Do you know what your maximum service revenue potential could be based on the product units your organization sells? Is your current service revenue less than this maximum? Do you have a process to upsell service contracts into your existing...
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Do you know what your maximum service revenue potential could be based on the product units your organization sells? Is your current service revenue less than this maximum? Do you have a process to upsell service contracts into your existing installed base? Coen Jeukens VP of global customer transformation at ServiceMax explains more...
If you gave one or more puzzled looks while reading that, chances are you are suffering from upsell leakage.
In my , I defined two types of leakage: contract and non-contract leakage. In this article, we’ll define upsell leakage. It is very likely that upsell leakage at your business could be twice as big as the other two combined.
Understanding Upselling Leakage
As a service organization, you’d like all your customers to buy your premium service. Some customers will buy ‘gold’ service level for their installed base, others will be happy with ‘basic’ service. It all depends on the use case of your customer and their propensity to value the services you offer. As use cases tend to change over time, you may want to consider setting up an upselling program using the touchpoints from your service delivery.
“If you don’t ask, you don’t give them the opportunity to say yes.”
Not having such a program deprives you of revenue potential; being the delta between your current service revenue and ’gold’ service level.
Defining the Upsell Service Revenue Potential
To quantify upsell leakage we can use a mechanism known to Sales as TAM (Total Addressable Market). Suppose you sold 1,000 units at $10,000 each. Suppose a ‘gold’ service contract has an annual selling price of 12% of the unit selling price. This would put your service-TAM at $1,200,000 per annum.
Imagine your service department has 600 of those 1,000 units on their radar screen. The rest is sold via an indirect sales channel and/ or lost-out-of-sight. This gives an installed base visibility of 60%. Let’s assume those 600 units generate a service revenue of $400,000, split across:
- 10% of units are in (OEM) warranty and don’t generate revenue (yet)
- 50% of units have a bronze, silver, or gold contract generating $240,000
- 40% of units don’t have a contract and generate $160,000 in Time & Material (T&M)
With the above figures, you currently reap 33% of your service-TAM and you have an upsell potential of $800,000. Monitoring this upsell leakage metric should give you the incentive to put a revenue generation program in place.
Identifying the Metrics that Impact Upsell Leakage
In the numeric example, we’ve touched on three metrics that impact upsell leakage.
- : It all begins with installed base visibility. Units not on your radar screen will not contribute to your service revenue! This is easier to manage for units sold via your organization’s direct sales channel, though it does require an effort to manage the life cycle from as-sold to as-maintained. For units sold via the indirect sales channel, you’ll have to exert extra effort to get access point-of-sale data, maybe even ‘buying’ the data.
- : Both warranty and contracts are attached to the unit, thus driving attach rates. Attach rates are ‘boolean,’ they say something about having an attached contract, not about the amount of revenue you get through that contract. Attach rates start at the installation/ commissioning date of a unit. Either Sales makes the attached-sale at point-of-sale of the unit or the Service department drives the attaching post-point-of-sale. The driving metric for Service is to maintain a continuum of attachment throughout the life cycle of the unit.
- : Within the subset of attached contracts, you’d like to have as much revenue contribution as possible, ‘gold’ service being the holy grail. Per service contract you could have any of the following revenue contributions:
- OEM Warranty: 0% of Service-TAM
- Enhanced Warranty: 33% of Service-TAM (only the on-top-of OEM warranty piece)
- Extended Warranty or Basic Service: 67% of Service-TAM
- Gold: 100% of Service-TAM
Remedying Upsell Leakage
The overarching paradigm to growing service revenue is twofold: increasing your installed base visibility and making sure you have attached offerings to those units.
Getting visibility on units sold via the indirect channel is slightly more complicated, but once you quantify the associated service-TAM with those units, you may have the ‘funding’ to ‘buy’ the data. This may even lead to revenue sharing models with your channel partners. The last piece of the puzzle is using the visibility of the upsell leakage gap whenever you have a touchpoint with your customer.
Note that the original (service) contract has been drafted many months ago by people who are further away from the business, who could not 100% envision the service reality of today. You thus may end up in an entitlement conversation where the customer has an urgent requirement whereas the contract ‘only’ covers for the ‘basics.’ The delta is an upsell opportunity. Either resulting in an upgrade of the service contract or maybe only upgrading an incidental work order. In case the latter happens more often, you have the data points to convince the customer for the former.
Now, understanding that upsell leakage is potentially twice as big as contract and non-contract leakage together, you may have found your compelling reason to start another revenue growth project.
