There is no question that our world is becoming data driven, but the biggest question for field service organisations is how best to use this new found visibility. This blog looks at the five areas that data-driven visibility will have the greatest impact.
Data is everywhere. From the photos we post on Facebook, to the customer satisfaction survey you ask your customers to fill in. Our use of data, both personally and commercially, is growing at an exponential rate. Three years ago the world wide web was estimated to contain approximately 500 exabytes of data. In 5 years time experts predict we will have 40 zettabytes (that’s 400 billion gigabytes!) of data.
Due to complex processes and multiple customer touch points, field service organisations have a great deal of data available. Such quantities of data undeniably hold potential, but where do you start? How can you get to the most valuable information and use that information to improve your business?
The five most valuable uses of data
- On-site job visibility
An essential part of every field service organisation. Without job data such as travel times, job duration and fix rates, you cannot identify individual productivity issues or overall inefficiencies. Both of which become more costly the longer they are present.
- Inventory tracking
Maintaining the right stock levels is notoriously difficult in field service organisations. Too much stock ties-up cashflow, too few parts hinder productivity and customer service. By maintaining an online stock inventory, frontline staff can automatically reorder parts and head office can monitor consumption to identify trends and future opportunities.
- Quicker billing
Through the use of field service management technology you can feed real-time job information directly into accounting systems. This immediacy enables you to process invoices far quicker and with more accuracy.
- Detailed customer information
Customer retention is valuable. By providing frontline staff with more information about each customer they will be far better equipped to deliver an outstanding customer service. This could be the entire service history or a note about previous access issues. No matter how big or small, data in the hands of customer-facing employees will empower them to deliver more.
- Collaborative working
In the previous points I’ve already touched upon the way greater visibility can link teams and departments, but with the right technology, you can take this one step further. By adopting software with integration capabilities you can extend your visibility beyond your own employees. For example, using portals you can make specific data available to contractors and suppliers and vice versa. This seamless link with third parties ensures a consistent, collaborative culture is adopted across your entire service chain.
When interpreted effectively, data can help field service organisations deliver a better customer experience by improving processes, collaboration and communication. The level of visibility and transparency gained from the five points above are a good starting point but for a more detailed look at how to extract the data which will make the greatest impact on your organisation, download our white paper: The Metrics That Matter: How Actionable Analytics Can Transform Field Service Performance.