Originally published in the spring issue of Field Service, a quarterly print magazine from Field Service Digital and ServiceMax. The next issue is due in early October.

Service organizations are only as good as their internal operations allow. For growth-minded service leaders, the goal is to run a better business to improve customer loyalty, efficiency and profitability. Easier said than done, right?

Field Service Digital asked six industry pros to weigh in on what operational excellence means to them — and why it matters:

dave-hart_headshotAs a service leader, can you look yourself in the eye and say that you’ve built all of your processes and procedures around your service technician to deliver excellence to your customer? If not, then you are not delivering operational excellence. — Dave Hart, VP of global customer transformation, ServiceMax

carl-krupitzer_thinglogixOperational excellence is executing in a repeatable and predictable manner to support customers and employees in a sustainable way. It is being able to adapt to their needs while maintaining the service quality on which they rely. — Carl Krupitzer, CEO, ThingLogix

donald-stephens_headshotRemember: It’s your employees who will utilize the cutting-edge tools you provide, but you made the investment for your customers. If you let ‘making the metrics look better’ rule your decision making, without any thought of how your employees or customers will be affected by your next move, it’s time to re-evaluate. — Donald B. Stephens, senior customer service engineer, Xerox

tim-baines_headshotTrue operational excellence is elusive; it is rare in practice, extremely difficult to achieve, and almost impossible to sustain. All too often our professional lives are so complex, pressurized, and indeed noisy, that we all spend far too much time re-inventing well-established principles and techniques. Find ways to stay properly informed. — Tim Baines, professor and head of operations and information management group at Aston University

steve-nava_headshotFocus on the outcome as it applies to the overall business, not just the service business. Help technicians understand that technical proficiency is only one component of a successful service skill set. Technicians are key players in building lasting relationships, yet too few service organizations take the time to provide this awareness, choosing instead to focus on technical proficiency. — Steve Nava, senior director of field service, Luminex

andreas-schroeder_headshotUltimately, service will be judged by the customers. The customer perspective should be the overarching target for developing and refining the service operation … to separate the real opportunities from the distractions, especially when it comes IoT technologies. — Andreas Schroeder, senior lecturer in Information Systems, Aston University

Interested in more operational excellence insight? Check out ServiceMax’s e-book.