- Read more about Leadership and Strategy @ www.fieldservicenews.com/leadership-and-strategy
- Read news and articles about ServiceMax @ www.fieldservicenews.com/servicemax
- Learn more about ServiceMax Entitlements @ www.servicemax.com/asset-360/warranty-contract-management
- Read more articles by Coen Jeukens on Field Service News @ www.fieldservicenews.com/coen-jeukens
- Find out more about ServiceMax @ www.servicemax.com/uk
- Follow ServiceMax on Twitter @ twitter.com/ServiceMax
ServiceMax, the leader in asset-centric field service management, announced the debut of ServiceMax Engage, an intuitive mobile application that connects field service organizations with their end customers to increase service visibility, elevate...
ServiceMax, the leader in asset-centric field service management, announced the debut of ServiceMax Engage, an intuitive mobile application that connects field service organizations with their end customers to increase service visibility, elevate the customer experience, and ensure asset data quality. The announcement was made today at the kick-off of Maximize 2021, the 10th annual Global Field Service Conference.
ServiceMax Engage Helps Asset-Centric Service Organizations Involve and Support End Customers for Improved Service Execution
ServiceMax Engage addresses two major pain points facing service organizations: the desire for greater visibility into and involvement with the service process by end customers; and the challenge of maintaining complete and accurate asset data. “Now more than ever, we want to ensure end customers are active participants in the service lifecycle. ServiceMax Engage enables service organizations to deliver a better customer experience, ensure the asset data needed for effective service execution is precise, and build more resilient service processes with their customers,” said Amit Jain, Senior Vice President of Product, ServiceMax. “Service organizations continue to face challenges maintaining accurate data on complex assets. Engage provides end customers greater visibility and involvement in the service process and lays the foundation for leveraging technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence in the future.”
"Empowering customers to be more hands-on in managing their assets also helps to close a critical part of the feedback loop for manufacturers. Customers are best placed to validate information about assets in the field," said Nicole France, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research. "Validating and updating that data increases the odds of getting the right fix the first time and improving preventive maintenance. It also ensures that customers have better visibility into their equipment and are more educated users."
ServiceMax Engage offers a range of benefits, including:
End Customer Benefits:
- Deeper involvement with the service process
- Self-service through remote support
- Real-time access to asset information
- Enhanced customer experience and satisfaction
- Improved asset data accuracy and visibility
- Increased technician productivity
- Improved contract performance
- Increased service revenue
- Broader functionality and enhanced usability vs. a customer web portal
- Turnkey app = no additional implementation costs
- Seamless - native to ServiceMax and Salesforce
Learn more about ServiceMax Engage at www.servicemax.com/engage
As part of our ongoing series where we go beyond the industry headlines to dig deeper into the news that matters for field service management professionals, Kris Oldland, Editor-in-Chief, Field Service News talks to ServiceMax's Neil Barua and...
As part of our ongoing series where we go beyond the industry headlines to dig deeper into the news that matters for field service management professionals, Kris Oldland, Editor-in-Chief, Field Service News talks to ServiceMax's Neil Barua and Stacey Epstein about the recent announcement of a deeper relationship with one time competitor Salesforce...
A Compelling Move by Two of the Big Names in Field Service Technology:
The last time I spent time with ServiceMax's Neil Barua and Stacey Epstein in person was nearly 18 months ago, where, in the desert heat of Palm Springs we shared a beer towards the end of a long day of discussions, presentations and interviews at the Field Service USA conference.
Fast forward to today, and the memory seems like a relic from a different time. Such casual catch-ups, indeed, even simple business conferences seem like a luxurious relic of another time. A time where we weren't restricted by a pandemic that no-one saw coming.
Yet, for all the pain, suffering and heartache COVID-19 has brought us, in the field service sector at least, in equal measure the pandemic has sharpened us, refined our offerings and pushed us singularly as an industry towards the adoption of what were, not too long ago, seen as best-in-class technologies, processes and strategies.
When a market is disrupted, we see innovation flourish. COVID-19 has been the most significant disruptor the world has ever seen.
"While others may want to talk about the great reset, I see what we are currently going through more akin to hitting the fast forward button..."
It feels like we are living in triple time at the moment. While others may want to talk about the great reset, I see what we are currently going through more akin to hitting the fast forward button (for those of us old enough to remember the halcyon days of analogue tape). In a major research project for which I am currently authoring the report, I see evidence of this. What we are seeing emerge around us in many ways is not the sudden emergence of new thinking and new technologies. It is the natural endpoint of a journey we have been on for a long, long time. We are just getting there a lot quicker than we ever thought we might, because, quite simply, we have to.
This sentiment is echoed in Neil Barua's words as we reconnect. "If you recall, when we last me 18 months ago, that was only the first week of my taking on the CEO role with ServiceMax although it feels like 6 years ago, a lot has happened since then."
