Editor’s note: Originally published in Field Service, a quarterly print magazine from Field Service Digital and ServiceMax from GE Digital. If you’re attending Maximize 2018 (May 15-16 in Las Vegas), don’t miss Patrice Eberline’s session (“Building the Business Case for Field Service Transformation“) to learn more. 

Transformation is tough. Not many organizations understand the phrase, much less the process and stages of true service transformation. Achieving strategic transformation is not a single item; rather, it is comprised of a few key pieces. First, you must have a holistic and realistic understanding of where your organization currently sits across a number of dimensions. Second, you must understand where you want to go and/or take your organization, and who/what you want to “be” to the marketplace.

Finally, and most importantly, you and your organization’s leaders must understand how to connect the dots between the strategies you’ve prioritized and the process and culture changes you must implement across your organization. In other words, although “transformation” can mean many things, at a high level it means setting up your service organization (its culture and priorities) so that you’re taking advantage of every possible opportunity to grow, become more efficient, and positively impact revenue and the bottom line.

But where should you start, what do you need to know first, and how can you begin a transformation effort across your field service organization? While there are many ways to approach this, and just as many plan-implementation models, at the core of every transformation effort is that first step: Benchmarking your service organization.

Benchmarking—understanding where you are now—is a prerequisite to determining your supporting goals, areas of immediate focus, and execution plan development.

Where to Start

A 2017 study conducted by Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) ranked the top challenges faced by field service businesses. For the first time, benchmarking of field service organizations was at the top of the list, and not by an insignificant margin. Because of this, and together with the overwhelming interest in, and absence of, large amounts of comparison data across field service organizations, ServiceMax has developed a set of tools to help you on your benchmarking journey.

Identifying Potential Impact: The Field Service Effect Calculator

This five-minute value calculator will ask simple questions related to the performance of your service organization. It will then compare those benefits to achievements seen by our customers after the adoption of ServiceMax Field Service Management Software. This will produce a printable assessment of your results, reflecting the potential gains for your organization. Knowing your capacity for improvement is key to driving adoption of technology that will ensure that your organization is best in class well into the future.

Uncover your potential impact here: https://FSE.Servicemax.com

Assessing Maturity: The ServiceMax Maturity Assessment Tool

Knowing your starting position is key to any transformation effort. The Maturity Assessment Tool uses performance benchmark dimensions such as first-time fix (FTF), contract and warranty leakage, service-level agreement (SLA) compliance performance, and outcome-based service offerings. These will answer some of the key questions that many organizations have (regardless of their size, geography, or industry) prior to, or in the midst of, implementing transformational change.

Knowing your starting position is key to any transformation effort.

By looking at these dimensions within and across service organizations, service leaders are better equipped to not only understand their current position, but also to recognize their relative strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, when reviewed in conjunction with strategy planning and development, this information can help leaders to prioritize and focus their efforts in ways that will move them further up the maturity curve—propelling them toward greater service success.

Upon completion of the assessment, users are presented with graphical representations of their relative service maturity. Results include comparisons of “gut feel” and behavioral maturity, visibility into both top- and bottom-ranked dimensions, and behavior maturity scores plotted against companies of different sizes and in different verticals and geographic locations.

In additional to taking the maturity assessment yourself, there are a few use cases that can be impactful to you and your teams:

  1. Use the Maturity Assessment Tool to snapshot your transformation each year.
  2. Ensure alignment with overall company priorities by having multiple roles (such as finance, IT, and service VP) take the assessment.
  3. Encourage regional leaders to take the assessment during annual strategic planning and prioritization.

The URL for this free tool is: https://mat.servicemax.com/

Business Value Realization

In addition to the tools above, ServiceMax provides other transformational support workshops and content. Included among these are the following:

Executive Service Strategy Workshop

Executive Service Strategy Workshop is a working session, led by service transformation leaders from ServiceMax, discussing your service business. We will explore the internal perceptions of where your service organization is strong and where it may have opportunity for improvement from a cross-functional perspective and a benchmark perspective.

This workshop will help your organization better understand the maturity of your service organization across your executive team and benchmarked across other service organizations. You will learn about trends in the industry that are impacting service today. As a team, you’ll align your service goals and priorities. Together, you’ll see the cross-functional impact that service strategy has on your business and customers.

The workshop starts with ServiceMax team members interviewing key functional executives impacted by the services organization (finance, IT, operations, sales, customer success, and so on). The ServiceMax Maturity Assessment Tool is used to gather feedback on the “self-assessment” of an organization’s maturity, as well as to gain a calculated view of the service organization. Each interview can be completed in 30 minutes and can be conducted on-site or virtually.

Following the interviews, ServiceMax reviews the data collected and prepares for the workshop and discussion. With the evaluation data prepared, ServiceMax then leads a half-day workshop with key executives who contributed feedback. The discussion will include comparisons of feedback during the interview process, discussion on how your company compares to benchmark companies, and discussion of opportunities and possible outcomes.

ServiceMax Field Service University Courses

Filling a need for both general and more in-depth understandings of service and service management concepts, ServiceMax has developed three levels of field service domain training.

Level 1 provides a basic understanding of field service concepts, terminology, and key operational metrics, and helps to paint the vision of the potential of service contribution to your company.

Level 2 brings in more-advanced topics, additional strategic service metrics beyond the basics, an understanding of service contribution on the financials, and some little-known but key areas of service impact to the company bottom line.

Check out the full issue of Field Service in print or online, and don’t miss Patrice Eberline’s sessions at Maximize 2018 in Las Vegas. 

ABOUT Patrice Eberline

Avatar photoPatrice Eberline is the former vice president of global customer transformation at ServiceMax. She has nearly two decades of services and leadership experience and has held leadership roles at several fast-growing software companies, including SuccessFactors and Infor.