Written by 6:00 am FSM Technology

The State of the UK/Europe Field Service Management (FSM)Market in 2017 – and Beyond!

Bill Pollock reveals some of the key findings of this year’s Strategies for GrowthSM  benchmark survey with a specific lens on the Uk and European market…

Each year, Strategies For GrowthSM (SFGSM) conducts a series of Benchmark Surveys administered among its global outreach community.

The results of SFGSM’s 2017 Field Service Management (FSM) Benchmark Survey, as they pertain specifically to the UK/Europe FSM market base, identify the following as the top factors, or challenges, currently driving Field Service Organisations (FSOs) to optimise field service performance (compared to the overall global results) – basically, they have been mandated by their respective managements to “meet customer demands” and “drive increased service revenues”, as summarised below:

  • 50% Customer demand for quicker response time (less than 55% Global)
  • 46% Internal mandate to drive increased service revenues (more than f30% Global)
  • 38% Need to improve workforce utilisation & productivity (less than f50% Global)
  • 38% Need to improve service process efficiencies (less than 39% Global)
  • 23% Customer demand for improved asset availability (less than f29% Global)
  • 23% Customer demand for more accurate service call scheduling (same as 23% Global)

However, while some of the key UK/Europe market drivers, such as customer demand for quicker response time and focusing on customer demand and workforce utilisation may be lower than their global respondent counterparts, the recognition that there is a need to improve service process efficiencies is pretty much at par with the rest of the world.

As such, it should come as no surprise that, similar to the 2017 global survey results, UK/Europe FSOs are still planning to invest more in new technologies in support of their respective field forces than other global geographies represented in the overall survey universe.

However, in order to effectively address these key challenges – and strive to attain Best Practices status – UK/Europe respondents then cite the following as the top strategic actions they are currently taking:

  • 65% Develop / improve metrics, or KPIs, used to measure field service performance (more than 48% Global)
  • 38% Automate existing manual field service processes and activities (more than 36% Global)
  • 35% Integrate new technologies into existing field service operations (i.e., iPads, Tablets or other devices, etc.) (more than 31% Global)

These data strongly suggest that there is a pattern of synergy among the top three cited strategic actions that builds a foundation for all of the other actions that will ultimately be taken by the organisation; that is, that nearly two-thirds of the FSOs comprising the UK/Europe services community already recognise the need to build and/or improve their KPI measurement program.

In fact, the percentage of UK/Europe FSOs currently developing/improving their respective KPIs, at 65%, remains higher than even the 62% cited by the survey’s historical Best Practices respondents (i.e., those attaining at least 90% Customer Satisfaction and 30% Services Profitability).

Based on the current SFG survey data, Jerry Edinger, President, CEO and Chairman of CSDP Corporation, a leading Service Relationship Management software developer, explains, “This is why we start every one of our client engagements with consulting.

We ensure that your business processes are designed correctly before automating them. Software alone cannot improve KPIs. We design the exact Field Service Management solution based on the needs and requirements of the organisation.

We detail how a solution automates the entire service delivery and customer service processes into a fully integrated field service management system and maps it into the overall enterprise workflow. Once the consultative effort is completed, we then have a detailed roadmap of how to build the most effective solution to meet the organisation’s field service goals and objectives.”

The 2017 SFG survey results identify the following as the main factors that characterise the UK/Europe FSM market

  • The top future challenges for UK/Europe FSOs with respect to the acquisition and implementation of new technologies are essentially cost-related (i.e., ROI and TCO)
  • The top future opportunity/benefit anticipated by UK/Europe FSOs through the acquisition/implementation of new technologies is improved customer satisfaction, primarily through the ability to eliminate internal silos, and provide customers with an end-to-end engagement relationship
  • UK/Europe Field Services Organisations (FSOs) are largely driven to meet customer demands for quicker response time, and internal mandates for driving increased service revenues
  • A nearly two-thirds majority of UK/Europe FSOs are adding, expanding and/or refining the metrics, or KPIs, they use to measure service performance
  • Over the next 12 months, more than two-thirds (70%) of UK/Europe FSOs will have integrated new technologies into existing field service operations, and automated existing manual fields service processes or activities (70%)UK/Europe Field Technicians are increasingly being provided with enhanced access to real-time data and information to support them in the field
  • UK/Europe FSOs are providing customers with expanded Web-enabled self-help capabilities (i.e., to order parts, track the status of open calls, and create service tickets, etc.)