When used in the right way, data collection and analytics can optimize operations and enhance service delivery to deliver a clear competitive edge.
It isn’t a new revelation that being a data-driven organization can mean the difference between owning market share and being a laggard. But for service organizations globally, this resonates at an even higher level. In a field of work where traditional visibility was virtually unattainable, digital transformation has made it not only possible, but one of the biggest keys to field service success. While data collection itself is not new to the market, the ability to process and apply that data has advanced thanks to cloud offerings, wireless connectivity and heightened data warehouse capabilities and securities.
When used in the right way, data collection and analytics can optimize operations and enhance service delivery to deliver a clear competitive edge. According to Aberdeen Group’s research, State Of Service Management In 2016: Empower The Data-driven CSO, “Integration of the data flow from the field to the back office has value, but in 2016, the real key is ensuring that the relevant data gets in front of the right people at the right time so their decisions will be easier to make and so they can adjust to changing conditions in real time.” So how do you ensure your organization is maximizing the potential of analytics and operating as a true data-driven business? Here are three recommendations to help guide your process and ensure that you are an informed organization today and a predictive one tomorrow.
1. Create a foundation for success
Having fancy analytics software and/or dashboards won’t help you succeed if your operations aren’t set up to capture, access or even deliver the data behind these tools. Furthermore, if your operations are suffering from core, basic inefficiencies, there is only so far the generated analytics can take you. When you start with a strong foundation, real-time data and analytics are the best way to fine-tune your organization until you function like a well-oiled machine. This is done by ensuring your processes are efficient and effective, and your people are on board.
A. Process management
Tightly integrated, automated processes will transfer information seamlessly from one application to the next, which is essential to accurate data capture. Tools like performance intelligence software can analyze your business processes in real-time and show you where there are loop-holes and give you root-cause analysis of problems.
B. Change management
Data capture is crucial to analytical success, and this always has a human element to it. Whether it is your field service technicians out in the field or your call center representatives on the phone, details matter as does proper use of your field service management systems. Company-wide buy-in is essential, so communicate on an enterprise-wide scale as opposed to traditional hierarchical passages, and collaborate across the organization. Incentivize your employees for their cooperation with programs like gamification.
2. Deploy the right technology
Analytics are driven by data capture, and data capture is only as good as the tools used to collect. Data-driven organizations know that investment is imperative to the right analytics and ultimately service excellence. The right tools mean in-fleet tracking devices that are GPS and telematics-enabled. It means reliable mobile devices that aid tech performance rather than hinder it, from battery life to ease of use to durability. It means tools that effectively integrate with fleet and field service management (FSM) solutions to provide service managers with real-time field visibility as well as forecasting and planning capabilities. Lastly, integration to be back office is essential to enabling data flow between management, the field, billing, inventory, customer management and HR functions. This seamless data flow ensures that all touch points of the service supply chain are capturing and passing along relevant information that can strategically inform management of strengths and weaknesses, operational inefficiencies and more.
3. Strategically plan your analytics journey
It is clear that organizations that analyze and proactively execute on that data have a greater chance at achieving service excellence but the approach will, of course, affect the outcome. The key to success is in mapping out your analytics journey. Firstly, your organization needs to identify where the gaps are and identify steps that need to be taken to fill these. These could be gaps in operations themselves or gaps in information transfer or data collection. Then your organization needs to ensure that the right tools and software are in place to help leverage data being collected from the field. Lastly, your organization needs to identify how your analytics are going to be applied. It is best at this point to do this based on the different levels that data-driven decisions need to be applied to, then figure out how the information will be managed. Strategic, tactical and operational levels will use different data sets and different dashboards and reports.
Analytics can increase technician accountability and service operation productivity and reduce cost. Most importantly, they can empower your workers while delivering a quicker, better-informed service experience. With a top level down approach to embracing an analytically charged organization, you will successfully drive value to the service experience, ultimately benefiting your end user, the most important shareholder your organization has.
For more information about advanced analytics within service organizations, download the Advanced analytics and the digital transformation of enterprise service management white paper now.
Do you have questions or comments about advanced analytics?
We’d love to hear them so please leave us a message below.