According to Strategies for Growth, more than sixty percent of field service companies operate (or plan to operate) their field service organization as a profit center. Many times however, executives ask field service organizations to change their operational model (cost center to profit center) without a clear understanding of the steps required to successfully prepare for – and implement – that change.
At FieldAware, we’ve worked with a number of companies (in a variety of industries) that have successfully transformed the business model of their field service organization. Here’s what we’ve learned.
Prepare for the Change
That might seem obvious, but it’s an important step nevertheless. Identify everyone, every system and every process that will be affected by the change. And make sure to communicate the strategy and thinking behind the change to every member of the field service team.
Update the Processes
Profit center processes often require modifications to existing processes. Premium services like SLA (Service Level Agreements) guarantees might require changes to how work is scheduled and dispatched. They also may require improved customer notification processes, SLA violation alerts and even upgrades to the billing process.
Supply the Tools
The key word here is profit. For field service organizations to transform, they need to provide field and back office personnel with the tools they need to:
- Be more productive
- Get the information they need, whenever and where ever they need it
For most organizations, mobile devices and a made for mobile, cloud-based field service management solution (like FieldAware) is the wrench that enables back office personnel to schedule and dispatch, monitor and bill work more efficiently – and technicians to improve their efficiency and generate new revenue (quotes/estimates and work orders) in the field.
But don’t stop there. Make sure that every affected system (billing/accounting, call center, ERP, etc.) is up to the task.
Take Time for Training
Most technicians aren’t born sales people! Take time to provide them with the training they need to generate the revenue you need. Interpersonal and sales skills are critical, but don’t forget to include training on new processes, devices and software.
Turning your field service organization into a profit center can provide an immediate boost to a company’s bottom line. The right preparation, processes, tools and training ensure those profits will extend for years to come.