With over 20 years’ experience in the industry Chris Beling looks at the connection between ‘best-in-class’ service organisations and the use of business intelligence.
True or false? The importance of turning data into meaningful business intelligence has never been so critical for the service management industry as success criteria and the ability to deliver ‘service excellence’ continues to move further away from the ‘wrench’ and more towards a customer centric focus.
Recent reports published earlier in 2015 suggest that ‘best-in-class’ service organisations are reaping the benefits of such an approach with figures showing higher customer satisfaction and customer retention rates as well as a year-on-year increase in service margins. So why isn’t everybody adopting this approach?
One of the main challenges faced by the wider market is progressive technology. So what do I mean by this? I’m referring to the pace at which technology and service management software advance and the ability, or lack of, for service organisations to adapt and adopt these advances successfully to help drive business growth.
The service environment varies greatly, whether you’re a service centre handling thousands of repairs every day, or a service provider with a large team of field engineers managing a hugely varied portfolio of assets all over the country (or all over the world for that matter)
Disparate systems, legacy data, complex assets and growing customer demand all add to the challenge of providing ‘service excellence’ in the complex world of service management. So even if you know that customer satisfaction, an increase in contract renewals, improved service margins, workforce efficiency drives, moving from reactive resolution to a PPM based approach are all essential for business growth and maintaining a competitive advantage, how do you provide service excellence without impacting current performance?
Here’s how? With a service management solution that provides a comprehensive end-to-end process engine and the flexibility to match your exact requirements, keeping you in complete control of operations, whilst at the same time providing management with a holistic view across the organisation and not just delivering data but revealing business intelligence.
Leading organisations are now looking at service as a ‘profit centre’ in its own right with management embracing the concept of a ‘customer centric focus’ in order to excel at service operations and drive revenue.
With a central system receiving data automatically and simultaneously from multiple parts of the business - at the point of job creation through the service desk; from engineers in the field via mobile technology; direct from assets with M2M capabilities to name but a few – business intelligence doesn’t just report on the number of calls completed ‘on-time’ but the provides insight into what it took to close those calls and how they could have been prevented the in the first place.
It’s reported that 41% of service jobs are now Planned Preventive Maintenance (PPM) visits within best-in-class service organisations which indicates greater control of resources, planning and cost allowing them to optimise their workforce, increase productivity and improve margins.
In any business, and this is nothing new, it’s more costly and resource intensive to generate new business rather than nurturing existing customers. Service management is no different. So, if we find ways to achieve ‘service excellence’ and in turn improve customer satisfaction, it would be fair to expect to see an increase in contract renewals, customer retention and customer referrals.
The expertise of service management software providers, their ability to provide comprehensive solutions and their ability to work in partnership with their customers to understand requirements, are all essential for the successful implementation of a ‘service excellence’ strategy within any business. After all, you only get out of a system what you put in – so if business intelligence is the required output you must be able to input, capture and monitor the data in the first place.
The ability to connect and optimise assets, contracts, customers and workforce using one central system that can provide real-time visibility to operational performance and turn a myriad of data into meaningful business intelligence seems like a game changer to me. Investing in, and building on, solutions that offer that business intelligence will be what separates those organisations at the top of their game from the rest of the field.