A meme recently made its way around the web that noted Airbnb, while it owns no real estate, is one of the biggest accommodation companies. Uber, which the meme aptly said owns no taxis, is one of the world’s largest taxi companies. And Facebook has become one of the world’s biggest media companies, despite it not creating any content.
The idea is that disruption has taken many industries by storm – in these cases all due to a technology platform out-innovating the status quo and causing established brands to fall. Disrupt or be disrupted.
Field service management is now having its own meme-worthy moment where cloud and mobile technology has evolved the stodgy systems of years past to a new platform that creates tighter and more seamless bonds between vendor and customer. See, companies that have some form of
a service organization – be it a giant industrial conglomerate that makes jet engines or a smaller outfit that sells commercial lifts – exists on a continuum. On one end, you have the companies who send out a technician after a customer calls to complain of machinery not working. That’s the “break-fix” model. But on the other end are those that have leveraged a modern technology platform to dispatch technicians for service before equipment ever breaks.
The latter opens up a whole new world of service – something we call an “outcomes-based” model – and renders the department traditionally thought of as a necessary cost center into a strategic asset that transforms wrench-toting field technicians into digitally enabled trusted advisors to customers.
In this end of the spectrum, service is actually the product being sold. Flight time instead of jet engines. Solar power instead of solar panels. Passenger throughput instead of locomotives. As GE Digital CEO Bill Ruh said in a recent interview, “In the end, the customer doesn’t want a product, nor do they want a service. They want an outcome.”
“The way you manage your service business is never going to be the same. Ever.”
ServiceMax’s customer transformation guru Patrice Eberline noted on a recent webinar that “the way you manage your service business is never going to be the same. Ever.” Companies who are moving in this direction see revenues and profits increase, technician utilization and productivity skyrocket and customer satisfaction reach new heights.
The companies who aren’t getting on board? Well, when’s the last time you went to a Blockbuster Video?
To learn more about modernizing your service organization to provide real shareholder value, check out the recording of the webinar featuring Eberline and TSIA’s VP of Technology Research, John Ragsdale!