News | October 5, 2021

AnswersAnywhere Targets The Field Service Skills Gap With The Launch Of Smart3D

Seattle, WA – October 5, 2021 – AnswersAnywhere, a leader in mobile knowledge delivery solutions for service organizations, today announced Smart3D, an outsourced technology and services solution focused on creating step-by-step 3D installation and servicing instructions for equipment manufacturers.  

With Smart3D, equipment manufacturers can bridge the skills gap by delivering interactive 3D instructions to laptops, tablets, and mobile phones used by technical support representatives and field service technicians. AnswersAnywhere’s knowledge delivery experts repurpose manufacturers’ existing CAD data to design and mobilize realistic product visualizations and step-by-step guidance to install and service equipment.

According to Bo Wandell, President of AnswersAnywhere, service organizations face a critical shortage of experienced service technicians due to the Silver Tsunami of retiring baby boomers, increasing product complexity, and competition with other types of jobs. He said, “Manufacturers are asking how they can use mobile technology to address the field service skills gap. With Smart3D, they can deliver easy to understand, interactive 3D instructions that will empower less experienced technicians with the knowledge they need to install and service equipment efficiently and profitably.”

AnswersAnywhere’s knowledge experts leverage existing CAD data to design, mobilize and deploy realistic, interactive 3D product visualizations that can be zoomed, panned, rotated, and re-positioned for optimal viewing and greater understanding of a procedure. For example, each part required for a repair is animated to demonstrate proper installation.

Wandell said, “Every company that manufactures equipment, from washing machines to coffee makers to medical devices, has a treasure chest of CAD data just waiting to be unlocked and repurposed as 3D instructions for their technical support representatives and field service technicians.”

More than ever manufacturers must be flexible so they can adapt to a changing environment. The pandemic and tight labor markets have caused many companies to partner with 3rd party field service providers. The challenge, according to Wandell, is quickly making those 3rd party technicians field ready.

“One of the most important advantages of outsourcing the development of 3D instructions to AnswersAnywhere is ‘speed to knowledge.’ We offer the people, process and technology required to make 3rd field service technicians effective in weeks, not months.”

The technical information in a 3D instruction is the same as found in a written product manual, but now the technician can follow a series of animated steps that bring the product to life and visually instruct them on the validated installation and repair procedures.

“Smart3D instructions deliver clear, unambiguous steps to solve even the most complicated tasks. In addition, we minimize the use of text which reduces language barriers and increases comprehension,” said Wandell.

Customers are particularly excited about the potential of using Smart3D instructions to augment product training. With COVID protocols in place, many companies have suspended classroom training in favor of training via video. Wandell said, “Smart3D instructions can be used to reinforce product training by combining step-by-step installation and servicing procedures with the valuable tribal knowledge stored in the heads of experienced technicians.”  

Smart3D also offers companies opportunities for providing their customers with self-service solutions. Wandell said, “Lots of people prefer a ‘DIY’ approach to servicing equipment. Customers will welcome Smart3D’s step by step approach to installing and servicing their equipment. With 3D animations, they can perform basic installations and repairs themselves, greatly reducing calls to support centers or a visit onsite from a technician.”

About AnswersAnywhere:  

AnswersAnywhere drives success and efficiency in service organizations by unlocking information silos and knowledge access barriers to deliver servicing information to laptops, tablets, and mobile phones used by field service technicians, technical support representatives, and customers. 

Leveraging an AWS-based infrastructure, established processes, and Windows, browser, Apple iOS, and Android information delivery applications, AnswersAnywhere’s experts transform, mobilize, and deliver installation, servicing, and parts knowledge. The mobile information distribution channels available from AnswersAnywhere include 3D instructions, curated installation and service guides, hot-linked parts lists and exploded product diagrams, video FAQs, and decision support trees. AnswersAnywhere drives increased first-time fix rates, captures and shares best service practices, retains tribal knowledge, enhances customer satisfaction, and improves profitability.

AnswersAnywhere integrates with ServiceMax and Salesforce Field Service for a true Single Source of Information. Over 250 companies rely on the AnswersAnywhere platform to empower their teams with servicing and parts knowledge, including BUNN, WASH Family Laundry, and HomeServe UK.