Addressing the Technical Skills Gap with AI for Equipment Dealers
Throughout the equipment distribution industry, the deficit of skilled technicians is commonly listed as the biggest threat to the industry. This is support by recent survey data, with 95% of AED members agreeing that there is a skills gap in the industry, and 89% reporting a shortage of workers in their company. There are more open technical jobs available in the industry than there are people qualified to fill them. According to survey data from the Associated Equipment Dealers (AED), AED members are seeking to fill 3,300 technician positions each year, and it was estimated that when including nonmembers, that number would be anywhere from 9,000 to 14,700 annually for the industry as a whole.
In order to fill these positions, steps need to be taken to close the skills gap and train people to excel in these roles. In many cases, this requires education of the younger generations on the many benefits of skilled technical careers. This is a focus of the AED Foundation, whose mission is to “enhance the success of member companies by encouraging continuous learning, by providing educational opportunities for today’s employees, and by improving the availability and quality of equipment industry employees in the future.” They achieve this through partnerships with secondary and post-secondary schools, training opportunities, research and much more. e-Emphasys is proud to support the AED Foundation and was honored to receive the AED Foundation Partner Award in January 2022. Our clients are seeing the impacts of the skills gap and the need for technology to fix it as well, “One thing that we were looking for is the amount of human capital that’s going to be coming into the marketplace over the next 10 to 15 years. So we were kind of looking out and saying, in 10 years is there going to be people to fill the jobs? And I don’t think there is, and based on the numbers we were looking at, we were thinking we need technology to fill those gaps and we can already see it happening.” Says Rob Rintoul, CFO of Great West Equipment.
Inspired by the efforts of AED and other industry partners, we are always looking towards technology and innovation to address the industry’s greatest challenges. e-Emphasys eVA offers an opportunity for continued education and training on the job. The eService Virtual Assistant (eVA) reduces the impact of the shortage of skilled technicians by bridging the gap between skills and experience with cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology. eVA provides guided troubleshooting and suggested parts requirements, and assigns probability based on knowledge gained from historical work order activities. This intuitive, user friendly application helps technicians diagnose and repair problems quickly and efficiently, increasing technician productivity and reducing training time.
eVA can improve first-time fix rates, reduce training time, and increase technician productivity. The tool uses historical data to suggest causes of failure and possible solutions in order of probability. This is going to help reduce overall service costs and training time by suggesting the most possible causes. Additionally, this tool can help your dealership achieve a competitive advantage. The tool can draw from the knowledge of your senior technicians, turning decades of experience into actionable insight. With this tool, this information will not be lost as those technicians retire or move on. Additionally, this can be integrated with our eServiceTech mobile app, which helps you manage your service requests, schedule technician jobs, see GPS locations, and more, in real time. This has helped our customers achieve a 30% increase in service revenue, a 10% increase in Billable Service Tech Time, and a 50% Reduction in Service Administration Costs.
Our goal with eVA is to provide a technology that will supplement training for your upcoming talented technicians, and help you achieve a competitive advantage through the knowledge and guided diagnostics within the tool. It will take hard work across the industry to address the current skills gap and it is our belief that our tool can help. If you would like to learn more about eVA or our entire digital transformation platform, please contact us to schedule a demo.