April 21 - 24, 2020
JW Marriott Palm Desert Resort & Spa, CA
Field Service Story Ken Walsh
Vice President Engineering & Operations
Ken’s Field Service Story At a Glance
- First year at Field Service: 2011
- How He’s Participated: Attendee & Speaker
- Field Service Highlights: Ken enjoys the opportunity to get unfiltered real-world perspectives on issues from keynotes and roundtable discussions, as well as see new technology in action on the tech floor.
My Field Service Story: Ken Walsh
Field Service brings together a unique audience of industry executives.
I attended my first Field Service event four years ago, looking for perspective on a couple of major issues. First, I wanted to find new ways to enhance customer service and field technician performance at my company, London Hydro, not only from a productivity standpoint, but also from a health and safety perspective. The second big draw of the conference for me was the opportunity to see where technology was going in the industry, how it's shaping the role of the field service technician, and how it can be used to enhance performance in the field. What keeps me coming back to Field Service is the fantastic community and collaborative vibe of the event. There are a lot of great individuals from a variety of different industries who attend and we're all trying to solve the same problems in a very collegial manner. From the roundtables to the exhibits on the tech floor, it's very interactive.
Field Service showcases the technology shaping industry trends.
I really do look forward to the tech floor; it’s one of the best parts of attending Field Service. It gives me a chance to see what’s happening in the industry and what the latest tools look like. A good example of one of the exhibits that became relevant to my actual operations is Google Glass. At London Hydro, we are a Google shop. We utilize Google applications and have migrated to cloud-based solutions for most of our needs. Now we’re partnering with Google in terms of doing a pilot project to see how their Glass product can be used on the utility side of the business. I got the idea for the program from seeing their demonstration on the tech floor.
Field Service provides the venue for getting deep into the most relevant issues facing your operations.
Since my first event, I’ve transitioned from attendee to speaker. My decision to become a speaker at Field Service was driven by what I saw from others who presented and two things really attracted me. The first thing was that I realized that by participating as a speaker you could pose a theory and some views as a catalyst for discussion, and I had a few ideas that I wanted to put out there to get feedback on. The second thing that motivated me was that we had recently completed a few initiatives at London Hydro that I thought would be good to share with other people in the industry as relevant and valuable sources of information
Last year I did a round table called Tech-Warrior on maximizing the effectiveness of new technology being deployed along with field technicians. One of the common problems I’d observed coming to Field Service was companies were investing in newly developing technology to aid technicians in the field, but neglecting to adequately train them on the devices themselves. Companies want to be able to say to their technicians, ‘use this iPad to do a diagnostic test’, but before you give somebody an iPad they have to know the basics of how that iPad works. If they can’t get a signal, if it doesn’t boot up, or if it locks up on them, they need to know what to do. Going in, I didn’t know if there were others who were interested and willing to participate. Despite my worries, I had a full table and we had a really, really good discussion that could have gone for a lot longer than it did.