I read an article this week about how infrastructure in the United States is currently in a pretty bad state of disrepair. Why? Because new projects have been prioritized over maintenance. Much of this is due to political and economic reasons, but it also shows one of the key challenges faced by field service organizations.

The same way a politician would rather fund and cut a ribbon on a new construction project than on a tunnel maintenance job, a CEO of a company would most often rather speak to investors about new big customer acquisitions instead of the bang-up job they’re doing at keeping their customers running.

But that’s changing, and hopefully will with our country’s infrastructure too. Business models like servitization are becoming more and more prominent. GE talks about “zero downtime” via preventive maintenance. Our new economy is more focused on service and maintenance as a core piece of the business model instead of just a necessary evil to keep customers from leaving.

It is estimated that $1 of preventive maintenance on infrastructure can save between $4 and $5 in future repairs. Any CEO seeing hard numbers like that would fire up the preventive maintenance engine right away. Perhaps our governments will too.

But for now, infrastructure is something that big field service organizations should be following closely. Being in an industry where technicians are on the road for hours every day, having an efficient and well maintained road system can only help your company’s field service operations avoid unplanned inconveniences during travel and ultimately serve your customers better.