 

The money question: Based on ICwhatUC client data, the average truck roll costs about $300 when you factor in labor, maintenance, and wear and tear. If the average mid-size utility is doing 5,600 trips annually, they stand to save over $1 million in expenses annually by implementing video service (this is to say nothing of increased customer satisfaction).  

The environmental question: By reducing truck rolls 50-60%, a mid-size utility could eliminate around 150 metric tonnes of carbon annually, pushing both toward corporate sustainability goals and helping the environment overall by reducing traffic congestion. 

Shifting to renewable, scalable business processes

The old model of field work is linear: to serve another customer, you had to make another truck roll. With a universal, no download platform like ICwhatUC, customers and technicians alike can scale up their impact significantly. No more driving 25 minutes for a two-minute fix - you can show the homeowner how to do it themselves on video. Or for a complicated project, you can chat ahead of time to make sure everyone’s prepared for the appointment. 

Utilities and field work companies often get the brunt of criticism for contributing to carbon emissions, but their business models relied on it. Now they don’t have to, as technology makes it easier to save money, open new revenue opportunities, and be more environmentally sustainable.

Support your customers remotely at their time of need

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