It certainly has. The very world in which we all exist has changed. However, even without the backdrop of a global pandemic, you have a feeling this was going to be a big period of evolution for Barua and ServiceMax either way.
"I'm really proud of this team and what we have achieved since I've been here and candidly, the tail-winds of service transformation that you have been following for many years, if not decades, is now truly upon us and COVID, while the tragedy continues, has really driven the need for our customer base to adopt new tools to both be competitive and also to be able to serve the essential workers out there in a way that is modern that can support them out there on the frontline," Barua adds.
This is an important point. In our sector, we have always known that our field service engineers are the unsung heroes of our industry, long before the term 'essential workers' ever entered into our everyday lexicon. However, as that value is magnified even further, we must be able to offer our engineers the latest technologies. Technologies that not only allow them to do what they do best and keep the world working but to be able to do it safely and effectively.
"This announcement is the evolution of the reconnection with Salesforce that began back in February that is a far greater partnership..."
- Neil Barua, CEO ServiceMax
The role technology will play in allowing us to do that will, of course, be huge. So the recent announcement of a much deeper working partnership between two of the industry behemoths in ServiceMax and Salesforce was met with great fanfare. Add into the mix that we are now seeing Salesforce acquisition of ClickSoftware begin to bear fruit and we have something coming close to an FSM supergroup. There are a lot of very experienced, knowledgeable people now working alongside each other, pulling in the same direction. This can only be a good thing for the wider industry. To use a quote that I am particularly fond of, as JFK once said, 'a rising tide lifts all boats'.
"This announcement is the evolution of the reconnection with Salesforce that began back in February that is a far greater partnership," Barua explains. "We're taking a significant part of the eighty million dollars coming from Salesforce Ventures and began the continuous communication between the two companies to think about what more can we do beyond the transfer of money to make value for customers and to do more than what either company has ever done before.
"When we look at this market opportunity, Salesforce are really excited about the opportunity, it [FSM] is the fastest growing product in the history of Salesforce, we are also seeing extremely fast growth in our core busines and we decided to put our product teams together in collaboration," Barua added.
Yet, having seen the initial press statements from both organizations, and reading between the lines of those statements, which as with all such press announcements carry a slightly sanitized tone, polished by corporate communications departments, I couldn't escape the feeling that there was far more to the announced partnership than the standard industry collaboration.
"This is a time period where partnerships really matter, so we've reached across the aisle on both sides to make sure we do right by our customers..."
- Neil Barua, CEO, ServiceMax
Personally, knowing both companies and a number of the key players involved, I had a sense that this partnership ran far deeper than similar partnership announcements. This was more I felt than a formal agreement to share a go-to-market strategy. It seemed to be something far more engaged at the micro-level, rather than the usual surface-level macro approach.
I was keen to see if this truly was the case.
"We've brought together our R&D teams, our marketing teams and our sales teams and the announcement earlier this month, of ServiceMax Asset 360 for Salesforce, is an announcement of a really strategic partnership which unleashes the most complete field service solution in the market out there. It brings to the table the strengths that they bring to bear, particularly the appointment centric capabilities and all the platform technologies that they are evolving and building our asset-centric capabilities on that platform. Putting this together, there is no use case we cannot serve now. We now have execution in front of us to really take advantage of the strengths of both companies."
With this in mind, then it truly is a genuinely exciting proposition for the industry to see such a complete solution come to the fore. It is also perhaps the perfect example of a solution borne in 2020 – a year where in the face of all the adversity we have begun to understand the importance of true business partnerships. As Barua wisely comments "this is a time period where partnerships really matter, so we've reached across the aisle on both sides to make sure we do right by our customers."
Again, the cynical old journalist listening to soundbites about 'doing the right thing for customers' might just see a selection of play-book quotes ready to hand. Yet, there is an earnestness and excitement to the way Barua communicates that makes it hard to stay cynical. While undoubtedly like every great CEO, Barua knows what to say and how to say it, you also get a feeling that his words are built on a foundation of honesty and a belief in doing things the right way.
When I first met Barua, one observation I made was that there was a feeling of continuation from the preceding CEO's he had taken the mantle from. Initially being Dave Yarnold, and then during the GE period, Scott Berg.
That is not to say that under the stewardship of Barua the ServiceMax story isn't evolving, it most evidently is. However, the ethos that underpinned the organization's previous meteoric rise, a focus on understanding the challenges that their customers, and the field service sector at large face remains. That ethos has been key to ServiceMax's approach to building solutions to meet those customer needs which has remained consistent across the various chapters of this compelling story.
I also commented at the time, that I felt a large factor in maintaining a consistent ethos would be the return of Stacey Epstein, now CMO and Chief Experience Officer at ServiceMax to the fold.
