Field service organisations must adapt in a rapidly changing world, says Tom Bowe, Industry Director, Enterprise Service Management, IFS.
Agility and adaptability were the overarching themes at the recent IFS customer conference in Boston. More than 250 service-focused attendees came to hear user case studies about implementing and using IFS’s service software, watch industry experts apply new trends to real life, and to learn about what IFS is doing to take their service solutions to the next level.
Why? Because the world is changing, rapidly. According to Erik Qualman of Socialnomics fame, 40% of the Fortune 500 will be gone within 10 years. As PJ Jakovljevic of Technology Evaluation tweeted; “You have to be prepared to destroy your own business model before a kid in a dorm room does it for you.”
Monolithic legacy systems can no longer keep up with the changing market and customer demand.
We have developed a sort of nine step program to help service organisations achieve service excellence and help them adapt to an ever-changing environment. Here are some of the things you should keep in mind when you are looking to make your service organisation more adaptable, and more successful:
- Know your business
This may seem a bit obvious, and redundant, but in order to help your organisation streamline processes, maximise service margins, and increase customer satisfaction, you need to have a full understanding of your company’s goals, their future plans, their mission, and the vision. This will allow you to focus your efforts, systems, and processes on the right objectives
- Excellence through insight
The power of BI is never-ending. Use your collected data to drive more informed decisions, hone processes and affect change throughout your organisation. This should never be a static, one way function, BI should directly affect your future operations.
- Accelerate service achievement
A holistic view of not only your service organisation but your service value chain will accelerate service achievement. Bringing suppliers and other parties you collaborate with into the value chain adds value to them, you and ultimately your customers.
- “Uberise” your service
From the minute you order a car on Uber to when you arrive at your destination, Uber provides transparency from identifying the driver and license plate, to showing you on your route, to providing easy, secure payment options. Service businesses can use optimised, automated field service solutions (like IFS Field Service Management) to offer trust, security and reliability to their customers in a similar manner.
- Delivery that delights you and your customers
In the past, delivering superior customer service often meant accepting a reduced service margin. Now with powerful technology like M2M sensors, mobility solutions and automated processes, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Let your customers drive your initiatives and reap the benefit at the same time. Better organised internal processes often automatically improve external delivery.
- Open up to new things
New trends and technology in the service space can often be overwhelming, but don’t be closed off to what’s new and great in your space. Actively watch the market and evaluate which trends will affect your industry and your business the most. Sometimes this is customer driven. If a new trend can help meet a consumer demand, it is probably more than worthwhile to pursue.
- Optimise your world
Today, more people own a mobile device than a toothbrush (Socialnomics, 2014) and over one-third (36%) of consumers prefer using a company website or email to contact a business (2014 American Express Customer Service Barometer). Gone are the days when an excel spreadsheet, white board, or patched together legacy systems can handle customer demands and a mobile workforce effectively. Optimisation and automation allows for a seamless process from call intake to billing, reducing overhead costs, deviations, and errors.
- Manage your future
The future doesn’t have to be as unpredictable as it seems. Market research, watching trends, and utilising your business intelligence (and managing your big data effectively) will help give you a crystal ball into what’s coming and allow you to adapt faster, giving you a competitive edge.
- Agile, ready for change
If the past decade has shown the business world anything, it is that the most successful organisations are those that are two steps ahead of the game. The best way to future-proof yourself is to function as an agile, flexible operation. With the right systems and vision in place, the changing world will have nothing on you.
IFS Enterprise Service Management is continually investing in our solutions to support our goal of providing service organisations with dynamic scalability, mobile solutions, ease of deployment, and cloud and wearables flexibility.
We are future-proofing ourselves by helping you succeed at what you do best; delivering unrivaled service.