Field service can benefit from many of the same connectivity enhancements that have improved everyday customer service, explains Jitterbit’s Megan Dobransky.
Integration ensures that everyone involved in a service encounter has access to the right information, at the right time to successfully answer customers’ questions. The result? No more frustrated customers repeating themselves, or cancelled transactions because people couldn’t get the information they wanted. Instead, there are just happy customers whose value to your organization increases over time. When you can attract and retain customers with great service, they will be less likely to defect to competitors.
Better tools also make for happier, more productive employees, who spend less time on administrative tasks.
Make service a core tenet of your company and reap the benefits in terms of direct customer relationships, employee satisfaction and competitive advantage.
Often, this starts with ditching the paper and digitizing processes.
A Better (Digital) Paper Trail
Start by asking yourself a simple question: How does your field service team handle work orders nearly two decades into the 21st century? If you answered “on paper,” you may not have made it to this century yet, but you’re also not alone. As many as of field service organizations still track field visits on paper, then rely on manual entry back in the office. This opens up plenty of room for error, from misplaced papers to miskeyed entries, and also significantly slows down the entire process.
Going digital with a field service management tool, such as ServiceMax, can help companies digitize operations. But a digital field service tool is only as good as the information it can access. To get the most out of any field service management system, it needs to be connected to invoicing, inventory and other systems that help run the business.
SPP Pumps digitized its field service operations with a Jitterbit-enabled integration between SAP and ServiceMax, and accelerated its invoicing process from several weeks to a single day.
Companies that haven’t taken their service processes digital are at a competitive disadvantage for many reasons. But digitization doesn’t just apply to internal improvements. It also extends to the Internet of Things. So, look at digitization for internal improvements, operational excellence and a competitive edge. As a ServiceMax and PTC report explains, 82 percent of companies think early adopters of IoT will gain competitive advantage. Getting your field service operations connected with the IoT now will set you up for success in the future.
Products Need a Digital Makeover, Too
It’s called the Internet of Things for a reason—being connected makes “things” more powerful. But connectivity is about much more than simply being able to read the current status of a connected device remotely. Embedding sensors in devices and equipment can completely transform multiple aspects of field service, enabling devices to send alerts when they are about to fail or just need regular maintenance.
Smart sensors don’t simply improve the company’s ability to provide effective service, but also helps prevent the many related problems that can stem from equipment failures. In addition, they provide vast amounts of useful information about performance issues, failure and downtime causes, and device usage trends.
The combination of alerts and analytics make connecting equipment for superior service an easy choice for companies to make.
By digitizing processes and connecting field services systems to invoicing, inventory and other systems that help run the business, as well as the IoT, field service organizations can achieve operational excellence—and so much more.