Epstein was part of the early team at ServiceMax under Yarnold, who went on to become an impressive CEO in her own right, nurturing communications platform start-up Zinc to becoming an innovative tool that again addressed the needs of modern field service organizations.
"Integrated isn't even the right word, these solutions are all built on one data model leveraging all the same native objects... "
- Stacey Epstein, CMO & Chief Experience Officer, ServiceMax
ServiceMax's subsequent acquisition of Zinc was thus doubly important.
It not only brought another piece of the FSM puzzle into Servicemax's suite of solutions, but it also brought back another experienced voice and mind, one who understood the 'special sauce' that made ServiceMax such a success, back into their senior leadership team.
"I've been in this space for decades," Epstein reflects.
"Well before ServiceMax I was selling field service software for Clarify in the nineties. Field service has been around forever; probably people were going around in wagons and on horses to offer services for people! But I think technology has just continued to fuel the maturity of what field service teams can do. In the past everything was client-server, there was no such thing as mobile. So then it was all about optimizing and tracking parts.
"When ServiceMax came along, it was one of the first Cloud-based FSM solutions and the first vendor to offer a mobile solution. Then Salesforce started building, and Click had great scheduling, and now we have really combined all of this into one very integrated solution.
"In fact, integrated isn't even the right word, these solutions are all built on one data model leveraging all the same native objects." Epstein adds as she considers the point further.
"The things that companies were buying piecemeal before, they can now access on one platform, which will mean a much faster time to value for customers. There are more features out of the box, so there is less customization, and it puts our customers in the position to adopt the new things that come up, like ScopeAR's augmented reality tools, like Aquant's artificial intelligence tools and like the Zinc communication tools.
"If my core features and functionality, asset-centricity, resource -centricity, are all covered in a very robust platform integrated into my CRM then it is not a big step to leverage the cutting-edge tools that allow me to achieve a digital transformation.
"In some ways it is a maturity, but in another way is that it doesn't mean we are 'there' yet . In a sense it simply means that when new technologies emerge, companies are really ready to adopt."
This final point of Epstein's is a good reflection on the place that FSM technology has arrived at today. Much has been refined within recent years, the foundational building blocks of what we now perceive as an FSM platform are in place and proven to be robust and reliable. However, we are also entering a new era of FSM solutions, and thanks in no small part to the pandemic our arrival at this new point came sooner than the majority of us might have anticipated.
The next iteration of FSM will involve remote diagnostics, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and more. However, without a cohesive platform to build upon these tools cannot live up to the value propositions they promise. We are entering a new phase of FSM technology, and the partnership of Salesforce and ServiceMax will see both companies play a leading role in shaping how technology in our industry is set to evolve.
- Read the initial announcement about the partnership @ https://www.fieldservicenews.com/blog/servicemax-announces-new-offering-asset-360-for-salesforce-bringing-asset-centric-capabilities-to-all-types-of-field-service-organizations
- Read news and articles about ServiceMax @ https://www.fieldservicenews.com/hs-search-results?term=servicemax
- Read more about Digital Transformation in Field Service @ https://www.fieldservicenews.com/blog/tag/digital-transformation
- Find out about the solutions ServiceMax offer field service companies @ https://www.servicemax.com/uk
- Follow ServiceMax on Twitter @ https://twitter.com/ServiceMax
A few weeks ago, Scope AR and ServiceMax announced that they had established a partnership that would allow ScopeAR to be embedded into the workflow of ServiceMax users...
A few weeks ago, Scope AR and ServiceMax announced that they had established a partnership that would allow ScopeAR to be embedded into the workflow of ServiceMax users...
On the surface, it promises to be a powerful alliance and one that could provide the ease of deployment that has been a barrier for many field service organisations adopting Augmented Reality (AR) solutions as part of their field service deployment.
As we build towards the recovery, many are envisioning a world where on-site touchpoints are to be minimised and so the focus on first-time fix is greater than ever before. Therefore, how we approach service delivery and ensure we are empowering our engineers and technicians fully by giving them access to the information, they need when they need it. The most efficient manner of communicating such information is very much centred around AR, which is now sitting at the very heart of how best-in-class field service organisations are focusing their efforts.
As part of our Beyond the Headlines series of features we Kris Oldland, Editor-in-Chief Field Service News invited Gabriele Bodda, Vice President of Product Management, ServiceMax and Scott Montgomerie, CEO and Founder of Scope AR to join in him for a discussion on the Field Service News Digital Symposium.
"For a ServiceMax user to utilise and harness the power of Scope AR within our platform is going to be straightforward..."
- Gabrielle Bodda, ServiceMax
In the first of two excerpts from that session, we look at the practical side of the discussion and ask how seamless the experience of is using Scope AR within the ServiceMax platform?
