Utility lineman: According to survey findings released today by Honeywell and The Service Council, 38 percent of field service organizations expect to save 30 minutes or more per technician per day by changing and improving workflow processes. For those companies, this generated a potential average savings of $875,000 per year, identifying a need to better align goals with the actual process and workflow reviews currently being conducted at the field operations level.
The report polled 260 decision makers from organizations in North America, Latin America, EMEA and Asia Pacific about their field service processes to gauge potential areas of improvement and enhancement for these organizations. The survey showed that 75 percent of respondents have conducted a process review in the past 12 months, most of which are driven by continuous improvement programs. But 25 percent have not, and of that group 63 percent have not conducted a process review in more than five years.
The most highly ranked opportunities to improve technician efficiency were: daily schedule management and communication, clock-in and clock-out processes, parts lookup, and resolution information and knowledge lookup. Additionally, the top-rated areas for workflow improvement were: planning and forecasting, scheduling, call and appointment management.
The primary disconnect from the survey data is that while 65 percent of organizations indicate that they are fairly diligent about conducting process reviews of their field service operations, only 27 percent indicate that they are doing so while keeping an eye on revenue objectives.
“The good news is field service leaders are chomping at the bit to capture savings when simple process changes across the entire field organization can drive these big bottom line results.” said Tim Eusterman, senior director of industry marketing, Honeywell Scanning & Mobility. “But our survey results also show that too many field service leaders are not placing equal focus on reviewing the process changes that will meet the stated priority strategy goal: to grow revenue.”
“We see a maturity path for field service organizations where their goals evolve from replacement of paper-based processes to productivity enhancements to resolution and revenue growth,” said Sumair Dutta, chief customer officer, The Service Council. “There are many areas of low-hanging fruit available to service leaders to improve their workflow processes and results. As such, investments made in process change, the supporting technologies, and also in people need to be targeted and evaluated with these strategy goals in mind.”
The survey results clearly point out that adding technology infrastructure only to the field operation is not the whole solution. This is even more evident as companies move from the initial stages of paper replacement toward the ultimate objective of increasing revenues. Delighting customers is the surest way to create customer satisfaction, loyalty, and increased revenues. As companies continue to analyze their workflows, both for efficiency and revenue improvements, the more they will be able to capture and realize the value of moving down the mobility maturity path.