The elusive Return on Investment

Jun 21, 2016 • Featuresreturn on investmentservicepowerSoftware and Appssoftware and apps

Return on Investment and workforce management should go hand in hand but it can take careful application explains Marne Martin, CEO, ServicePower...

Return on Investment “ROI” is such a buzz word, especially in field service.

Most organisations, which offer some sort of field based services eventually realise that to achieve their productivity, customer satisfaction and cost metrics, some level of automated workforce management (WFM) technology is required. Even small productivity gains bring guaranteed benefits to any organisation.

Making the Case

The business cases for WFM vary, but generally, the most common goals are improved efficiency, increased customer satisfaction, decreased costs and streamlined processes, such as collaboration, inventory management and billing.


"While WFM technology does require an investment of course, it can generate huge returns, in as little as nine months according to Gartner, throughout the field service process..."


While WFM technology does require an investment of course, it can generate huge returns, in as little as nine months according to Gartner, throughout the field service process.


The most successful WFM deployments begin with a commitment to improving existing processes and a focus on productivity enhancements.

An example of the sorts of key performance indicators that are possible with the implementation of a WFM technology that includes configurable parameter-based optimisation include:


  • Total capacity increased from 6,427 jobs to 8,579 jobs (33% uplift)
  • % jobs completed late decreased from 78% to 33%
  • Average jobs/day/tech increased from 4.72 to 7.18 (52% uplift)


To achieve these sort of improvement in your organisation through the implementation of a WFM including algorithm-based technology to maximise your productivity, it starts with well laid plans.

Evaluate WFM vendors:  Select a vendor based on supported deployment models, especially in 2016 when SaaS deployments are increasingly important due to speed of implementation, cost savings in terms of IT resources, hardware, licensing and security. Integration capabilities, and features such as schedule optimisation, mobile dispatch/support of on site processes and business intelligence are also important.

And, look to the future. Business models, customer expectations and technologies change.

The best WFM vendors offer technology which supports your current business model, but also provides a roadmap to support growth and evolution in the future.

Build a solid team: Cross functional project teams, which include executive sponsorship and a strong project leader with the relationships and negotiation skills to navigate across the teams are key to driving consensus and success. Don’t forget the tribe.


Every functional group will have its own goals (or not) for the project and varying commitment to it.


Much information about current operations and the ability to enforce the changes necessary from the bottom up depend on the techs, dispatch, call centre, finance and HR teams that general aren’t initially included in the project because they fall outside to the core field service and IT teams.


Every functional group will have its own goals (or not) for the project and varying commitment to it.

Document plans and goals: Drive commitment by attributing specific ROI metrics to each functional group and use a formal ROI model to measure the results.

Collect data: Ensure data is collected prior to launch so that recalculation of the metrics after can be calculated the same way to provide a solid, unquestionable analysis.

Calculating the results

Documenting a ROI on a WFM investment is an exercise which requires data from across the enterprise to accurately measure and understand where you started and the productivity gains that were the result.

Again, the most common data used to measure success and ROI on a WFM deployment are improved efficiency, increased customer satisfaction, decreased costs and streamlined processes.

Specifically, measure technician and dispatcher efficiency. Has the WFM solution increased the number of jobs scheduled per day, per technician?

Has the solution decreased the number of dispatchers required to manage field technicians?

Has technician utilisation improved based on the solution’s ability to handle intra-day schedule changes, decreasing non-working time and overtime?

Collect baseline data and use a robust, integrated, in-memory business intelligence tool to measure the baseline and post deployment data against one another.


Have field techs been able to improve their efficiency, completing more jobs per day or decreasing the time on the job site? Have first time fix rates improved?


Have fuel costs decreased due to more efficient routing? Has headcount been optimised such that resources can be reallocated to other tasks or eliminated? Has schedule compliance improved, decreasing missed or late appointments?

Have customer satisfaction scores increased due to shorter appointment windows, improved schedule compliance or proactive maintenance work supported by the WFM tool?

Collect baseline data and use a robust, integrated, in-memory business intelligence tool to measure the baseline and post deployment data against one another.

ServicePower recently helped a client evaluate the ROI on its deployment of ServiceScheduling.

The client documented increased productivity of 29% and a 32% return on its investment in ServicePower’s mobile workforce management software platform, including fewer miles driven,across the entire fleet, resulting in a $1,611,055 savings per year, and improved schedule compliance resulting in $165,600 in late penalty savings per year.

Continued Success

Mobile workforce management software solutions are critical to maximising the productivity and efficiency of employed resources. Measurable, sustainable ROI is absolutely possible. Positive ROI depends on solid planning, cross functional, deeply experienced teams, agreement on the metrics, data collection and robust, integrated BI. To learn what your ROI on a WFM investment could be, run the numbers with our ROI calculator.



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