"For a ServiceMax user to utilise and harness the power of Scope AR within our platform is going to be straightforward,” commented Bodda during the session.
“This is something that we put a lot of attention to when we worked through the partnership, as we do with every partnership,” he continued.
“It is not just about a go-to-market, it is not just about the mutual endorsement, it is about bringing to our customers an end-to-end experience, it is about bringing to the customers something that is ready to use.”
However, the fact that there is an ‘oven-ready’ version of the tool doesn’t mean that it cannot be customised to suit any given companies more specific requirements. As Bodda confirms, “customers can of course change it and adapt it but they also have something to start with that can be deployed very quickly.”
One point that is raised often in conversations around AR in field service is whether there is a need for additional hardware, such as smart glasses or head-mounted computers. However, having led the way with apps for technicians on Apple’s iOS platform, ServiceMax is almost synonymous with harnessing the power of the engineer’s existing device. Will Scope AR fit in with that approach or will the additional investment be required for companies that are to make the most of this partnership“There is no additional hardware necessarily required,” confirmed Montgomery when this question was put to him during the session. “For more complicated use cases, we do support a number of headsets, but for standard integration, iOS and Android are more than capable.”
"We really think of Augmented Reality as a way to enhance the knowledge transfer that’s needed between someone that is in the field that is the hands to solve the problem and expert that knows what to do..."
- Scott Montgomerie, Scope AR
So how seamless is the integration itself? According to both Bodda and Montgomerie in effect, the integration should function intuitively and holistically. This is crucial to the success of the collaboration.
“We really think of Augmented Reality as a way to enhance the knowledge transfer that’s needed between someone that is in the field that is the hands to solve the problem and expert that knows what to do,” explains Montgomerie.
“The integration we’ve built with ServiceMax is geared towards that ideal scenario where they [the field technician] is already within the work order where they can click on the procedure through a deep linking mechanism – it’s very seamless,” he concludes.
Look out for the second excerpt from this session where we look at the broader use cases of Augmented Reality in general. In that upcoming article, we get Bodda’s and Montgomerie’s insight into how the companies they are working with are leveraging the tools to navigate their way through the current crisis we are all facing.
- Learn more about how WorkLink seamlessly integrates with the ServiceMax FSM platform @ www.scopear.com/partners/servicemax/.
- Read more about Digital Transformation @ https://www.fieldservicenews.com/blog/tag/digital-transformation
- Read more about Augmented Reality in Field Service @ https://www.fieldservicenews.com/hs-search-results?term=Augmented+reality+
- Follow ScopeAR on twitter @ https://twitter.com/scopear
- Follow ServiceMax on Twitter @ https://twitter.com/ServiceMax
- Find out more about the services ServiceMax offer to field service companies @ www.servicemax.com/
- Find out more about the services ScopeAR offer to field service companies @www.scopear.com/
Combined with Salesforce Customer 360 Platform and Salesforce Field Service, Asset 360 will create the world's most complete field service solution on the world's #1 CRM platform
Combined with Salesforce Customer 360 Platform and Salesforce Field Service, Asset 360 will create the world's most complete field service solution on the world's #1 CRM platform
ServiceMax, the leader in asset-centric field service management, today announced ServiceMax Asset 360 for Salesforce, a new product built on Salesforce Field Service, bringing ServiceMax's asset-centric approach and decade-plus of experience to more customers across a broader set of industries to help them keep critical assets running.
In today's environment, companies across all industries are having to reimagine how they operate. Requirements for equipment performance have intensified, while customer expectations continue to rise. In order to thrive, organizations must advance beyond the standard break-fix model to ensure uptime for important assets in a safe and compliant manner. Service teams must prioritize efficient asset performance, as well as the customer experience they provide.
ServiceMax Asset 360 for Salesforce will deliver a 360-degree view into install base, service contracts and asset performance to maximize equipment uptime and reduce maintenance costs. This advanced insight, natively developed within Salesforce Field Service, will empower customers to shift from selling products to adopting outcome-based strategies that propel businesses forward. This will enable customers to drive operational results, including:
- Accelerating time-to-value to support asset-centric business processes with pre-configured templates and industry best practices
- Gaining greater visibility into warranty coverages and improving service margin by preventing uncovered work with warranty and entitlement management
- Maximizing contract attach rates and renewals by monitoring the install base to ensure warranty-to-contract conversion while delivering on entitlements
- Automating RMA/depot repair processes to efficiently manage returns, meet compliance and lower inventory costs with purpose-built interfaces
The new offering will enable reduced implementation time and deliver new innovation with each release, bringing enhanced workflows directly to customers "out of the box" and access to emerging technologies such as Einstein. ServiceMax Asset 360 for Salesforce will be available in November 2020. ServiceMax will also continue to offer, support and invest in bringing new technologies to its existing Core platform.
