We continue our series looking at the extracts from The Service Management Handbook 2014 published by Advanced Field Service and this time take a look at how utilising modern business intelligence tools can further improve our efficiency.
Working smarter. Faster.
Given today’s challenging environment there is little margin for error, that’s why service managers need an even greater and in-depth understanding of their business to improve business planning, make more informed decisions, keep ahead of the competition and retain and attract customers.
With increasing demands for information, best-in-class field service companies are turning to the latest business intelligence (BI) tools to gain instant access to critical data ‘on-the-move’.
The benefits of management reporting for any business are well documented…
- A clear, rounded, instant view of the whole business
- Intelligence to recognise emerging trends
- Potential to seek and respond to new opportunities or threats
- Power to understand key areas delivering profit (and loss)
- Make fast, informed decisions based on accurate and live information
However not all field service businesses have the time or resources to pull together and analyse reams of reports.
That’s why successful, growing businesses have long since replaced stacks of hand-crafted reports and isolated spreadsheets with more interactive and intuitive BI tools, transforming the way they automate, view and manage their business performance.
Your back-end service management solution should be able to do all the work of collating real-time information automatically across your jobs.
[quote float ="left"]Your data should be regularly analysed in a multitude of ways and in varying degrees of complexity[/quote] It should also make easy work out of presenting it in the formats you have defined as being most useful to your business, giving your management team full visibility of your contract profitability and equipping your decision-makers with instant access to vital information on your 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 monthly detailed reports.
By setting up quick, simple, configurable management reports, you could gain unprecedented insight into the most, and least, profitable areas of your business. Standard reports include: analysis of calls by equipment, site and efficiency; costing of jobs and engineers; performance and productivity of engineers; and KPI reporting.
Operating in a fast moving environment doesn’t allow time for your engineers to wait until they’re back at the office to give you an update on their status. So having the ability to reportonsite directly from their mobile device of choice, whether tablet, mobile phone or PDA, can be invaluable.
Mobile software that works seamlessly hand-in-hand with your back-end service management software will give you the added benefit of instantly analysing the performance and productivity of your workers and react immediately to any potential issues.
This means that you are no longer reliant on being in the office to run your reports – as it can all be done, at the touch of a button, whatever your location.
Employing BI tools that give you the insight to drive your business forward and avoid areas of failure could be your life line by transforming the way your KPIs are delivered and providing a new level of management analysis.
[quote float="right"]With the acceleration of technical advancements continuing to take speed, BI is becoming increasingly accessible on the cloud.[/quote] With the acceleration of technical advancements continuing to take speed, BI is becoming increasingly accessible on the cloud and the latest analytic dashboards are now fast becoming the service manager’s reporting tool of choice, offering true anytime/anywhere reporting, via a browser or mobile device, in easy-to understand formats.
You may think this functionality has been around for some time, and in some cases it has.
However many of the leading software providers are now incorporating dashboard facilities intotheir service management solutions, so you can drill-down to the original data source to analyse, at both a detailed or top-level business view, all your core data including customer status, call response, financials, hours worked, engineer visits, stock and supplier KPIs.