The bread and butter of digital innovation is its ability to save. Doing things electronically almost always means doing them faster and at lower cost. This axiom of modern innovation has altered every industry and type of operation.
According to a recent survey, the latest operation to be affected by this trend is the field-service organization. In May, Honeywell, a technology and manufacturing company, released the findings of a survey it conducted with research and advisory firm the Service Council. The results show that field-service organizations are realizing big cost savings by changing their workflow processes. Specifically, 38 percent 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.
The most highly ranked opportunities to improve technician efficiency were daily schedule management and communication, clock-in and clock-out processes, parts look-up, resolution information and knowledge look-up. Additionally, the top-rated areas for workflow improvement were planning and forecasting, scheduling, and call and appointment management.
The survey also showed that adding only technology infrastructure to the field operation is not the whole solution. 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 report suggests that companies must move from simply replacing paper with digital processes to doing so with the goal of pleasing the customer to increase satisfaction, brand loyalty and, ultimately, revenue.
The report polled 260 decision-makers from organizations in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the 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 has not, and 63 percent of that group has not conducted a process review in more than five years.