"For 13 years, ServiceMax has helped customers keep the world running with world-class field service solutions," said Neil Barua, CEO of ServiceMax. "We are proud to offer this new solution, built on the Salesforce platform, which will enable even more customers across a broader set of industries to benefit from an asset-centric approach in order to run more profitable, efficient service operations and ensure uptime on the world's most important assets."
"The enhanced partnership between ServiceMax and Salesforce continues the market trend of ecosystem relationships to support end-to-end service lifecycle management with an eye to an industry focus," said Aly Pinder, Program Director, Service Innovation and Connected Products at IDC, and author of IDC's recent Market Scape on Field Service Management. "The partnership moves the conversation past 'let's turn more wrenches in a given day' to 'let's enable service to deliver a better, more proactive customer experience that ensures asset performance.' I am intrigued to follow this from a business relationship perspective and see how this partnership supports the future of field service."
"We're thrilled to be bringing a next-generation field service product to market for our customers," said Mark Cattini, SVP of Field Service Management at Salesforce. "And, with the combination of ServiceMax Asset 360 and Salesforce Field Service, companies across industries will have access to enhanced asset management and dynamic resource scheduling capabilities on a single platform. This is the future of field service and it's connected, proactive and intelligent."
Want to Know More? As part of our beyond the headlines series Kris Oldland, Editor-in-Chief, Field Service News, spoke with ServiceMax CEO Neil Barua and CMO Stacey Epstein about the new release to find out more. Look out for that exclusive interview coming soon!
ServiceMax, the leader in asset-centric field service management, today announced that Gartner has positioned the company as a Leader in the Gartner 2020 Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management among 14 other field service software providers....
ServiceMax, the leader in asset-centric field service management, today announced that Gartner has positioned the company as a Leader in the Gartner 2020 Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management among 14 other field service software providers. Gartner based its analysis on each company’s ability to execute and completeness of vision.
“We are pleased to be recognized by Gartner as a Leader in the field service management market,” said Neil Barua, CEO of ServiceMax. “ServiceMax continues to expand its field service management capabilities for asset-centric industries with its market-leading product innovation, customer success and retention, and unmatched market expertise. As a provider solely focused on field service, we’re proud to be seen as an industry thought leader as we continue to deliver product innovations that help our customers run more profitable, efficient service operations in complex, asset-intensive industries.
innovation in FIELD SERVICE management is key for organiSations
Gartner Inc. analysts, Jim Robinson and Naved Rashid write, “Equipment operators and owners have come to expect that their service providers will use the latest technologies to provide the most efficient and highest quality service. It is increasingly difficult for analog FSPs to compete with those that use multiple digital technologies in their field service operations.”
To remain an industry leader, ServiceMax continues to build on its history of innovation and thought leadership, most recently rolling out new product features and content designed to further empower field service organizations. Enhancements include improved scheduling solutions with Service Board, additional mobile capabilities such as satellite layers on maps and improved route views, and increased collaboration with interactive hotline bots and photo annotation. The company has also delivered transformative thought leadership for the field service industry including the 2020 CSO Report, featuring insights gathered from ServiceMax’s global service leader community and the newly launched Field Service Finder, a job board designed to help customers reach qualified workers for open roles.
- View a complimentary copy of Digital Transformation Investment in 2020 and Beyond here
- Read more about Digital Transformation @ www.fieldservicenews.com/digital-transformation
- Read more about ServiceMax on Field Service News @ www.fieldservicenews.com/servicemax
- Learn more about ServiceMax @ www.servicemax.com
- Follow ServiceMax on Twitter @ twitter.com/ServiceMax
Only a few months ago the concept of zero-touch service was a niche within a niche. Today is has proven critical in ensuring continuous service delivery in the light of Covid-19. Mark Brewer, Vice President Service Industries, IFS looks at what...
Only a few months ago the concept of zero-touch service was a niche within a niche. Today is has proven critical in ensuring continuous service delivery in the light of Covid-19. Mark Brewer, Vice President Service Industries, IFS looks at what this looks like today and in the future...
Over the course of the last five years or so, we’ve seen the steady creep of businesses in a variety of industries moving towards completely contactless service in various ways: fast casual restaurants putting mobile orders on shelves, retailers creating online pickup lockers, self-checkout kiosks, and IoT-enabled fixes for devices like routers and cable boxes.
ZERO TOUCH SERVICE
Given the current crisis that we face with COVID-19, I believe that it’s safe to say that the creep will begin to accelerate into an avalanche, and service in many ways will lead that charge. It’s easy to pigeonhole these innovations into one or two technologies, but zero-touch service will likely be achieved through dozens of technologies, sometimes working in tandem, sometimes tied to the specific needs of an industry.
