ARCHIVE FOR THE ‘analytics’ CATEGORY
Without doubt the use of analytics is having an increasing impact in field service. In 2018 we saw more interest than ever from field service leaders wanting better insight into their business and they understand that analytics holds the key to this.
We are expecting a further shift in the way analytics is applied in field service so what are the main challenges that organisations face that analytics can address today?
The Evolution of Analytics
The early adopters of field service analytics were quick to realise that it was not simply data that mattered, but how the data was turned into information that was key. They focused on how data was aggregated from multiple sources to give a unique and unprecedented visibility into the end-to-end operations.
They took a basic understanding of the ‘what’ and ‘where’ and enabled the next leap of the ‘why’ with advanced analytics capabilities that truly enhanced the value of their data further still. Analytics provided business insight and allowed management to focus on taking action based on decisions made from the real-time information available. Operational issues can be more easily identified and rectified quickly and effectively. Business intelligence helps identify trends and creates context, so productivity can be improved, and efficiencies made, so field service organisations have reaped the benefits.
Learn More, Serve More, Grow More
As field service organisations mature in their use of analytics they demand more from business intelligence. There is a definite shift in the application of analytics from simply turning data into outcomes, to enabling leading companies to take a more strategic approach. Analytic driven organisations can learn more about their operational performance and the needs of their customers empowering them to address the trends that are revealed.
Going forward into 2019 we will see analytical data being used in unique ways to help field service organisations leverage the findings that are uncovered to drive innovation into their products and services. Forward-thinking companies will be able to apply these insights to help customise the service they offer to their customers more easily, deepening the customer relationship and improving levels of satisfaction.
The creation of new, unique, predictive and preventative services will help them to serve more. Ultimately this greater understanding of their customers’ needs and expectations, is what will help companies differentiate themselves from their competition and lead company growth.
This shift to a strategic use of data is becoming more and more prevalent in field service and leaders are making it a priority in their business drivers.
"As field service organisations mature in their use of analytics they demand more from business intelligence..."
An Integrated Future
As company leaders recognise that field service has the potential for becoming a more strategic driver within the wider business, the need for improved integration within the business becomes even more critical.
Service teams have, in the past, often been considered to be simply an overhead within the business model rather than adding value. However, the ability to leverage information across the organisation in real time and bring additional context to the broader business insights, empowers field service organisations to become value drivers in the business.
Analytics provides the means for field service organisations to realise their potential and companies that recognise this value, see the importance of a closely integrated and connected field service within the wider business.
Field service solutions have long had the capability to integrate into other business systems, such as CRM, ERP and accounting, to extend the power of these solutions and the combined information provided. Business leaders understand that the true integration of these technologies maximises the overall value beyond the sum of the parts. A comprehensive field service management platform integrated with a suite of solutions is where we are seeing the greatest application of analytics.
As field service becomes a greater part of a fully connected business, the empowered field workforce, armed with contextual insights, are enabled to creatively interact and work with other teams and departments. These new interactions further unlock the value for the company in terms of customer service, sales or product development to fuel competitive advantage.
The Analytics Advantage
Analytics will continue to develop and the potential in field service is vast. It is no surprise that research consistently shows that field service leaders see analytical tools as a priority for their technology investments.
Business insights elevate the field service operation, transforming it to a value-driving organisation within the wider company, that delivers real results: Increasing productivity, customer satisfaction and revenue, taking service to the next level of providing competitive advantage – a vital step in any business.
Companies should take full and rapid advantage of the critical role analytics has in field service.
Mark Tatarsky, is SVP Marketing at FieldAware and will be part of a panel at Field Service USA, discussing the latest developments in field service analytics. The event takes place from April 23 to 26 at JW Marriott Palm Desert Resort and Spa, CA and ou can register for the conference here.
For more information on how to take advantage of analytics in your field service, visit FieldAware's Insights page here.
Field service is undergoing what is in my opinion the biggest change the industry has seen in the last 25 years.
All of our customers, across a range of industries, want to talk to us about Digital Transformation, and how they can use digital technology to fundamentally transform the way they interact with their customers, and not just about the operational ‘nuts and bolts’ of delivering a service to them.
Some customers are only at the beginning, taking small steps towards transformation by, for example, moving away from traditional software ownership models towards cloud-based products and services, such as MS Office 365. Others are further along, with strategies that embrace technologies such as IoT, big data and AI.
