As we continue to bring you a selection of features from The Service Manager Handbook (2015 edition) published by Advanced Field Service we now turn our attention to one of the core tools for building future success, namely the implementation of Analytics and intelligence
Download the full 40 page ebook for free by simply clicking here and completing the brief registration form
In today’s challenging business environment, there is little margin for error. Service managers need an even greater and fully in-depth understanding of their business to improve business planning, helping them make better-informed decisions, to ultimately keep ahead of the competition whilst attracting new customers and retaining their existing customers.
Instant access to management information
The benefits of replacing hand-crafted reports and spreadsheets with more interactive, integrated and intuitive tools are well documented.
As well as removing the unnecessary heavy wastage of man hours, and delaying what is often critical business decisions that can impact your opportunities to not only grow but also identify areas of weakness within your business that could potentially lead to loss of clients, easier access to your data improves control of your business with the following key insights:
- Intelligence to recognise emerging trends: Today’s business environment is faster paces nad more dynamic than ever before, whilst in the past reputations could be built on doing what you do and doing it well, today standing still can lead to dangerously dramatic decline in business, particularly from a service point. Since the economic crash in 2008 service has risen to become the key differentiator between businesses and with modern consumers (both B2B and B2C) well equipped to air any grievances in public via social media the pitfalls of failing service can be catastrophic for a business. As technology continues to push the boundaries of what is possible, it is imperative that service orientated companies embrace this to stay ahead of the competition and deliver service excellence at all times.
- The ability to identify and seize new opportunities or ward off threats: Of course embracing technology doesn’t just mean delivering better standards of service to customers. New emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things can help businesses move from a traditional break-fix reactive approach to a more efficient and cost effective preventative maintenance approach. Through remote monitoring optimum performances can delivered across the install base ultimately leading to less service calls in the long term.
- Power to understand key areas delivering profit (and loss): As the old adage goes you can only manage what you measure. Field service companies are perhaps uniquely positioned to be able to gather more information about their customers than any other industry as they have the benefit of ‘eyes and ears’ on site with your customers. The flow of this information from business unit to business unit allows for far greater insight of where new potential revenue streams may lie, as well as profit leakage may be occurring.
- Fast, informed decision-making based on accurate and live information: The rise in prevalence of dashboard analytics now make it possible for field service managers and their colleagues in other business areas such as procurement and sales to see trends based on the data collected easily and instantly, empowering them to make critical business decisions, and to get them right.
- Unprecedented insight into the most/least profitable areas of your business: In terms of data collection, processing and analysis we are truly living in a golden age. Businesses that harness the power of the data they have access to not only have superior understanding of their own businesses but also of their customers and most crucially of their customers pain points.
Your back-end service management solution should be able to do all the work of collating real-time information automatically across your jobs.
It should also make easy work of presenting it in the formats that are most useful to your management team, providing full visibility of contract profitability and equipping decision-makers with instant access to vital information on the business, including your profit forecasts.
As a matter of course, your data should be regularly analysed in a multitude of ways and in varying degrees of complexity, from viewing a daily high-level graphical KPI dashboard, down to examining detailed monthly reports.
Not surprisingly, analytical dashboards are fast becoming the service manager’s reporting tool of choice. They offer true anytime/anywhere reporting, via a browser or mobile device, in a way that makes it easy to instantly grasp the significance of the information.
If you have this dashboard facility in your service management solution, you’ll be able to drill down to the original data source to analyse all your core data including: customer status; financials; performance and productivity of engineers, with hours worked and number of visits; stock and supplier KPIs; calls by equipment, site and efficiency; costing of jobs and engineers; call response times.