Below, though, are three benchmarks based on what we can accomplish today, and what our current technology decisions can already tell us about what tomorrow will look like. Let’s start with what companies can do right now:
We’ve already seen in recent years the prevalence and usability of augmented reality creep forward, and this has become increasingly commoditised and utilised for service functions across a variety of disciplines. I’ve long since promoted it as a means to train up new and contingent employees quickly on company policies, but it’s a clear vector for augmented reality.
When zero-touch is the only way to reach your customer, remote assistance can be a quick and effective way to get you there today. An IFS customer, Munters, was able to deploy a solution in six days. For them, it was an existential decision, and it kept them whole in a time where their contemporaries were melting down.
Obviously this is not always a reasonable replacement for an in-person meeting, as there is often a skills or resource gap between the back office and the field in remote service. But if you’re able to keep 50% of your clients up and running without a truck roll, the trickle-down benefits to your business are substantial. It’ll keep contracts renewed, avoid SLA penalties, and keep employees where they want to be: On the job. This is what we can do today. What about tomorrow?
A New Kind of Parts Management
Triage might be the best use for remote assistance today, but often the process of repair makes that a bit more challenging. It doesn’t have to be, though. If you have a fleet of vans with parts inventory on them that are sitting in a depot, you have a fleet of zero-touch delivery vehicles ready to go.
"Theoretically, the infrastructure is mostly there to make this work today. The most important part is a thorough, consistent, and comprehensive parts management and reverse logistics system..."
Imagine a scenario where a customer initiates a remote repair call, and the technician identifies a part that needs to be replaced based on a combination of IoT data and visual inspection. Rather than dispatch a technician, you could dispatch the part itself—often within a reasonably small window—then provide step-by-step replacement or repair instructions via the augmented reality array. It could be done live, with an actual person, or, increasingly, step-by-step instructions could be prerecorded and validated using the AR screen.
Theoretically, the infrastructure is mostly there to make this work today. The most important part is a thorough, consistent, and comprehensive parts management and reverse logistics system. You need to know inventory on every truck, at every warehouse, where each piece is in the depot repair process, and where and how remittance, reissue, or scrapping occurs.
With these two pieces in place, companies will be well-suited for today’s challenges. Remote assistance is available today, zero-touch parts allocation will take time to map out. The third phase takes it a step towards science fiction, though it’s a sci-fi that’s well within the realm of possibility over the next few years.
Imagine a scenario where, when a break occurs or is expected, a Roomba-like robot is dispatched, and through a drone-like interface is able to eliminate an issue without involving any humans. This may seem outside the realm of possibility today, but many industrial manufacturers are deploying fleets of robots specially designed to assist with simple repairs. From lifting and handling heavy parts to replacing faulty ones, to running routine security checks and providing a photo log that is attached to the customer account.
There’s obviously a huge amount of hardware infrastructure that needs to be considered here, and this is completely impossible in a number of industries, but think about the degree of customer attrition you’ll mitigate by having your customer add your robot to their family. Combine these capabilities with remote parts remittance and shared view repairs, and you’ll see the cost per truck roll plummet, and customer satisfaction skyrocket.
- Read more articles by Mark Brewer @ https://www.fieldservicenews.com/markbrewer
- Find out more about ServiceMax @ www.servicemax.com
- Read more about remote service @ https://www.fieldservicenews.com/remoteservice
- Read more about spare parts management @ https://www.fieldservicenews.com/spareparts
- Read more about Covid-19 in service @ https://www.fieldservicenews.com/en-gb/covid-19
A specialist recruitment platform initially conceived to help fill the service talent gap took on a new significance as an urgent post calling for medical technicians meant the project was fast-tracked to market. Mark Glover uncovers the story...
A specialist recruitment platform initially conceived to help fill the service talent gap took on a new significance as an urgent post calling for medical technicians meant the project was fast-tracked to market. Mark Glover uncovers the story behind ServiceMax's Field Service Finder and its extraordinary five-week turnaround.
We are living and working in unprecedented times. All aspects of life are being affected by the pandemic: work, travel, holidays, live sport on TV.
Covid's Impact on the field service workforce
Of course the return of football is rather trivial compared to the health and financial impact this virus is having. As I type, news feeds are reporting Germany’s dip into recession. Indications this normally robust economy is wobbling will send tremors across the rest of Europe and beyond. In the UK, a financial crash is said to be inevitable and in the US the economy is showing significant signs of a downturn, fuelled in part by 26 million Americans losing their jobs as companies take actions to reduce bottom lines.
In service, technicians hardest hit are those in industries locked-down such as hospitality and retail. It means many have been furloughed or made redundant.
