Resource Type: eBook
Published by: Advanced Field Solutions
Title: The 2014 Service Manager Handbook
About: One of the most detailed and comprehensive resources to be published for the field service industry this year. This excellent eBook covers an exhaustive range of topics to help you get to grips with managing your mobile workforce, improving productivity, increasing efficiency and improving your bottom line.
Download: Download the white paper by clicking here
The field service industry is subject to constant change and it’s vital to keep an ear to the ground on the latest hot topics to embrace the changing business landscape and keep up with the competition.
Intelligence on your business and its status, not to mention the highest levels of customer service, is absolutely pivotal to survival in tough trading times and even the savviest players need to ensure they have the right tools in play to keep up with their rivals.
To remain successful and dynamic, service managers need to be resilient to change and have the ability ‘to think outside of the box’ to ensure their organisation is best placed to drive their business forward.
They need to keep their finger on the pulse on many different aspects of the running of the organisation from innovating ideas, investing in IT, and seeking and exploring opportunities for further growing the business.
Having the power to access critical data across all areas of your service business, make informed instant decisions and manage your operation – from the first inception of the call all the way to its happy conclusion – will highlight the strong players from the weak.
If you want to make your business stand out from the crowd in 2014 and beyond, having the correct systems and processes in place will need to be a high priority on your agenda.
This essential handbook takes a glimpse at the key areas that all service managers need to address to give your organisation the power to evolve from ‘field service burnout’ to ‘best-inbreed’…
Modelling the perfect profitable client – In an effort to maintain business viability – and keep your engineers working out in the field – some field service businesses may be tempted to take on clients with narrow profit margins.
However, to build a sustainable business, you need to focus on the jobs, contracts and clients that
are most profitable, rather than trying to be all things to all clients. So it’s worth stepping back and analysing your client base.
Turning work away is never easy to do, but it can also free up your expensive resources to focus
on where they can bring best return. Your service management solution should give you the
advantage of arming you with the evidence and information you need.
Scheduling Challenges – Scheduling your field engineers is undoubtedly one of your core key performance indicators (KPIs), central to your business profitability, and a key target on which your staff are measured.
But it’s a delicate balance between meeting the needs of both your staff and the business. Get it right and the chances are the business will be highly successful. Get it wrong and the consequences can be disastrous.
However many UK service businesses find big savings, both in terms of costs and time, simply through getting the properly skilled technician to the job with the minimum of fuss. So when scheduling your field resources, it is key to get it right.
Empowering your workforce – Your engineers are the public face of your business. In many cases, they may be the only representative of your company that the customer ever sees.
Your reputation, spread by word of mouth or increasingly through social media and online reviews, is founded on the experience your customers have of your engineers.
Consider ways to free your service team from the routine dross that saps their time and motivation, and empower them to be more productive and efficient.
Reviewing your customer service strategy – It’s a given that the customer is your number one priority, however, to satisfy and retain your clients, field service companies need to repeatedly provide a professional service.
Typically, customer service is impacted by a combination of factors that result in the customer not getting what they want, when they want it.
So what can service businesses do to really ensure that what you are delivering is adding genuine value to your clients? And what can you do to ensure your value-add is fully recognised by the client?
Setting realistic budgets and timescales – Today’s customers are flexing their buying muscles and putting increasing pressure on suppliers to meet their strict SLA.
To establish your reputation as a customer service leader and gain full control over your job profitability, it’s vital to gain full visibility over your contracts and tighten controls over your SLA management.
Having access to accurate information on the actual cost of similar past projects, contracts and large installations helps to ensure that future bid costs and resource requirements are accurately assessed.
There are many factors that will determine the price of the bid to the client. This is quite often the main focus when putting the estimate together, with the cost and resources that are needed to deliver the contract not always being fully considered at the bid stage. Without formal systems in place, many service organisations find it difficult, time consuming, if not impossible to compile this historical information.
Unleashing cash flow – To maintain a healthy cash flow, it is important not to tie up cash unnecessarily in stock. Getting a hold on your stock is a sure-fire way of gaining significant savings in cost and time.
If your organisation handles stock, you will be all too aware of the dangers of stock piling.
Having cash tied up in stock is a dangerous tactic when cash flow is so important. Rather than relying on a ‘crystal ball’, organisations should automate the stock forecasting process so that sales and usage of stock can be predicted, avoiding the pitfall of holding more stock than required.
Your service management systems should give you the power to analyse stock history, so you can recognise trends and fluctuations to ensure that stock levels fall within the desired optimum range and anticipate demand at peak times.
Turning data into insight – Having distinct performance mechanisms in place enables management to recognise and react to emerging trends, whether positive or negative. Without these, performance may be overlooked in areas that could be optimised and yield greater return.
The importance of the KPI – KPIs are a vital performance tool for all service organisations of all sizes. To effectively track, monitor and evaluate success to ensure your business is growing in a sustained way, a best practice method needs to be adopted.
It is vital to identify which KPIs align to your business success. Standard service management KPIs include: first time fix rates, SLA adherence, engineer productivity, job costing, call rates, net profit margin, stock value and customer satisfaction/retention.
Without pro-actively monitoring KPIs, service management businesses are vulnerable to problems that can seriously undermine both performance and profitability. For example, a company that does not regularly monitor sales margins could discover at year-end a repeated mistake that has cost thousands.