Information and communications technologies (ICT) can be used to improve the efficiency of field service processes. The role of ICT in assisting the planning process of preventive equipment maintenance has been abundantly discussed in the literature, but the actual on-site maintenance execution and the value of information have escaped the attention of most researchers. This gap in research has been pointed out by a few authors . Due to the scarce literature on ICT support for maintenance operation execution, we pose the following research problem: How can maintenance execution be helped with better information? This problem is approached by examining how the unavailability of information does affect maintenance execution performance, and what the most often required pieces of information are. This study includes a literature part and a case study. In the literature part, we first examine the maintenance environment where breakdown maintenance policy and field service are distinguished as the most challenging environments in terms of managing equipment down-time. After that, we examine equipment down-time and uses of ICT systems in accordance with a framework for the components of defect rectification time that is built upon a model according to Knotts . In the case study, we examine the service company network of a Finnish capital goods manufacturer. We use interviews, survey of service companies, and data analyses to examine the case in accordance with the framework developed in the literature part. The study revealed that about 40% of the failed service visits are caused by the unavailability of information. In addition, almost a third of the service visit’s duration is used to inquire for equipment details and to diagnose the problem. We conclude that better information would increase the service call success ratio and would cut down the duration of the on-site service operations.
Lehtonen, Olli and Ala-Risku, Timo, "Enhancing On-Site Maintenance Execution with ICT – A Case Study" (2005). ICEB 2005 Proceedings. 159.