Editor’s note: The following is a guest blog by Mark Easley, Vice President of Sales Engineering at ServiceMax partner MapAnything.

It’s every service department’s dream to be a profit center for the company instead of a cost center. To do so, a service center needs to boost productivity and efficiency. Customers expect high-quality service, and if a business can’t meet or exceed these expectations, then it makes it hard to continue to sell to the customer. In this way, service has a direct impact on sales, as sales operations are relationship-driven.

In order to start the transformation from cost center to profit center, service departments need to boost productivity and efficiency to cut costs and provide high-quality service that supports and accelerates sales.

Here are a few ways that any service department can start their transformation:

Route Optimization

When it comes to field service, fuel and vehicle maintenance costs can eat away at a department’s budget. Field service teams can cut these transportation costs by decreasing drive time. They will need to build and optimize routes taking real-time traffic and weather conditions into consideration. They will also need to assign technicians based on proximity to accounts and other variables such as skills and equipment. In order to do this, service teams need the ability to see technician locations in relation to customer locations on a map in real-time.

Schedule Optimization

Service calls can be costly – especially when responding to on-site service requests. Companies are over-allocating field resources to compensate for poor planning. When businesses can schedule preventative maintenance at recommended frequencies, they can detect and solve future problems before they become serious and costly.  Businesses should enable field service teams to find upcoming maintenance appointments near repair and installation work orders. With this ability, your company can be more proactive and efficient in its on-site planning. Schedule optimization coupled with route optimization enables businesses to get the most value out of their field resources.

Territory Coverage Optimization

To improve “Service after the Sale”, service managers need a territory view of service activities. Balancing service resources across territories helps businesses improve execution against forecasted workloads. Managers can use a map view of territories with sums of accounts, number of work orders, and other variables for more precise technician hiring and optimal remote service locations (including parts centers). This is only possible with a map-centric view of current, historic, and forecasted data.

Fleet & Technician Tracking

It’s critical to have visibility of all technician locations in real time. This improves service performance by enabling greater visibility for dispatching and work order assignment. In addition, this enables businesses to be clear and accurate when communicating with customers. In most service use cases, knowing where a technician was a few hours ago, where they are supposed to be, or where they might be is not good enough. Dispatch centers need a map view of a technician’s location in real time along with work orders, routes, and other technicians nearby that may need assistance. This should be combined with a view of live traffic and weather conditions. Knowing exactly where your field resources are can raise the level of credibility with your customers that promotes trust. Customer trust is an important part of ensuring future sales and an important step on the journey to becoming a profit center.

Summary

The transformation from a cost center to a profit center starts with enabling location-based service for technicians. They need to be able to build and optimize routes as well as easily identify nearby accounts to add to routes. These changes have to be driven from management as they leverage location-based service to assign technicians by proximity to customers and optimize territory coverage.

Improved service operations with Route, Schedule Optimization, Territory Optimization & Technician Tracking puts your service team in a better position to help make future sales enabling the transformation from being a cost center to being a profit center.

That’s what we do at MapAnything; we unlock location-based service to boost productivity and efficiency, helping service departments transform from cost centers to profit centers. We do this by enabling service teams to optimize routes, schedules, and territory coverage through a map-centric user experience.

For more information on how your business can unlock location-based service in Salesforce, contact me at .

ABOUT Mark Easley

Mark is responsible for Sales Engineering at MapAnything, which includes hiring, enabling, and managing the technical pre-sales team globally. He has 20 years of sales engineering experience, including over seven years at Salesforce.com. Before joining MapAnything, Mark was the Sr. Director of Solution Engineering at Salesforce for Service Cloud, where he led the growth and success of the technical pre-sales team working with Salesforce Service Cloud Enterprise customers & prospects.  He was also the Sales Engineering Director for the Mid-Atlantic, Carolinas, and the Public Sector.