How Augmented Reality Can Be Used to Enhance Service Training


Read Time: 3 min

Service technicians have an infamously high turnover rate, which is only increasing with time. As older service technicians are approaching retirement, there is a looming brain drain threatening the industrial manufacturing industry. The high turnover rate creates a range of problems for service businesses. These include the loss of revenue, the costs associated with training, and the extra resources needed to hire new employees.

Loss of revenue

Losing a field service technician for any extended period of time without backfilling the role can result in manufacturing plants being exposed to potential malfunctions without a service technician to tend to burgeoning issues. The lack of a service technician can damage trust between you and your customer (as an overseer of a third-party’s manufacturing line).

This can lead to missed targets and a dramatic loss of revenue for your customer, increasing the chance of a costly and reputation-damaging outage. Such an event may cause your customers to turn elsewhere for service support.

Time and cost of training

As manufacturing lines become more specialized and complex, the range of skills needed by a service technician is increasing. The total cost of onboarding new service technicians and service training can be crippling. Combined with not having a service technician available, the potential result can be devastating.

Resources needed to hire new employees

Posting jobs across various sources, interviewing, and hiring new recruits requires manpower, time, and money—all of which can add up quickly. This is in addition to the resources that go into training new recruits. At some point, finding, hiring, and training new recruits can become unsustainable when done frequently.

AR in service training

Augmented reality (AR) is the solution to the high turnover rate. AR allows you to have a layer of digital information overlaid onto the world in front of you. This creates numerous, highly-effective ways to reduce the impact of high service technician turnover rates including being able to provide real-time contextual information, step-by-step guidance, and micro training.

Remote assistance

Through the use of AR, an expert can guide a worker through a service maintenance operation without having to be on site. This means that a service technician may not need to be called out in the first place, reducing the need to constantly have a service technician in proximity of a particular plant. The added benefit of having a service technician on hand is that it can help to slow the skills drain.

The knowledge of your experts can be shared instantly through technology, overcoming the geographical barrier to the spread of hard-won knowledge. You can have a young recruit on site, who can tap into the expertise of a more experienced worker through remote assistance.

Onboard and retain new service technicians

AR provides a groundbreaking way of training new staff. By trading outdated textbooks and presentations for immersive AR procedural guidance, you can ensure that your new recruits are trained faster and more effectively. To attract and retain newer, younger, and tech-savvy workers, manufacturers need to offer modern training solutions to attract the new wave; AR is the perfect go-to solution.

Many companies have already leveraged the power of AR to train new workers and combat the high turnover rate. GSI delivers industrial agriculture solutions for farmers. By using PTC's Vuforia Studio program, they were able to replace hundreds of PowerPoint presentation slides. They also reported a reduced overall training time by an impressive 60%. Similarly, BAE Systems slashed the cost of their onboarding process, training new recruits 30% more effectively, and reduce battery assembly time by 50%. 

High service technician turnover can cripple a service business. It leads to lost business, frequent and expensive training, and poor customer satisfaction. Fortunately, there is a better way. AR can make your service business leaner, smarter, and more productive.

To find out more about how AR can transform your service training, read Aberdeen group’s insights on how augmented reality can deliver superior service management.

Tags: Augmented Reality Industrial Equipment Digital Twin

About the Author

Prema Srinivasan, Digital Content Marketing Manager

As a Digital Content Marketing Manager, I bring the latest technology stories to the forefront. I'm passionate about engaging readers and empowering decision makers with relevant, up-to-date content.