The 1st Annual Field Service Forum took place place on June 3rd – 4th at the Radisson Blu Hotel Amsterdam. The successful launch event gathered over 150 service professionals from across Europe and from across several industry verticals such as aerospace, marine, oil and gas, healthcare and machinery to discuss, share, network, and benchmark around the theme of improving service margins.
It is clear that most organizations are facing the same challenges within their field service business. Participants seemed in unison to agree that professional skills development and competence management of field technicians is a key element to meet service growth opportunities. There is an evident potential to upsell service products through field technicians; however, organizations need to develop their soft skills and create sales incentives through better training programs and KPI’s. There was, as such, a very interesting session from Clicksoftware on gamification, and how it can help to motivate and reward employees for outstanding performances.
Another common ground among delegates is the need to revigorate the field service division, and to create a set up as its own separate business in order to truly change the function from a cost to a profit center and get full support from the organization. The opening plenary session from Airbus, for example, quite interestingly described their changed approach to field service in the past few years due to evolving technology (that is transforming the environment) and customers (whose needs are changing). As such, moves have been made towards developing Service Hubs, redefining the Field Service Director role, looking at regionalization, single shot expatriation, and other innovative approaches. Some of the challenges identified, going forward, are how to maintain link to HQ, communications both with customers and internally between hubs, and training of Field Service personnel.
Overall, the event showed that most organizations, regardless of their industry, are facing the same challenges to improve service margins. The testimonials showed that this is the perfect platform to benchmark, brainstorm, and get inspired with new and innovative concepts.
I look forward to seeing you next year!
Thomas Igou, The Editor
Download the Field Service Forum 2014 Post Event Report here: