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The Role of Analytics in Field Service Excellence

Strategy

How much data a field services organization collects through fleet and workforce management technology, and how it uses the data, can set it apart from the competition. Companies that analyze and act on this data to optimize operations and service delivery often reach higher levels of customer satisfaction and increased profits.

In a recent study, Get Smart: Business Intelligence and Analytics for Service Organizations, AberdeenGroup  found that best-in-class field service organizations that adopt analytics technology see their service profits increase by 18 percent, customer retention rates by 42 percent and SLA performance by 44 percent. In other words, as companies strive to achieve or retain best-in-class status, it is imperative that they leverage analytics in their operations. Field service companies that have already attained operational excellence have a keen understanding of the importance of using data analytics when looking to enhance service, enforce real-time accountability and optimize planning.

Using analytics to improve customer service

Revenue growth for field service organizations depends on superb customer service. According to Aberdeen, organizations with customer satisfaction rates of 90 percent or more enjoy service revenue increases of 6.1 percent and overall revenue growth of 3.7 percent. That’s because positive service experiences translate to customer loyalty and future spending.

The type of service work performed or information communicated by field technicians is the primary way for customers to truly measure the integrity, credibility, effectiveness and overall brand promise of the servicing organization, Aberdeen reported in its paper, Secrets to Optimize Field Service for Better Customer Experiences.

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Aberdeen found that best-in-class organizations succeed in integrating operational improvements, such as reduced travel times and optimized scheduling, to customer-centric service delivery goals, such as on time arrival for appointments and first-time fix resolution. Rather than focusing solely on cost reduction, best-in-class companies place customers at the center of operational decisions.

The right information increases efficiencies

Delivering excellent service is tightly integrated with how companies collect, digest and act on field data. In-vehicle GPS boxes feed data back to dispatch centers throughout the day, providing critical insight into the quality of service that field workers deliver. This information includes service commitments that are kept and missed, whether tasks take too long, and whether time is wasted through poor scheduling and inefficient staff utilization.

Leveraging analytics, field managers can gain greater insight into their operations, enabling them to lower operating costs and improve efficiency and productivity. Analysis of the data can produce increased first-time fix rates, reduced follow-up truck rolls, and enhanced preventive tasks to minimize repair calls. Aberdeen found that 89 percent of best-in-class organizations are 2.5 times more likely to integrate preventive tasks into a repair visit to alleviate future breakdowns.

Through data collection and strategic analysis, organizations can determine when it’s feasible to add more jobs per day, shorten routes by scheduling the technician’s daily tasks in relative proximity, and – based on performance data that logs a worker’s preferences, geography and skills – match the right technician to the right task for the right job. This can result in fuel savings by reducing travel and minimizing overtime with schedule optimization.

How real-time visibility provides accountability

When integrated with workforce management, data gathered by fleet management tools can be accessed in a centralized location. This allows managers visibility into decisions that have an impact on the business.

For instance, if they observe a high percentage of late arrivals at customer sites, it may be time to evaluate scheduling. But if the problem is traced to an individual or team‑‑based on comparative metrics provided by workforce management‑‑managers can take corrective action.

Managers also have access to critical intelligence about daily fuel usage, travel time and whether actual work completed matches projections. Armed with this valuable information, and the ability to interpret and act on it, they are better equipped to determine accountability and move forward to reduce operational costs and maximize service quality.

For more information on using analytics to achieve field service excellence, visit www.trimble.com/fsm.

 

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