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The haves and the have nots of field service

Mar 15 • Features, Software and Apps • 1770 Views • No Comments on The haves and the have nots of field service

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Numerous research from varying sources, including our own studies, have revealed that there is increasingly becoming two separate types of field service organisation. Those that have embraced field service management technology and those that have not. We spoke exclusively to Jonathan Best, SVP & GM Europe with Kony to get his insight on this divide…

As we catch up for a morning coffee in an upmarket cafe in the centre of Amsterdam it is interesting to cast our minds back to the last time we met, some months further back in London. At that point, Best and his team at Kony were just beginning to step into the world of field service and much of the reasoning, whilst based on solid suppositions, remained largely untested in the real world.

Now, however, many of those suppositions are being proven to be true, which is always a gratifying, but more importantly it confirms to Best, that they are on the right path.

To put things very, very simplistically there are two types of field service company, those who have no technology at all – who are still using pen and paper etc

Pretty much the entire underlying premise of Kony’s approach to developing field service management tools is that there are two distinct types of field service companies.

The haves and the have nots. Those with FSM technology and those without.

And whilst the latter are traditionally the low hanging fruit for any FSM system provider, it is the first group who are likely to benefit most from the approach Kony are taking.

“The thing that has been interesting for us is that talking to our product guys their view was that we would produce this set of components and we would see an increase in the number of people who implemented them as is. We’ve seen a few examples like that but typically they tend to be quite simplistic cases – typically companies that haven’t got any technology supporting their field service people at all,” Best begins.

“The much more common cases are where we find organisations who have already got some type of field service technology and what they’re interested in is how they can either augment or replace those existing systems with something more refined to their needs.”

“To put things very, very simplistically there are two types of field service company, those who have no technology at all – who are still using pen and paper etc. They are very interesting to talk to as they are very open minded, but still they don’t know what they don’t know.”

“Then there are those who are already using some technology with their field service operations but are finding it sub-optimal in some way.”

Who I have yet to meet is somebody who has said we have all the technology we need perfectly at the fingertips of our field service technicians

“Who I have yet to meet is somebody who has said we have all the technology we need perfectly at the fingertips of our field service technicians. I’m not saying that they don’t exist but from where I’m sitting I don’t think there seem to be too many of them,” he adds

In many senses, it feels that the approach Kony are taking is putting the onus of design back on field service organisations themselves. For those who have been around the block a few times this can have significant benefits, empowering them to iron out the imperfections of other tools that have been utilised in the past.

However, for those who have yet to spend time with another solution to identify what those imperfections would look like in their own business, such a solution may be a overly complicated. No so much running before they can walk exactly, more like buying a baby an expensive set of Nike running shoes.

“For those companies who don’t have any technology the challenge for them is should they go and buy an off the shelf FSM solution, which they can take out of the box, plug it in, set themselves up and it is going to give them a capability that they didn’t have,” Best explains.

“And they can typically do that faster and quicker than they could if they took a tool set approach – like what we offer, and then build things up themselves.”

The kinds of organisations who are interested in having some sort of approach to field service that isn’t supported by the typical solutions, these are the ones interested in building something themselves

“The people who like our approach are the ones who want to step iteratively into something or those who look at the quite formulaic approach to traditional field service solutions and find it sub-optimal.”

“If you can go into a shop and buy exactly what you want, or you can buy the bits to build something that can do exactly what you want – most people will buy the product not the components. Nobody goes into a shop and buys the parts to make a microwave oven, when you can just go out and buy one and it will do what you want a microwave oven to do,” Best quips.

“But the kinds of organisations who are interested in having some sort of approach to field service that isn’t supported by the typical solutions, these are the ones interested in building something themselves and that’s where the tool set we provide can often help them. The advantage being that what they end up with then is built bespoke to their needs, and is designed specifically to enhance their own unique workflows.”

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