We’re really enjoying getting to know ServiceMax’s product managers through the vehicle of our new Product Spotlight Series. It’s evident that they not only care about the products they build and the customers they serve but also that they hold a high level of empathy for the end user of these products. Understanding the pain and challenges of the end users is very important to me and it’s refreshing to see our product leaders have a similar mindset. While business value is extremely important to those supporting the investment in the product, actual adoption is equally vital in ensuring that the business value is achieved. On a more humorous note, one of my favorite quotes is about bringing empathy —
“Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.”
Back to more important things, our most recent chapter of the Product Spotlight Series features Mayhul Jain, who leads the product planning and roadmap for all things scheduling and optimization at ServiceMax. In a previous life, Mayhul worked as a technician and spent a lot of time navigating work schedules and plans with his teammates in dispatch. Listening to Mayhul speak, it’s evident that he appreciates the impact of a dispatcher while also being aware of the shortcuts and tricks that technicians rely on in the management of work delivered and allocated to them. He notes:
“The work that a dispatcher does is really a multiplier when you consider the impact on the efficiency of the business. If you think about it, a dispatcher could be handling hundreds of work orders a day while a technician only has to deal with two to four. So it’s really important for us to ensure that we provide automation that surfaces the right information to the dispatcher to allow them to make these critical decisions that impact efficiency and customer outcomes.”
The statement above gives us a peek into Mayhul’s philosophy when it comes to offering a range of scheduling solutions to our customers. When raising critical information to the dispatcher, it is equally vital to remove simple and repetitive tasks that can be automated. That way, the dispatcher can be focused on those ‘exceptions’ that require their attention. These exceptions always come up when the preset plan of field service is impacted by the realities of a given service day. Longer-than-expected work orders, additional customer requests, and unexpected emergencies are all contingencies that need to be accounted for on any given service day and dispatchers need to have the right information in a single pane of glass to be able to adjust their teams’ schedules accordingly.
That said, it is not feasible for most service companies to jump immediately to real-time optimization. Technically speaking, real-time automation requires a very good handle on the data inputs that go into an optimized schedule. Organizations that are at the beginning of their service automation journey, or even those that have automated parts of their scheduling, typically have very poor data when it comes to the work being completed by their technicians. Inputting this into an optimizer will yield sub-optimal results and that’s only the technical ramification. From a change management perspective, it will lead to complete distrust in the system and extremely low adoption. It’s typically much better to walk up the automation curve in scheduling to support a greater level of adoption while slowly improving your data quality and integrity.
Having this perspective and philosophy has guided Mayhul in developing and building a range of scheduling solutions for our customers based on their needs and data maturity. In the Product Spotlight Series interview, Mayhul talks about these options available via ServiceMax’s Service Board and Schedule Optimization. I can share more detail about the capabilities built into these products and how they even work to manage complex projects or crew-based work, but it’s much better if you hear directly from Mayhul.
Stay tuned for many more introductions to our amazing product management team.