This statement always feels a little odd even though it’s very correct:

“The one thing that stays constant is change.”

Today as I sit here and think about the new—or some would say enhanced—relationship between Salesforce & ServiceMax with the release ServiceMax’s Asset 360 for Salesforce Field Service, I want to look at the change this will bring to field service management companies across the globe.

The dictionary defines asset as “something having value, such as a possession or property, that is owned by a person, business, or organization; any positive feature that gives you an advantage.”

When you think about the assets at your service business, do you see them as something that gives you an advantage? Are you and your customers actually realizing the total value or advantage from those assets?

I often talk with my colleagues about why the asset has become the most valuable consultant you can have. In the majority of cases, the asset’s existence is the foundation that supports revenue streams from Time and Material (T&M) billing to maintenance or support contracts, all the way through to outcome-based services. The assets are repositories of truth and they explain to you all of the faults and issues they have in exact detail, they never exaggerate, and they always let you know the cost to remedy those issues. I guess the bigger question is this: Are you listening? Can you listen? Does your current solution allow you to listen?

Let’s focus on one particular area for now and why it might be essential for you to listen to your assets.

Asset Value & Your Service Revenue

Your customers’ entitlements are driven from the asset—this is your service revenue. As such, you need to manage this information and appropriately execute service events driven by this information. If every asset has the same entitlement then this would be easy, but realistically in today’s world how many companies have the exact same coverage for every asset across their install base? You need to have a solution to manage those differences that you have been forced to offer to stay relevant in your market and to meet the expectations of your customers.

Some years ago, the Aberdeen Group’s State of Service Management research uncovered that the Best-in-Class service providers lost up to 14% of service revenue by giving away work even though customers were not entitled to it. This is a significant amount of money to any business and it’s baffling to think that organizations would not properly invoice after providing service. The problems lie in areas that should be simple to observe and resolve:

  • Poor visibility of entitlement to scheduler, technician & back office
  • Limited system-based rules to translate work carried out to billable/non-billable elements
  • Consistent over-delivery of services removing the opportunity for upsell
  • Ad-hoc contract attach rates and limited conversion from warranty to contract
  • A limited ability to manage your suite of offerings with varying entitlement needs to meet the diverse needs of your customer base
  • A complex user interface that makes it difficult for key stakeholders to review relevant information in the context of their work

The list can be longer, but these are areas that seem reasonably simple to manage and address. Yet almost every customer I have had the pleasure of working with has a varying degree of leakage. The problem is that some refuse to acknowledge it even as they have major aspirations of a service-led digital transformation. Most are aware of it but have a hard time understanding its impact.

One company’s story, “We knew we had leakage, but we couldn’t measure it to understand the impact. We asked our IT department to create a report, but they asked for justification in the creation of the report by wanting to know the value of leakage. We explained that we needed the report to measure the leakage as we could not tell – chicken or egg conversation. We later implemented Salesforce and ServiceMax and found and invoiced an extra $100k a month in the first year which we were losing through leakage in the previous solution.”

While $100k a month to some businesses may not be a huge amount of money, it is effectively free revenue. To put it another way: it hits your bottom line at 100% given the cost is already baked in. If you are a service business with a 20% margin, that would be the equivalent of finding an extra $500k a month in net new revenue. This in itself can be a very impactful and major reason why asset-centricity needs to be a foundation of your service business.

Salesforce + ServiceMax: 1+1 is definitely more than 2

There are many reasons why these two leaders in the field service management (FSM) space have joined together to provide a market-leading solution that combines customer centricity and asset centricity on a single platform. Helping service organizations enhance their business visibility to recapture lost revenue and to find new streams of revenue is a major reason. In my opinion, the ability to do this is essential. And that’s only one of the central pillars that this comprehensive solution addresses.

I’ve worked in service for over 30 years and in every business that I’ve worked with I’ve always asked the question: “Why would you provide a service free of charge?” How would I explain this to my C-Suite or shareholders? How would I rationalize that we go out and provide service and capture all the costs but for one reason or another we neglect to invoice for that work?

This is why we need to go back to the asset and rely on it as a consultant. It is important to note:

“Human memory is notoriously unreliable, especially when it comes to details. Scientists have found that prompting an eyewitness to remember more can generate details that are outright false but that feel just as correct to the witness as actual memories. In day-to-day life, this isn’t a bug; it’s a feature.”

The asset does not have these concerns, no ego, no emotion, and no one to impress. It only gives you factual data that you need to translate to actions. It’s vital that you as a service leader trust in this data and use it to ensure that your customers are getting the best VALUE from your ASSET and driving home a business ADVANTAGE.

See how Asset 360 for Salesforce can help you access that value and advantage from your assets.


ABOUT Kieran Notter

Avatar photoKieran Notter was the former director of global customer transformation at ServiceMax. He was acknowledged as a service industry domain expert with 30 years’ experience. He specialized in field service revenue and working capital improvements, with a particular passion for supply chain operations. He was highly effective at partnering with customers to deliver tangible, practical results across their service operations. Having previously worked for companies including Kodak, Bell & Howell and, most recently, Pitney Bowes he understood the importance of a logical approach that is supported by real-time analytics. His considerable experience in implementing and using systems such as SAP, Servigistics (PTC), Oracle (Siebel), Salesforce and ServiceMax enabled him to recognize a client’s challenges and facilitate solutions that lead to sustainable growth.