2016 HVAC Field Service Trends – How the Latest Technology will Impact HVAC Service Best Practices

HVAC field service trends

2016 is the year HVAC service and maintenance goes mobile. Explore the latest trends that will facilitate the transition to automated, service-centric business models.

It was another busy week at the annual AHR Expo; from the product innovation awards to the educational breakouts sessions to the hundreds of booths showcasing new products and spouting the latest in HVAC business best practices and trends to follow, there’s plenty of new HVAC news to report for 2016.

At MSI, we pride ourselves on staying up to date on the latest technology and service trends in the industry. After exhibiting at AHR and learning from other vendors and attendees, here are the top HVAC trends you should know to boost revenue and improve customer relationships in 2016.

Mobile field service apps are at the top of this year’s list of HVAC field service & technology trends. Find a mobile solution that’s perfect for your HVAC business.

Download our comprehensive buyer’s guide to mobile field service software here.

    1. HVAC Service Goes Mobile

    “The leading HVAC firms of 2016 will be those who understand a successful service business is one that embraces smart mobile solutions,” said heating and air conditioning company, Zodiac Solutions.

    While mobile field service isn’t exactly a new trend in 2016, this is the year the majority of service organizations shift to mobile. Software Advice found that 74% of HVAC service companies aren’t using any formal field service management software. With that high number in mind, there’s real opportunity for organizations that do invest in software to pull ahead from their peers in 2016.

    As HVAC units become more complex, establishing regular preventive maintenance programs with technicians who understand how to service them will become more important. Industry experts and research firms are finding that technology and mobile apps will be a key differentiator for service programs in 2016.

    2. HVAC GPS Tracking Boosts Revenue

    A recent study released by Software Advice, a site that connects buyers to software solutions, found that HVAC companies that use a GPS technician tracking and scheduling solution realized the following benefits:
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    hvac trends 2016 hvac field service trends hvac field service trends 2016

    Considering 64% of customers won’t rehire an HVAC company that’s just 1-hour late, these improvements could be crucial for HVAC service organizations looking to improve service performance and customer retention in 2016.

    3. Smart Technology for Contractors Drives More Profitable Service Programs

    Smart technology, like the Internet of Things (IoT) enables HVAC contractors to automate their service and sales process. With smart machines in the field, service organizations can set parameters and trigger alerts based on specific equipment conditions. They can sell preventive maintenance contracts and schedule PM visits based on what the system is telling them. This sort of automated, proactive service operation maximizes system uptime and keeps units running as efficiently as possible so customers save money and stay happy.

    4. Analyze Data to Optimize HVAC Unit Production and Service Calls

    With smarter appliances comes the ability to extract data to optimize your business. In 2016, top HVAC companies will use data from their systems in the field to optimize production and guide service calls.

    For example, Daikin Applied partnered with Intel to create a cloud-based system to aggregate and report on data in the field. Intelligent, connected systems enable new opportunities” said Kevin Facinelli, Executive VP, Daikin Applied. “Machines will have the ability to talk to other machines, to make decisions that are more efficient. Intercommunication between equipment and grabbing data in the cloud gives us great optimization opportunities. Then we can take that access data from the cloud directly to a service technician, so they can arrive on site with the right parts and rapidly restore the equipment utility.”

    Companies like Daikin are merging equipment and controls to put customers in the driver’s seat with smart HVAC systems. Watch the video below to see how Daikin Applied explains its partnership with Intel around data-analytics and smart HVAC systems.

    5. Service Technicians’ Roles will Become more Technology Centric

    I don’t know if you heard, but 2016 is the year of the service technician. Businesses in nearly every industry will become even more focused on strengthening customer relationships through quality service programs.

    As HVAC systems shift to incorporate smarter technology, the way organizations provide service will have to shift as well. Not only will incoming technicians need to understand the technology that’s in the equipment, they’ll have to be able to use the field service management technologies, like mobile devices and apps, to streamline the service process, achieve higher first-time fix rates, and complete more work orders more efficiently.

    6. Construction Numbers are Up, which means HVAC Service Businesses will be Extra Busy This Year

    The construction industry has been rebounding over the last few years, and the upward trend looks to continue into 2016. This is good news for HVAC businesses since they should be plenty busy with new installations and new jobs.

    HVAC contractors will be busier than ever retrofitting existing systems to higher standards and installing HVAC in new buildings. In order to keep up with demand, said HVAC venting company, Primex, service and installation teams will need to be more efficient. New technologies to run remote diagnostics and manage preventive maintenance along with mobile apps that expand service capabilities and scheduling and dispatching software will be essential.

    7. Intelligent Buildings and Homes Dominate HVAC innovation

    HVAC customers want more high-tech, smart solutions to help them automate control of their heating and cooling systems and save on energy costs. Increased customer demand for intelligent buildings and devices is pushing HVAC manufacturers to innovate. In 2016, expect to see developers integrate their thermostats, vents, and other elements of HVAC systems with smart home management devices like the Amazon Echo or Nest Thermostat.

Conclusion – New Technologies Lead 2016 Advancements for HVAC

As the construction industry continues to strengthen, HVAC needs to keep up with the demand for new system installations, upgrades, and efficient maintenance programs. Adopting the latest in work order management software, mobile field service solutions, smart technology, and remote diagnostics is the way to make your team more productive and capitalize on the most pressing HVAC service trends in 2016.

Buyer’s Guide to Mobile Field Service Software

In the market for a cross-platform or cloud-based mobile app for your service business? Learn important tips, guiding questions, and to-dos in our free, educational guide to purchasing a mobile field service solution.

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