Magazine Article | February 23, 2012

Aiding Profitable Service Management

Source: Field Technologies Magazine

By Gerry Emmett, VP of sales, GoServicePro,

Today’s software solutions provide a bevy of functionalities that can help make your service organization more profitable.

Particularly in today’s economic climate, companies are looking for applications which deliver a quick and effective solution with a recognized ROI. Need exists for the solution that can be as broad as needed or as specific to an individual company’s need as required, whether that company has two field service technicians or 10,000.

Companies are looking for solutions that can be easily implemented with quick adoption and rollout strategies. Cloud-based applications provide a speedy rollout, along with the security and comfort that your company doesn’t need to provide the hardware, backup, updates, and upgrades that traditional software applications require. Service management gets more challenging each day and every industry has unique issues. Most of today’s service organizations are now profit and loss centers for their companies which brings additional responsibilities for service managers. Service managers are looking not only for a solution that will just schedule and dispatch or manage and track parts, but one which will provide a comprehensive umbrella to fulfill all their many requirements.

Managing Total Cost Of Service
A key area today is managing the total cost of service, looking at every point a client touches your company, as each touch costs money. Today's solutions allow a company, with a simple click, to see all the activity of a specific client and the total cost related to that client whether under warranty, contract maintenance or time and material, or anything in between. This capability results in an accurate analysis for the service management team of the total cost of servicing a client, including access to customer portals, calls in, technical/back office work, and of course service calls.

The aim is to seek a true end-to-end service management experience that takes the clients from their sales inception to the order and contract, to implementation and service support, and back to additional sales, all stored and managed in one service solution. For service managers, once you have picked your application, the job is not finished. You are then faced with which smartphone, tablet, or other device to use and also which type of browser do your customers use, etc. With these things in mind, your best bet might be to select a solution that is not fixed to one device but can use all of the latest Windows 7, Android, and iPhone-based mobile devices, as well as tablet technology. Choosing a solution that supports multiple device types and operating systems allows you the freedom to choose the device and platform that's best for you — now and later. The portal applications for customers and approved service providers also must be agnostic so that they can use any browser format to enable you to give your users freedom of choice.

When choosing a solution, ensure that the application framework and operating system are current and are capable of running rich internet content because your needs will likely increase exponentially as you become accustomed to the solution and expand your requirements. A current and common application framework also ensures ease of customization and a common look and feel for easy adoption.

Most of today's companies are tasked with finding a quick and effective solution with a recognized ROI. The fact is, the ROI of your software solution can be easily justified through substantial savings in customer self access, manpower optimization, and truck and parts management, as well as the accurate costing of customers.