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A note from the editor

Recently, I conducted a survey on Field Service operations within manufacturing
organizations, and close to 300 respondents gave their feedback to share some light
on current and future opportunities to grow the service business.

One of the most interesting statistics from the market study concerned reactive/proactive approaches: 52% of respondents qualified their field service operations today as reactive, while 40% said proactive. A meager 8% marked themselves as predictive. This statistic goes to show the current immaturity of the manufacturing industry to excel at delivering customer service. The positive note, of course, is that there is great room for improvement.

Another interesting result that stood out was the set up of field centers: 77% of respondents have their field operations set up in several regional locations, whereas only 13% have their field technicians based in central locations. This of course stems from a move to make field service more cost competitive, and having technicians locally based reduces time and cost of travels. However, of those set up in regional locations, there is an almost even split between organizations whose own technicians cover the whole globe and those whose technicians cover only parts of the globe (the rest is covered through partnerships or M&A’s).

Key topics considered to run a successful field service business included knowledge management, workforce planning & scheduling, and competence development. As technicians are the face of the company to the eyes of the customers, there is a great need to have a skilled workforce; however, expertise is running scarcer and scarcer, so the ability to capture knowledge and transfer it from experienced technicians to coming talent is critical. Lastly, having control and visibility of the whole workforce is key to improving response time and thus excelling at customer service.

What are your pressing issues for the year?

Continue the conversation with me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Sincerely,
Thomas Igou, The Editor

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