In the previous post, we discussed five reasons TIC firms should invest in smartglasses this year. They included achieving operational efficiency, improving inspectors' productivity, and increasing safety at inspection sites. Here, we'll examine four other reasons to invest in "smart" devices in 2016.
6. Ongoing Inspections
Some industries, like oil and gas, require increased inspections in order to reduce leakage or assuage environmental concerns. The requirement can be taxing for both parties involved, the inspection firm and the oil and gas company. It costs time and money to send an inspector to the site. Not only that, it can disrupt operations at the company being inspected.
AR and IoT solutions are ways to combat the costs. By virtualizing the inspection, the inspector doesn’t have to go to the site, or at least not as often. The company can keep operations rolling smoothly even as one of the managers or other employee acts as the inspector’s eyes and ears. It positively impacts everyone; it saves costs, potentially increases productivity, and mitigates risk.
7. Improved Onboarding and Training
Junior inspectors, no matter how good their education or apprenticeship, are always going to be a little “wet behind the ears.” To help them adjust to the real-world of the TIC industry, it’s helpful to onboard them with the company and to give them additional training.
But traditional onboarding and training have proven largely ineffectual. Hardly anybody reads the handbook. No one usually enjoys the training videos.
Virtualization comes to the rescue again. TIC firms can arm junior inspectors with smartglasses, giving them the opportunity to do some of the following:
- Watch in real time as senior inspectors inspect a site, giving junior inspectors real-world, rather than textbook, application;
- Access training videos and tutorials on the go and/or as they need them;
- Ask for help from senior inspectors
- And get to work that much faster.
If the virtual experience is tied to other technology like collaboration software, TIC firms won’t only see improved onboarding and training. They’ll also likely see less attrition and absenteeism, two factors that negatively impact the bottom line.
8. Virtualize Expertise
The need for more inspectors in some industries--oil and gas, for instance--is at an all-time-high. Global businesses require more inspections, but some inspection firms struggle to meet the demand. They might be plagued with a shortage of senior-level talent, attrition due to retirement, a hiring freeze, or other factor.
To address the talent shortage and successfully meet customer demand, TIC firms can try to hire more bodies, or they can leverage existing human capital through technology. For instance, they can use AR and IoT to virtualize existing expertise, which offers a couple of benefits:
- Delay retirement. The senior inspector may not want to travel as much, but he or she may still want to inspect sites.
- Share expertise. Senior inspectors can create training videos that give junior-level team members real-world insight and application.
- Become a source of information and wisdom. If senior inspectors are open to the idea, they can become a source of guidance and information for junior inspectors who are in the field.
In that way, TIC firms can respond to current or potential talent shortages and give themselves the time needed to hire and train the next generation of inspectors.
9. Faster Delivery of Service
Customers don’t like to be kept waiting, even if they’re in a highly technical or industrial industry. This is the age of “everything as a service” and “everything on demand.” They want services and solutions, now.
Meeting the expectation is difficult if solely reliant on traditional inspection methods such as in-person inspections. While not every customer will be immediately open to the idea of remote inspections, they can be won over by a faster, seamless delivery of service and improved customer experience. How can they not? Remote, or AR, inspections get them back to the business of doing business, and that will leave them feeling all warm inside, if not a little fuzzy.
Wearables like smartglasses are the way forward for TIC firms. It allows you to serve more customers, not to mention increase efficiency and workplace safety. It can also be a way to attract and retain talent so that you’re never lacking supply for the ever-increasing demand for inspection services.
Curious about wearables and their potential impact on your business? Call us at 855-545-3777 to take Pristine, our AR solution, on a demo.
Image: Karlis Dambrans (Creative Commons)