Changing the game with integrated service management

Aug 24, 2015 • FeaturesManagementSoftware & Appsfuture of field serviceERPfield service managementSoftware and AppsCustomer Satisfaction and Expectations

Today’s world of industry is evolving at a faster pace than ever before. Agility is key to surviving and thriving in this modern era and agility in service can be the difference between you and your competitors writes Tom Bowe of IFS.

At IFS we talk a lot about business agility, because we believe organisations that are able to respond rapidly to internal and external environmental changes without losing momentum or vision will be game-changers in their field. Why is being adaptable and flexible so important in today’s business world? The world is changing at an exponential rate. The youngest generation of the workforce is further removed from those leaving the workforce than ever before.

Then, of course, you have the learning lessons of those businesses that failed to respond effectively to the rapidly changing technological landscape. Nokia failed to recognise evolving customer demands in the smartphone market and ultimately were destroyed by Apple and Android’s fast paced R&D and delivery cycles. They were the world’s dominant mobile-phone maker but by the time Microsoft bought them in 2013, they claimed just three percent of the global smartphone market. The New Yorker put it aptly, stating; “Nokia’s failure resulted at least in part from an institutional reluctance to transition into a new era.”

The implementation and application of ERP software is most often considered traditional, rigid development, but that is not necessarily the case.

Agility is something that will not only allow your business to survive and keep up with an ever evolving market, but it will also give your organisation a competitive edge, particularly in the service sector. This flexibility must be driven internally with a scalable approach. The buy-in must be company-wide, and one place to start is with your processes and systems. The implementation and application of ERP software is most often considered traditional, rigid development, but that is not necessarily the case. ERP software from IFS is built with an architecture that lets you pick and choose what you need for your business. It is optimised to be the best option for service organisations, it is user-friendly, and developmentally adaptable and scalable.


Imagine having this flexibility and usability across your organisation, driving your service as a profit centre. An integrated service management platform gives you the consistency, reliability and speed to react in real-time to real-world events. It is an enabler for agility. An integrated solution is provided all on the same platform, so changes to business processes and workflows don’t need to be implemented across multiple systems. This means that processes and workflows are applied seamlessly across the organisation, ensuring efficiency, productivity and accuracy of information. Implementations of multiple systems take time, are tied to prohibitive costs, and are fraught with risk. With one fully integrated system rather than multiple systems connected together, you as an organisation benefit from speed of change, ease of change, reduced costs, and less risk.

Having a fully integrated system gives your organisation true visibility into not only operations, but the field as well. From call intake to financials, the entire process is documented, tracked, and easily accessed at any point during the entire service life-cycle. This gives an organisation visibility of day-to-day activity, and business intelligence needed to forecast accurately for the future. Imagine a flexible system that automatically applies certain determined processes to specific workflows, that identifies parts needed for specific jobs and then instructs technicians on what procedures need to take place during certain projects.

Business agility is particularly important when it comes to service.

An agile system provides automation and optimisation, coupled with complete configurability and usability, allowing you to operate on a level that continually ensures success. Business agility is particularly important when it comes to service. Customer demands are at an all-time high, thanks to social media and the instant gratification culture created by having things available, immediately, at our fingertips. Service organisations must meet, or better yet, exceed, these expectations.


Agility in service not only drives speed-to-market, but also speed-to-delivery, which creates a competitive edge. So what can you do to achieve this agility when it comes to your software solutions and business processes? Evaluate the challenges and failings you have in relation to your current systems and delivery. Consider replacing your current back end system with something that will give you flexibility as your organisation grows internally and externally.

Often with larger, monolithic systems, internal change is static or too complicated to be effective. IFS Applications 9 is able to provide a business edge when it comes to visibility with perhaps the industry’s first user-configurable role-specific interfaces in IFS Lobby, enhanced usability within existing mobile service management tools and strategic customer relationship management (CRM) embedded directly in the applications for real-time visibility and control over the customer lifecycle.

Change the game by approaching the market with a system that will give you the visibility and flexibility needed to truly operate in the fast changing service industry. By making this fundamental change to integrated service management, you will be more prepared for external change, including trends like IoT, share economy, drones, and more. With a foundation based on agility, your organisation is guaranteed to adapt, no matter the situation.



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