But regardless of their progress, at the heart of all of these conversations is the recognition that Digital Transformation will bring them closer to the goal of providing exceptional field service.
The Art Of Field Service Ops
I often think that the role of a Field Service Manager is a complex mix of art and science, with a bit of magic thrown in for good luck.
Decision making needs to adjust constantly to changes in conditions – a sudden unseasonable cold snap, for example, or a contract with a new customer. Just as service delivery metrics point to success, something changes, and there is a whole new dynamic.
Without knowing what combination of factors triggered the change, it’s hard to know how best to respond.
Get the reaction to an emerging threat wrong – too great or too small a response – and the complex balance of the operational ‘ecosystem’ can be thrown out.
Recovering that balance and restoring the conditions required for ‘flawless’ field service can prove costly and time consuming.
Data doesn’t drive decisions
Most organisations capture a range of sources and types of data - workload planning, resource availability, schedule efficiency, service outcomes, customer satisfaction levels, asset profitability – and many are integrating new types, such as that offered by IoT.
However, this data is rarely delivered in the right form to support decision making, meaning that managers spend too much time aligning and manipulating data from disparate sources. Even then, many are frustrated to find that the root cause of issues is still unclear and the likely outcome of any decision is still uncertain.
AI, machine learning and predictive analytics
This is where the latest technologies, such as AI, machine learning and predictive analytics come in.
Valuable insights into the performance of an operation often lie at the intersections of these various datasets; these technologies can enable decision support applications to identify underlying patterns of performance in the Field Service operation, including long and short term trends, that were simply too complex for traditional applications to uncover. This is increasingly true as much larger data sets such as IoT have come online in recent years.
"Field service is undergoing what is in my opinion the biggest change the industry has seen in the last 25 years..."
This deep understanding of performance, combined with the power to highlight exceptions in real-time, enables the operations team to see the correct course of action to address each challenge as it arises. And beyond simple advice, these technologies make it possible for applications to automate ‘learned’ responses to common patterns of exceptions that occur.
The next generation of decision support
This next generation of applications will be used strategically to analyse, for example, which factors within a field service operation make engineers productive, and which inhibit productivity. Some of these factors will be within the control of the engineer, in which case performance can be addressed with initiatives such as better training or incentives.
Others will relate to company processes, in which case the applications will suggest tactical improvements, the impact of which can also be measured. Others still will be external factors which can’t be changed, but can be allowed for in planning and scheduling.
Such applications will be programmed with a knowledge base, but will be learning all the time, as the outcome of each decision is fed back into the performance data, effectively automating the process of continuous incremental improvement. This will take some of the challenge of blending art and science out of the hands of the Field Service Manager, leaving them free to concentrate on other activities.
Not just software suppliers
It is clear that this massive change in the industry requires those of us who supply and partner with field service companies to change too. We can’t just be technology suppliers.
We have to embrace our customers’ goals and work with them to add value; to weave their transformation strategies into the fabric of our products and services and to bring to the table our own blend of art, science and, yes, a little magic too.
Laurent Othacéhé is CEO at Cognito iQ.
New research which examined how organisations are evolving from a traditional office environment to a digital workplace reveals that gaining competitive advantage and improving business process are among the top goals of their digital...
New research which examined how organisations are evolving from a traditional office environment to a digital workplace reveals that gaining competitive advantage and improving business process are among the top goals of their digital transformation strategy.
This is according to 40% of 800 organisations in 15 countries on five continents that were interviewed for Dimension Data’s Digital Workplace Report: Transforming Your Business which was published this week.
Another insight in the Report is that digital transformation is not just about adopting the technologies of the past: 62% of research participants expect to have technology such as virtual advisors in their organisations within the next two years. In addition, 58% expect to start actively investing in technology that powers virtual advisors in the next two years.
Today, the digital workplace is no longer just made up of managers and those managed; co-workers collaborating with one another to complete projects; and employees interacting with customers and partners. It’s increasingly populated by ‘virtual employees’ who do not exist in a physical sense, but nonetheless play an important role in the organisation.
Organisations have grown their use of analytics to understand how these technologies impact their business performance: 64% use analytics to improve their customer services, and 58% use analytics to benchmark their workplace technologies - Krista Brown, Dimension Data
“It’s no longer enough to simply implement these technologies,” says Krista Brown, Dimension Data’s Group End-user Computing SVP. “Organisations have grown their use of analytics to understand how these technologies impact their business performance: 64% use analytics to improve their customer services, and 58% use analytics to benchmark their workplace technologies.”
