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Aberdeen- The Evolution of Service Rests on a Connected World

The M2M Impact on Scheduling & Mobility

Should you wait for service? Do your customers expect that their service issues will be resolved on your timetable or theirs?

The evolution of field service and support has been swift. Customers are driving field service now, not the other way around. Historically, long wait windows, repeat visits, and reactive break / fix service was tolerated by customers. This is no longer the expectation as customers have more options than ever for service and have no problem picking up and going to your competitor; even in the world of B2B service.

As the service world changes, organizations must look to improve the speed of service along with how they customize the service experience for the customer. In order to maintain and enhance the service experience, organizations have begun to leverage machine to machine (M2M) data to capture intelligence on parts, equipment, vehicles, and customers. But this evolution is not only about gathering data to store in a data warehouse, these organizations are using this insight to spearhead a transformation in service.

Connect to the Future of Service. Currently, much of the data being captured can be viewed as reactive information gathering. This data is used to understand what happened in the past and is used to build a case for a future action. However, the future of resolution centers around the creation of data which can spark preventive service. Currently, approximately 35% of serviceable equipment in the field is remotely connected for the purpose of asset management, tracking, service, and maintenance. But this percentage will continue to rise as sampled organizations stated this will increase to 42% in the next 12 months (n = 107). The opportunity is vast and the ability for service to meet a changing customer is dependent on not only capturing data but using it to improve service delivery.

Ensure Service Reaches the Customer Ahead of the Next Failure. Many of us have heard the argument that field service needs to evolve from reactive to preventive and predictive, but how does an organization actually attain this level of field service excellence? This clearly isn’t a transition that will occur overnight, as in Aberdeen’s recent Field Service research only 31% of service visits for the Best-in-Class were preventive in nature. I expect this number to continue to rise in the coming years as service organizations begin to equip their business for proactive service. At present, 68% of top performers use information enabled via machine / remote connectivity to alert the service organization of asset failure / downtime as compared to 54% of peers. Connecting to equipment, monitoring its performance, and then notifying the appropriate service teams of changes in performance is the path to proactive service.

More than Data, M2M leads to revenues. Connecting to machines and transforming into a proactive service organization is a great step, but where will the dollars come from? Most organizations are driven by revenue and not altruistic goals to serve. In the next 12 months, 86% of top performers sampled anticipate an increased reliance on M2M-enabled value added services for revenue growth. As machines become more complex and customers expect faster service, M2M technology will help service organizations efficiently deliver the level of service customers want (to pay for).

The consumption or gathering of data via M2M technology has become table stakes for the service organization. The value of this level of intelligence captured from equipment, vehicles, parts, and customers is the ability to improve the service experience. Reacting to the world of your customers will lead to a lost customer; service must be at the forefront of predictive resolution.


written by: Aly Pinder, Senior Research Associate at Aberdeen Group

As a senior associate in the customer experience and service management practice, Aly Pinder Jr. researches and explores how service and manufacturing executives utilize technology and implement best practices to improve post-sales service and support processes. Through practitioner benchmarking and analysis of Aberdeen’s research database, he examines how Best-in-Class service organizations are reengineering their service chains for improved performance and increased profitability. Aly’s coverage areas within the service space primarily cover the following topics on which he has written or co-authored over 40 research reports and bench marked more than 4,000 service executives in his four plus years with Aberdeen:

  • Field Service and Mobility
  • Service Parts Logistics
  • Warranty and Service Contract Management
  • Reverse Logistics

Follow Aly at: @Aberdeen_cesm, @Pinderjr

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