In a 2021 study conducted by Bain Research and ServiceMax, the top set of trends concerning executive-level service leaders were “table stakes” – these included safety and compliance, first time fix, and standardization and simplification of processes. Closely following were “high potential” trends, focusing on data as an asset, new pricing models, and frontline customer service skills and operating models.

This indicates many of the immediate concerns of service leaders falls not in the longer-term aspirations of AI and IIOT, but in the operational and commercial basics of service management. Whether your priorities as a service leader are more inclined toward the operational delivery of service, or aligned to the commercial growth of service sales, these foundations support the goals of both realms. These are the foundational elements – or service basics – that any service leader must consider to strengthen their service delivery and drive service revenue growth.

While emerging technology topics like IIOT and AR are important trends for enterprise organizations as they develop their future service strategy, this series intends to spend time revisiting the basics of service management and explore the foundational pieces on which every service organization spends time and resources.

Modern Service Management Platforms

When implementing new service management tools, the big question is often: where to start?

“Service management systems are often the end result of 20 years of technology constraints – not what they ever wanted, but what they could get. The rate and speed of transformation has made much more available to service organizations, but they don’t know what they don’t know.” – Joe Kenny, Global Customer Transformation at ServiceMax

The promise and benefit of digital transformation in modern service management platforms (like ServiceMax) is often layered and caters to businesses spanning all levels of maturity. Instead of boiling the ocean all at once, service organizations can start by laying a foundation, or starting with the basics.

In this series, we’ll explore what service basics are, and what they mean for different parts of the enterprise – from service, sales, IT, marketing and finance, how each function utilizes and contributes to building the foundation, paving the way from service basics to service excellence and growth.

Introduction to Service Basics

With over 15 years of service management expertise, ServiceMax has helped many service organizations on their digital transformation journey. While no two service organizations execute in the exact same way, we’ve identified 5 key areas that serve as a common foundation across any service management implementation.

Contracts, Warranties, Entitlements. Entitlements give insight into exactly what level of service the customer expects to receive. This includes things such as cost for spare parts, billing rates for labor, response times, and penalties. Entitlements are guaranteed by contracts and warranties. Getting entitlements, contracts, and warranties right prevents leakage and financial concessions, protects your service margin, reduces customer disputes, and creates a better customer experience.

Reactive to Proactive Maintenance. Complex service is always changing, and service organizations need a sustainable approach to maintenance. Reactive maintenance can be expensive – up to 7x more expensive than scheduled maintenance. Using asset data to determine maintenance activity will drive down costs, reduce unplanned downtime, and extend the life of the asset.

Streamline Service Workflows. To enforce consistent data capture, mitigate compliance risk, uphold service quality, and ensure maximum efficiency, service organizations need standardized, end-to-end workflows. Leveraging a modern field service management platform means service organizations can automate repetitive, time-consuming service processes, map workflows such as depot repair and logistics for full tracking visibility, and reduce errors with a standard process.

Field Productivity. Field teams need the right data at the right time. Whether preparing for a job, or at a customer site, field engineers must make numerous daily decisions that contribute to the service organization’s overall bottom line. With access to information such as asset service history, maintenance manuals, parts required, schematics, entitled services, and more, field engineers are empowered to provide a higher level of service for the end customer while also preventing leakages.

Metrics & KPIs. How does a service organization measure a job well done? Metrics and KPIs provide a concrete, uniformly defined view into the health and productivity of service operations. The “Universal 9” metrics are key foundational KPIs to track, and creates the underpinnings for more advanced analytics such as contract profitability and cost-to-serve.

In this series, we’ll continue to explore the service basics and what they mean for different teams across the enterprise. Our new eBook, Back to Service Basics: Five Foundational Areas for Service Digital Transformation will provide more detail on the roadmap from service basics to service excellence and growth.

Additionally, take a look at how Asset 360 can help service organizations get the basics right.


ABOUT Wendy Tai

Wendy TaiWendy Tai is a director of product marketing at ServiceMax. She works closely with product, marketing, and partner teams to message, position, and drive the go-to-market for ServiceMax products. Wendy has 10+ years of experience in marketing and product marketing at both startups and large corporations, most recently launching emerging technology products in augmented reality and 3D for Adobe Systems and Hewlett-Packard. Wendy holds a BA in Communications from the University of California, Berkeley.