One company that stood as something of a beacon for the many of us in the field service sector struggling in the face of the global lockdowns was Koenig and Bauer, whose agile mindset allowed them to adapt quickly to the situation. In this excerpt from the Field Service Podcast, Koenig and Bauer's Lukas Fahnroth and Michael Keubel of Salesforce discuss what recovery might look like for field service companies and how we can get there.
Want to hear more? Head over to our podcast library @ www.fieldservicenews.com/podcasts and look for Series Five, Episode Three 'Adaptability, Customer-Centricity and Recovery ft. Lukas Fahnroth & Michael Kuebel'
A NEW NORMAL OF AGILITY FOR THE FIELD SERVICE INDUSTRY
In many ways it is our collective responsibility now to ensure that after all of the challenges we've faced and all of the heartbreaks people have seen across the last few months, we grasp the nettle and hold on tightly to the good that has come from the global lockdowns.
There is a lot of talk about the recovery but what exactly should that look like and how do we get there? How can we use the last few months as a catalyst for embarking on an ongoing continuous improvement journey? What does the conversation look like now in terms of the conversations you're having with customers? Is there a specific strategy or approach we must adopt as we look towards recovery and how you help your customers' customers as well?
"One of the important things that happened during the crisis for us was that we've extended a lot of the digital offerings we've had in place. We've improved on them in many instances" says Lukas Fahnroth, Koenig and Bauer. "So the conversation for us currently revolves around further extending those actions we've taken and also keeping them in place, even if the crisis disappears. For example, for the hotline services, we've extended the video support calls. A lot of the offerings we've put out there, like the customer community with the analytics functionality, is really something that our customers have got used to, and that we at Koenig and Bauer now see as essential. So we're going to see a lot of those actions stay in place and keep this digital innovation momentum in place in order to further develop our digital strategy, even after the crisis disappears."
As Fahnroth alludes, the digital acceleration of the last few months has been dramatic, not just for Koenig and Bauer, who were already on the path very much anyway, but for many, many other companies. In essence we've already begun the process of building a new normal and that new normal is much more digital centric than what came before.
"Salesforce is offering help here. Using our own platform, we have created a new product suite that we call work.com, which is the probably the first product on the market for organising reopening of businesses and especially addressing these topics..."
-Michael Kuebel, Salesforce
"We can split the Covid-19 crisis into three phases that we see," explains Michael Kuebel, Salesforce.
"One is the fact that most of us have been stabilising and gone through a process to make sure we keep operations running, and I think Koenig and Bauer is a brilliant example of that. We have other clients in many industries that cope very well with stabilising but now they're going to the next phase which is a reopening phase, which also needs a different type of effort, and that is a muscle we haven't yet trained.
"We need to organise a safe return to the workplace by making sure that we don't overfill our offices. We must make sure that we can trace contacts of people in case somebody gets a positive test result, then you can trace back and understand who they met with, allowing you to inform customers to make sure you don't spread the virus any further, keeping transparency.
"Salesforce is offering help here. Using our own platform, we have created a new product suite that we call work.com, which is the probably the first product that is on the market for organising reopening and especially addressing these topics.
"The last phase, once we're all out of the crisis, is going to be continuing the growth path. When we look at the capabilities and the success factors, we feel that leadership in the crisis, out of the crisis and after the crisis is paramount. Lucas was very eloquently elaborating that people, employees, customers and society are watching carefully what leaders are doing and what their priorities are.
"Customer engagement is a super important pillar. Empowerment of people is something that I think is here to stay. And last but not least, business agility. Agility is easily said but difficult to do, especially when you look at Manufacturing. My background is Manufacturing and when it's about products and safety, excellence and perfection is the ultimate goal. Now suddenly, with agility, speed is the ultimate goal.
"I think customers have quickly become used to some new experiences and services. I think that mindsets have changed and if you then have platforms and the right tools, this can enable agility to meet these new mindsets. I think that's here to stay and this will be the muscle that we train today that we will use in the future to establish growth."
- Learn more about work.com @ www.salesforce.com/work/
- Find the full episode of this interview and the entire back catalogue of The Field Service Podcast @ www.fieldservicenews.com/podcasts
- Read more about Digital Transformation @ www.fieldservicenews.com/blog/tag/digital-transformation
- Read more about the impact of Covid-19 on Field Service @ https://www.fieldservicenews.com/en-gb/covid-19
- Connect with Michael Kuebel on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/michael-kuebel-fieldservice/
- Follow Michael Kuebel on Twitter @ twitter.com/michaelkuebel
- Find out more about Salesforce Field Service Solutions @ www.salesforce.com/uk/campaign/sem/service-cloud/
- Follow Salesforce on twitter @ twitter.com/salesforce
- Find out more about Koenig & Bauer @ www.koenig-bauer.com
- Follow Koenig and Bauer @ twitter.com/koenigandbauer