Magazine Article | December 20, 2006

Get Real (Time)! Old Data Is Outdated In Today's Global Marketplace

Source: Field Technologies Magazine

Use real-time performance management to realize, analyze, and solve service problems before they negatively impact your bottom line.

Integrated Solutions, January 2007

In today's competitive business environment — supported by an increasingly complex technology infrastructure — department managers, division heads, and executives face some tough questions:
n How well is your service organization performing against your objectives?
n What impact do decisions made in other departments have on your area of responsibility (and, vice versa)?
n Are you cutting costs in one area of the business simply by increasing expenses in another?
n How do you get easy access to vital, but ever-changing, business-driving information when you need it to make an important decision?

In the past, getting answers to these and other mission-critical questions has been nearly impossible. Gathering key business information in the past involved culling through massive amounts of data from a variety of systems. This process was time-consuming, costly, and oftentimes unreliable, as data could be easily manipulated. Furthermore, by the time that data was collected and analyzed, it was out-of-date and could not provide real-time visibility into mission-critical operations.

With the advent of Real-Time Performance Management (RPM), this lack of sufficient information for making key business decisions is no longer an issue. Organizations can now have real-time metrics at their fingertips. RPM is a combination of best-in-class analytics and reporting applications that link the depth of data in diverse service and business applications with an organization's vast information sources and provide executives with desktop tools that answer business-critical questions quickly and easily. It delivers the right information, at the right time, to the right people. That sounds good, but you need to know how RPM applies to real-world business. Let's say that you're a service provider and you sign a major new customer. Congratulations, right? But this is where the difficult questions begin:
n Do you have enough technicians to service the customer?
n Will service commitments to your current customers suffer?
n Do you have enough of the right parts to accommodate the expansion?

With RPM working for you, you can get quick and easy answers to these important questions and more. So let's now look further into this example. Adding that new customer means top line revenue is growing, but what about profitability? Because you have RPM, you can see that the cost of service is beginning to increase and has quickly exceeded the established corporate goal. You can drill down into your data and discover that the cost increase is due to a number of factors.

First, while you've added customers, you don't have enough service technicians trained on your new customers' equipment. That means you're relying on expensive contractors to supplement your labor pool. Second, stockouts of critical service parts are escalating purchasing costs and, in some cases, forcing you to pay service level penalties. You also see that your average repair time is on the increase. And to top it off, sky-high fuel prices are dramatically increasing the average cost per call. No wonder the cost of service is on the rise.

With RPM, you're in a position to act on these key issues before they get out of control and impact the bottom line. With advanced analytics and reporting, you can set goals, develop strategies, implement tactical plans, track changes, spot trends, and be alerted to problems so you can take quick action and continue meeting your objectives. And, you can be assured that all of your diverse business processes are working toward a common goal: world-class performance and profitability.