Turning Field Service into a Strategic Lever

Mar 10, 2020 • FeaturesbyboxSoftware and Apps

In today’s digital economy, every company is now a service company. The winners are companies that meet customer’s ever-growing expectations; the losers leave openings for competitors to exploit. In this fight, field services have become a crucial battleground. But how can you turn something that has traditionally been a pain-point for many companies into an area of strategic source of value and differentiation? Jon Magson, Commercial Director at ByBox, joined us to help answer this question.
What’s changing about the field service landscape?

JM: ByBox has been in this industry for over

20 years now and we’ve always focused fundamentally on solving the customer’s pain points when it comes to field services. What we’re seeing is an ever-growing demand to not only offer a functional field service solution, but to turn field services into a real source of differentiation from competitors.

What’s brought this change about?

JM: Customer expectations have grown. Think about the kind of experiences you have with the final mile in other industries. It was only around ten years ago when it was the norm that shopping ordered online would arrive within three to five working days. Now anything less than next-day delivery is too slow.

Customers have the same level of expectations when they call for an engineer, but it isn’t just about being quick to react. Every service moment is an opportunity to solve problems, implement new solutions and ultimately delight the customer. In a world where people are getting used to amazing customer experiences, field services can’t afford to fall behind.

What’s harming companies’ ability to give customers a great experience?

JM: Companies are investing significantly in field services to modernise and optimise the people involved through technologies like engineer scheduling software or job logging systems. In 2019 the global investment in this area was£2.18bn and that’s expected to rise to £4.58bn in 2025. Where companies are falling short is, they are still using legacy inventory management systems and processes. So only part of the problem is fixed. It’s no good having the engineer on-site at the right time if the right part isn’t there also.

In our research, we found that 51% of first-time fix failures were due to the required parts being unavailable. Companies need to get this right. Far from delighting a customer, failing to fix something first time leaves the customer frustrated. The key question is would you run a finance department without visibility of all the figures? Or a procurement department without any certainty the products you buy will turn up. The answer should be no, so why do we accept this in field inventory? Field inventory needs to be modernised in order to offer customers the great experiences they deserve.

What’s the next step in modernising field services?

JM: We believe it starts with the Field Service Edge. How close can we get the parts that engineers need to the engineers or the job that needs them? This is a critical question, the less time an engineer is travelling or searching sites to pick up parts the more time they have to offer customers the kind of experience they have come to expect. This needs to be achieved without the use of expensive same-day deliveries, and it also need to be done just-in-time. If we want to see a strategic shift from field services being functional to becoming a source of value and differentiation within a company, it’s hard to make that argument while costs are inflated by moving parts using an expensive same day journey.

Finally, we must eliminate blind spots in field inventory management. Too often parts aren’t available, or inventory costs are bloated because plans were changed without having the right information. We want to encourage companies to always operate in a known space when it comes to inventory.

How does ByBox approach this problem?

JM: ByBox enables companies to turn any space into a secure site for staging critical parts at the field service edge, optimising inventory placement and delivery speed while eliminating premium delivery costs. ByBox intelligently orchestrates all inventory movements, with dynamic allocation and reallocation to minimise trapped capital, working in harmony with the customers engineer scheduling system.

We call this Field Service Inventory Modernisation. With ByBox, companies can operate with confidence because critical parts inventory is always in a known state and fully traceable across the whole field service lifecycle, ensuring pinpoint accuracy, predictability, and control.

To find out more, please contact Marketing@ ByBox.com to arrange a demo