It’s another blow to a recruitment pool that has historically always struggled to attract and identify new talent. Field service positions are specialist, they require knowledge across a range of skills and are difficult to fill even without a global pandemic. Service - and I appreciate I’m sweeping broadly here - essentially exists to fix things, but it requires a highly-skilled and technical workforce to do so.
It wasn't always like this however. Post-war optimism and the 'baby-boomers' generation flooded the blue-collar market learning trades that secured a job for life. Now, the US, like the UK, are today seeing a large chunk of their workforce drop off as this generation retire. This decline has left an alarming employment gap that might not be an abyss, but with the advent of Covid-19, it’s looking a lot deeper than before and some sectors are feeling the pinch more than they ever have.
However, for the medical and biotech industries, there are challenges not in reducing staff numbers but significantly increasing them to cope with accelerating service requests.
Medtronic are a medical device manufacturer who have seen a substantial increase in demand for equipment such as ventilators which has in turn increased the need for service technicians to install and fix them. Theirs is a specialist field and even before the pandemic, finding those with appropriate experience and knowledge to service the assets was difficult.
"The site went live on May 4, the result of an extraordinary five weeks of development, testing and refining and more testing..."
As part of a recent recruitment drive the firm reached out on LinkedIn, publishing a post that directed people to their specialist vacancies, hoping it would touch a niche slice of a workforce they desperately needed to engage. The post was noticed by ServiceMax’s Stacey Epstein. “It was something of an urgent plea for volunteers and skilled workers to visit their own internal career page because they were desperately needing help,” she tells me over a Zoom conversation one afternoon, a week after the firm's most recent product launch.
ServiceMax's Field Service Job Finder is a platform connecting talent with demand across critical industries but even before this pandemic, the project had been in the pipeline for a while, an idea sparked by the aforementioned issues in service recruitment and confirmed following a piece of research from Forrester Consulting, commissioned by ServiceMax looking into the drivers of digital transformation in service.
Consulting 675 decision makers globally the research revealed, rather shockingly, that 97% reported challenges in sourcing talent with 49 % citing challenges identifying candidates who have the required knowledge and expertise. The issue was obvious but how to negate it?
ServiceMax and their customers straddle an array of industry verticals so they already had the audience (or “eyeballs”, Stacey says) for such a platform, however they needed to find the right partner who could provide the infrastructure.
Krios already ran their own recruitment portal. The site is tailored for the gig economy linking freelancers to a range of requests covering graphic design, translation services and web design; a blueprint similar to ServiceMax’s idea but on a different level of vocation. The two firms met, Krios were able to commit and the project quickly spun into action. The site went live on May 4, the result of an extraordinary five weeks of development, testing and refining and more testing. It was much earlier than was planned - but sparked by Medtronic’s post, the relationship the two had anyway (Medtronic are a ServiceMax customer) and the impending pandemic - the site was fast tracked to market. “It was literally seeing that request on LinkedIn,” Stacey explains, “and knowing it was a customer and that we’d already been talking about what we could be doing to help our customers with the skilled worker gap issue, we said, ‘we’ve got to do it now.’”
There are plenty of Medtronics out there, struggling with a challenge the likes of which they have never experienced and conversely, never planned for..."
So they did. To date, traffic has been steady with over 4,000 new users and exceeding 7,000 page impressions and while the majority of users are US-based the site is seeing traction globally being viewed in over 40 countries.
I suggested to Stacey we keep in touch, that I would like to monitor the site’s progress. Beyond the user metrics, I said, it would be interesting to see what comes to the surface after a month or so; to see what service companies are now looking for. It could offer a clear barometer of where service recruitment is, what jobs are available and what skills are being asked for – a glimpse of the new service workplace as the pandemic leaves its legacy.
But for now, this was a project that came from a glance at LinkedIn and a realisation what affect this pandemic was having. Stacey tells me when she saw the post she was pretty sure Medtronic would probably not be the only firm blinking in this new Covid dawn. Sadly, she’s right. There are plenty of Medtronics out there, struggling with a challenge the likes of which they have never experienced and conversely, never planned for.
COVID-19 is unprecedented and changing the very fabric of what we once knew as ‘normal’. For service to survive – and eventually thrive – it needs to pivot and flex; to absorb and react. This starts at the ground - in recruitment and the next generation.
- Read more about recruitment in service @ www.fieldservicenews.com/recruitment
- Read more about Covid-19 in service @ www.fieldservicenews.com/covid
- Read more about more about empowering field workers @ www.fieldservicenews.com/blog/tag/managing-the-mobile-workforce
- Read more about ServiceMax's Field Service Finder @ https://www.fieldservicefinder.com/
- Read more about Medtronic @ www.medtronic.com