Meanwhile, around 30% of organisations said they’re far along in their digital transformation initiatives and are already reaping the benefits, while others are still in the early stages of developing a plan.
Brown says one reason that could be holding companies back from implementing a digital workplace is their corporate culture. Often, technology and corporate culture inhibit – rather than encourage – workstyle change. However, the number one barrier to successful adoption of new workstyles was IT issues, and research participants cited organisational issues as another.
“The complexity of the existing IT infrastructure can present a major hurdle to implementing new collaboration and productivity tools to support flexible workstyles. Successful transformation implementations are achieved when IT works closely with line-of-business heads,” says Brown and adds that these transformations are supporting new ways of doing business or supporting clients.
IT leaders were asked to rank which technologies were most important to their digital workplace strategies.
Robert Allman, Group Senior Vice President, Customer Experience and Collaboration believes that mobility is pivotal to a digital workplace. “Business leaders and CIOs are switched on to the importance of mobility in the digital workplace, with an even mix of companies supporting company-provided and employee-owned devices in the work environment.”
Enterprises are also turning to new workplace technologies to drive increased customer service, with 45% of respondents saying they’ve improved customer satisfaction as a result of their use of digital workplace technology.
Be social and share this story
As we continue to bring you a selection of features from The Service Manager Handbook (2015 edition) published by Advanced Field Service we now turn our attention to one of the core tools for building future success, namely the implementation of...
As we continue to bring you a selection of features from The Service Manager Handbook (2015 edition) published by Advanced Field Service we now turn our attention to one of the core tools for building future success, namely the implementation of Analytics and intelligence
Download the full 40 page ebook for free by simply clicking here and completing the brief registration form
In today’s challenging business environment, there is little margin for error. Service managers need an even greater and fully in-depth understanding of their business to improve business planning, helping them make better-informed decisions, to ultimately keep ahead of the competition whilst attracting new customers and retaining their existing customers.
Instant access to management information
The benefits of replacing hand-crafted reports and spreadsheets with more interactive, integrated and intuitive tools are well documented.
As well as removing the unnecessary heavy wastage of man hours, and delaying what is often critical business decisions that can impact your opportunities to not only grow but also identify areas of weakness within your business that could potentially lead to loss of clients, easier access to your data improves control of your business with the following key insights:
- Intelligence to recognise emerging trends: Today’s business environment is faster paces nad more dynamic than ever before, whilst in the past reputations could be built on doing what you do and doing it well, today standing still can lead to dangerously dramatic decline in business, particularly from a service point. Since the economic crash in 2008 service has risen to become the key differentiator between businesses and with modern consumers (both B2B and B2C) well equipped to air any grievances in public via social media the pitfalls of failing service can be catastrophic for a business. As technology continues to push the boundaries of what is possible, it is imperative that service orientated companies embrace this to stay ahead of the competition and deliver service excellence at all times.
- The ability to identify and seize new opportunities or ward off threats: Of course embracing technology doesn’t just mean delivering better standards of service to customers. New emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things can help businesses move from a traditional break-fix reactive approach to a more efficient and cost effective preventative maintenance approach. Through remote monitoring optimum performances can delivered across the install base ultimately leading to less service calls in the long term.
- Power to understand key areas delivering profit (and loss): As the old adage goes you can only manage what you measure. Field service companies are perhaps uniquely positioned to be able to gather more information about their customers than any other industry as they have the benefit of ‘eyes and ears’ on site with your customers. The flow of this information from business unit to business unit allows for far greater insight of where new potential revenue streams may lie, as well as profit leakage may be occurring.
- Fast, informed decision-making based on accurate and live information: The rise in prevalence of dashboard analytics now make it possible for field service managers and their colleagues in other business areas such as procurement and sales to see trends based on the data collected easily and instantly, empowering them to make critical business decisions, and to get them right.
- Unprecedented insight into the most/least profitable areas of your business: In terms of data collection, processing and analysis we are truly living in a golden age. Businesses that harness the power of the data they have access to not only have superior understanding of their own businesses but also of their customers and most crucially of their customers pain points.
Your back-end service management solution should be able to do all the work of collating real-time information automatically across your jobs.
