So, you want to take a modular approach to service transformation and manage the work orders for your service organization?

Well, of course you do!

This handy blog contains insights into what you need to know about the benefits of viewing, assigning, tracking, and executing jobs in your work order management solution.

Ready? Let’s go!

In part one of the series, we covered installed base understanding, and why it is the logical first step in transforming your service organization. If you haven’t read that blog yet, read that here.

But the next foundational piece you must put into place is your work order management solution. Work order management provides you a number of business outcomes, such as:

  • Ability to view tech availability and skills to match manually or automatically through assignment rules
  • Ability to plan, assign, and execute field service activities for install, break-fix, preventive maintenance and depot repair work
  • Digitization of work order debrief capturing labor, parts, expense and travel
  • Generation of a service report

But what does that actually mean for your bottom line? How do you measure it to ensure you are achieving real business value?

In working with both prospective and existing customers, I help them to measure the value achieved by making strategic changes to the way they operate their service organization. These may seem minor, but even a 1 percent improvement on your service level agreement (SLA) attainment can have a profound effect on your bottom line. That may be the thing that finally moves your service organization from a cost center to a profit center, granting you the leeway to make additional improvements to the way you operate, resulting in additional growth of revenue and influence in the company.

But you can’t manage what you can’t measure — and without the right work order management solution in place, you will be too busy trying to manually create and assign everyone’s work. It may seem simple, but I have seen on more than one occasion, a service engineer manually assigning their work for the week on the giant wall in the main office, and then none of it is actually completed.


Well, Joe the engineer was on holiday (again!) in the Caribbean, and that information wasn’t passed on to the appropriate team, and no one knew that Melissa was backing him up that week. If you had input that information into Service Board, ServiceMax’s work order management solution, and tried to assign the work to Joe, it would be flagged. You could then choose to manually reassign the work, or let the software do the heavy lifting for you and automatically reassign based on your setup.

One of the key components of work order management is ensuring you have the right technician, in the right place, at the right time, with the right parts. What’s the first metric that comes to mind when you have all of those pieces figured out? For me, it’s first-time fix (FTF) rate. In order to ensure we’re speaking the same language, here’s a very basic definition to level set us: First-time fix rate indicates the percentage of time a technician is able to fix the issue on the first visit, without need for additional expertise, information, or parts.

Ensuring you have the right engineer, with the right skills, training, and certification ensures they are able to resolve the issue for your customer on that first visit. Extra visits because you weren’t able to complete the work result in increased costs related to truck rolls, overtime, backlog of business, and SLA penalties. Speaking of SLA penalties, do you know whether a particular machine has a Bronze or Platinum service package associated to it? If you have that information in your work order management solution, you can make sure your Platinum (priority no. 1) machine is first in line to be fixed, and eliminate the penalties you may have incurred because you didn’t prioritize the work correctly. You can also delay the start of work on the Bronze package machine because the SLA states it will be operational within a week of it being reported as down. Then, the next time your customer is up for renewal, they may be more inclined to upgrade to that faster response, Platinum, service contract.

Boom! Upsell! Additional revenue is now being generated by the service organization.

GE Power Services is a customer of ours, and they are a fantastic example of the power of utilizing work order management. One of their biggest challenges was around scheduling their technicians in the field. With more than 6,000 techs, this was not something they could do manually on a daily basis. Using ServiceMax, they improved efficiency by 7 percent, resulting in lowered costs to the service organization. This was to the tune of $30M+ through improvements in technician utilization!

To learn more about Service Board and Work Order Management from ServiceMax, and view on an on-demand demo, check out the following product overview here:

ABOUT Daniel Brabec

Avatar photoDaniel Brabec is a former director of global customer transformation at ServiceMax. With a broad base of experience in training, course development and project management, Daniel brings a unique background to his role at ServiceMax. He has spent several years working in service technology, providing oversight to enterprise implementations of service management systems, and creating and delivering the training necessary for companies to change the way they manage global service organizations in North America, Europe, India, the Middle East and Asia.