The following is a guest blog from ServiceMax partner MapAnything. For more information, visit them in the ServiceMax Marketplace. 

It’s a long-standing fact that the CFO and the VP of Customer Service often share a conflicted partnership.  The VP of Service needs resources for vehicles, software systems, field service technicians, and tools to meet customer expectations. Analysts estimate that each field sales and service dispatch costs $250 at the low end, and can run as much as $1,000.  At the same time, the CFO needs to keep service costs down while counting on the service organization to be an engine for service and up-sell revenue. According to U.K. based Homburg & Partner consulting, the average company with a field sales and service team can spend as much as 30 percent of their total cost of sales supporting field service activities.

So, what are these costs and how do companies get control of them? Beyond salary and the hard costs of vehicles, soft costs such as wasted time, lack of information about customers and their specific needs, and inefficient travel can drive up the total cost of each visit.  And, there are costs that can’t be tied to (or billed to) a specific dispatch or customers engagement such as financing/depreciation, interest, insurance, taxes, fuel, maintenance, repairs, tires, washing, parking, and expenses for drivers.  But the greatest cost, by far, is the cost of the service and sales professional in the field. Therefore, saving time and optimizing productivity is key.  Not surprisingly, analysts estimate that on average, companies can increase their profit margin by as much as 54 percent just by optimizing route planning and maximizing customer visits on each dispatch.

Geo-productivity software, like MapAnything, was designed to help field sales and service teams optimize routes while increasing productivity by putting essential CRM data and customer information at their fingertips, on their smartphone or tablet.  Geo-productivity software in the field reduces time stuck in traffic, taking circuitous routes, or traveling between jobs inefficiently. Geo-productivity software helps field service technicians spend more time on billable tasks and increases the number of customer visits they can make each time they are in the field. With optimized routes and information technicians are able to better meet customer expectations and increase customer satisfaction due to shortened response times, and technicians arriving prepared with complete information from their CRM system.

The CFO and the VP of Service can find alignment (and savings) across four key areas, using geo-productivity software.

  • Increased field productivity: Field service technicians can quickly check in and out of appointments, update work orders and complete tasks directly from the map on their mobile devices.
  • Maximized service call schedules: Technicians can spend more time helping customers and less time driving with route and schedule planning that includes traffic and weather conditions.
  • Improved dispatching: Technicians can be assigned to cases based on proximity and other variables directly from the map within geo-productivity software.
  • Optimized service coverage: Technician territories can be built using data from Salesforce and within the map-based interface. Dispatchers and managers can get a real-time view of customers, technicians and work-orders to compare territories and spread resources evenly.

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ABOUT Chris Rosbrook

Avatar photoChris Rosbrook’s career spans over 20 years and includes deep experience in technology, software, finance and investment banking. He leads all financial-related activities at MapAnything and oversees the accounting and treasury functions. Prior to joining MapAnything, he was Managing Director at Piper Jaffray Companies where he led merger and acquisition advisory assignments for technology-enabled services businesses and industrial technology companies. Rosbrook also spent nine years at Edgeview Partners, a middle-market investment bank focused on merger and acquisition advisory services, which was acquired by Piper Jaffray in 2013. He started his career in software, working eight years for MAGMA Foundry Technologies, a provider of computer-aided-engineering tools to the metalcasting industry.