Kevin McNally, Sales Director for Asolvi gives us a sneak preview of a forthcoming white paper that outlines how to build a case for investment in Field Service Management systems by outlining how Return On Investment is such a fundamental part of the equation…
Whilst, of course, each and every business has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, there are now certainly enough case studies available on this topic for us to be able to predict fairly confidently, that the implementation of a field service solution if done correctly, will likely deliver considerable Return on Investment (ROI) within a relatively short time-frame.
In fact, perhaps the biggest challenge is exactly how to calculate the ROI that you are achieving as the benefits come in many different guises and various different aspects of the business!
For example, when implementing a Field Service Management (FSM) solution you can expect to see ROI come from various areas of business expense, including:
- Increasing the utilisation of your existing resources, both in the office and the field allowing you to achieve more without adding additional resources by taking advantage of tools that deliver improved scheduling and workforce planning.
- Warranty control, how often is your service just given away for free because it is uncertain to your engineer if the customer is under warranty – it happens more than you would imagine even in the biggest of businesses, especially if you don’t have a warranty management embedded in your FSM system.
- Reducing the costs of unnecessary second visits. By having greater visibility into the service call as well as parts availability field service companies can ensure the right engineers are being sent with the right tools to do the job first time around. Given that the truck roll is generally the biggest cost line on a field service P&L improving First-Time-Fix will likely deliver significant ROI all by itself.
- Greater transparency and detail within your parts management etc, It is not just with improving first time fix that parts management within an FSM can deliver ROI. Field Service operations are unique in that stock is by necessity in constant transit. Companies can have millions of pounds tied unnecessarily up in van or garage stock which can disappear into a reporting black-hole unless a fit-for-purpose solution is in place.
- Significant costs that might have seemed a necessary evil such as paper and ink can be eliminated through digitising admin in the field with mobile technology.
The Impact of the Cloud
Perhaps the most important development of recent years in terms of gaining ROI from an FSM solution is the shift to Cloud becoming the most prevalent means of deployment for such systems.
Indeed, the benefits of Cloud computing are numerous but in terms of the ROI equation, there are perhaps three big aspects to consider.
Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, the widespread adoption of Cloud has led to most FSM solutions now being offered on Software as a Service model, where the FSM solution provider charges a monthly fee on a per-user basis. One of the big impacts of this trend has been that smaller and medium-sized companies that previously would have found such systems cost prohibitive on a CAPEX basis, could now access the tools that enabled there larger competitors to deliver more efficient service.
However, as the cost of a FSM solution is spread out on a monthly basis, it also becomes far easier for the ROI of that investment to become visible on a P&L sheet that isn’t carrying the heavy initial burden of the outlay of a CAPEX investment.
When a solution is deployed by Cloud there is far less drain on internal resources for the service provider as the FSM vendor now bears a much heavier share of the workload in terms of actual IT support etc.
Additionally, unlike an on premise solution which could be vulnerable to unseen issues such as flood, fire or even malicious attack, a Cloud-based solution will allow a service organisation to continue operating even should the unthinkable happen – meaning no lost revenue that may be generated from field service related streams.
Finally, Cloud based FSM solutions are in general, significantly quicker to implement compared to more traditional on premise equivalents, meaning that the field service operation can feel the benefits sooner, and thus start seeing that ROI quicker as well.
It is important to remember however, that ROI is just one of many aspects that can be used to build a case for investment in a FSM solution and we shall be exploring this and others in a forthcoming white paper with fieldservicenews.com
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