It should also make easy work of presenting it in the formats that are most useful to your management team, providing full visibility of contract profitability and equipping decision-makers with instant access to vital information on the 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 detailed monthly reports.
Not surprisingly, analytical dashboards are fast becoming the service manager’s reporting tool of choice. They offer true anytime/anywhere reporting, via a browser or mobile device, in a way that makes it easy to instantly grasp the significance of the information.
If you have this dashboard facility in your service management solution, you’ll be able to drill down to the original data source to analyse all your core data including: customer status; financials; performance and productivity of engineers, with hours worked and number of visits; stock and supplier KPIs; calls by equipment, site and efficiency; costing of jobs and engineers; call response times.
Download the full 40 page ebook for free by simply clicking here and completing the brief registration form
be social and share this feature
Resource Type: White Paper Published by: Oneserve Title: The metrics that matter: How actionable analytics can transform field service management performance Download:Click here to download this white paper By downloading you agree to the T&Cs...
Resource Type: White Paper
Published by: Oneserve
Title: The metrics that matter: How actionable analytics can transform field service management performance
Download:Click here to download this white paper
By downloading you agree to the T&Cs listed available here
The top strategic action for two-thirds of service organisations is to develop or improve the metrics or KPIs used to measure field service performance. And yet only 18 percent of companies believe they have the skills necessary to gather and use insights effectively.
These two statistics represent the predicament of many field service organisations today - they know actionable analytics are vital for business success, but fully utilising the information they gather is a daunting and difficult task. This white paper aims to disentangle the vast quantity of data available in the field service management industry by highlighting the metrics that really matter and demonstrating how analytics can be used to improve business performance.
This white paper covers the following areas:
Customer Centric and Servitisation
Many organisations have data at their fingertips but are paralysed by the complexity and number of data sources available to them. They rely on anecdotal evidence or intuition to make decisions rather than informed business intelligence in order to drive competitive advantage.
Research shows that service organisations that fully interrogate data outperform their rivals. A like-for-like comparison between organisations which use advanced analytics and those that don’t, reveals that adopters of analytics are seeing a 60% higher increase in year-on-year revenue.
Analytics for Field Service Management (FSM)
Analytics for FSM should be based around assets in the field, the resources (time, money and people) it takes to install, maintain and repair those assets and the customer experience. Initially an organisation may just want to understand the numbers around these key activities, then in time improve processes. Ultimately the goal should be to deliver forecast and predictive analytics that achieve optimisation across service delivery.
Ultimately the goal should be to deliver forecast and predictive analytics that achieve optimisation across service delivery.
Incorporate the metrics that matter
To ensure analytics are able to deliver valuable insight, the right KPIs must be identified. Every service organisation must identify their own metrics based on what success looks like for them. There are however some common measures in the service industry which should be tracked by any service organisation regardless of which sector they operate within.
KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for field service management should include:
- Business process
- Service delivery
- Customer service
- Operational efficiency
This is by no means an exhaustive list - each metric should unlock more in-depth measures which require analysis. Clear actionable insights will be revealed as part of the analysis from which the organisation can take evidence based decisions and improve the process associated with that measure.
This should be a constant cyclical review process.
The analytics journey
Assuming a set of KPIs has been defined, there is a hierarchy of analytics that can be applied, dependent upon the richness of the data and the analytics resource available. The advanced analytics journey demonstrated in chart 1 articulates a staged approach, which starts by examining the data and finishes by optimising the intelligence which has been discovered. Evidently each step in the journey becomes more complicated and arguably more useful as the capability and complexity of the analytics increases.
Additional benefits of analytics
Increased customer retention Research by Aberdeen Group shows organisations that embrace analytics outperform their industry average figures for customer satisfaction, customer retention and service improvement. These organisations use analytics to gain a deep understanding of customer behaviour to preempt customer needs and desires without explicit interaction.
Higher levels of motivation in the workforce The mobile workforce is the shop window of any service organisation. In fact some organisations are even combining the role of technician and salesperson. The technician is highly qualified in product knowledge and often in the customer space; this puts them in a unique position of knowledge and trust to be able to sell to the customer.
Improved bottom line Organisations which reap the greatest rewards from business intelligence see a significantly improved bottom line.
Competitive advantage By continuously analysing in-house performance figures these companies can use this insight to monitor their competitors and ensure they stay at the top of their game. The best performing service organisations are twice as likely as all others to consistently benchmark service performance against peers and top performers in other industries.
be social and share this feature