Operational excellence is often defined as engaging employees, building customer loyalty, and maximizing productivity. Additionally, revenues being in line or regularly increasing. To enhance operational excellence, if any of the above are not being met, this means facing a problem head on.
Often, leaders within field service organizations make big decisions based upon what they feel in their gut. You need to change your approach so that you are not constantly being reactive. Once you move past just reacting in the break-fix model, you can begin using analytics and a predictive model that will allow you to stay in greater control of your operations and allow you to exceed all of your expectations.
Guesswork and gut instincts have their place in life, but not when you are making important business decisions. You want to make sure that you are using real numbers, and this is when it's critical to employ real-time analytics. Otherwise, you could be making decisions based upon data that is days, weeks or even months old.
There is a significant amount of data that you can use to learn more about what's going on out in the field. For example, when you can gain insight into first-time fix rates (FTS) you learn more about whether your technicians are getting the job done right the first time around.
The metrics will allow you to face a problem and determine what needs to be done. For example, your technicians may need better equipment, more intelliegent software or a higher level of training in order to improve first-time fix rates. Otherwise, you could be losing a significant amount of money because of having to send technicians out a second or third time. This can also affect customer loyalty and ultimately, the bottom line.
Another problem you may be faced with that you don't even realize is what's known as warranty and contract leakage. This is defined as the free stuff you are giving away because your technicians might not know better. Certain items are covered under warranty or under contract. Everything else is supposed to be charged at a specific rate. Your technicians may be giving things away for free because they don't know about the warranty, the contract, or can't access them in the field.
You need to take the time to train your technicians and ensure that they have access to all of the information. This can be provided to them in a mobile device. They will be able to click and get into user accounts and determine whether the service is covered under warranty or contract or whether a bill needs to be sent. This allows you to capture more revenue for your business over the course of the year.
The reality is that you need to be current on the performance of your business in all regards, not just the bottom line. Key performance indicators will need to be identified so you can face problems head on rather than allowing them to surprise you at the end of the quarter or year, or when clients start to complain.
You have the ability today to use a mobile strategy that will allow you to get real-time updates and eliminate the paper trail once and for all. When your field service technicians have mobile devices, they will be able to generate work orders, have more information at their fingertips, and optimize their calls, including to add efficiency and more revenue to your business.
When you stay on top of problems and work to create solutions as they arise, you will find that operational excellence is a lot easier to achieve than you ever thought possible.