Optimized Field Service Management Driving Profits, Competitive Edge  Study

Improving field service operations a top priority for majority of firms, Aberdeen survey reveals

Improving field service operations a top priority for majority of firms, Aberdeen survey reveals

Boston, MA — July 15, 2004 — Optimized field service management can drives profits and competitive edge, and a majority of enterprises are placing a high priority on improving their field service operations, according to a new study from technology consultancy Aberdeen Group.

Aberdeen based its "Field Service Optimization Benchmark Report" on a survey of more than 220 senior operations, customer service, and supply chain executives. The report seeks to quantify the business benefits inherent in improved field service management strategies and procedures, benchmarks existing procedures for managing field service operations and recommends actions for maximizing field service performance.

The survey found that 56 percent of firms consider improving field service operations a high priority relative to other corporate initiatives, with companies in the utilities sector leading the charge in this respect.

According Mark Vigoroso, vice president of post sales service research at Aberdeen and author of the report, a sea change is underway in the field service arena, with companies transforming this function from a tactical cost center to a strategic profit center.

"Firms that maintain a holistic view of field service, considering all the core components, are squeezing latency and costs out of their field service operations," Vigoroso said. "These forward-thinking enterprises are staking revenue, profitability and client satisfaction goals on their field service operations and are leveraging technology solutions to reach these objectives."

To optimize field service operations, Vigoroso recommends that companies intimately understand and document criteria for customer delight and "reverse-engineer" their field service organizations to meet or exceed these criteria.

In addition, Aberdeen recommends that companies measure performance based on overall customer experience and that they foster a corporate culture and business processes oriented around client satisfaction.

Increasing collaboration among internal stakeholders — especially call center, control desk, parts depot, field technicians and accounting — can also provide a boost in this area, according to Vigoroso. And, finally, the analyst recommends that enterprises eliminate paper- and spreadsheet-based processes and consider Web, e-mail and mobile technology solutions.

The Field Service Optimization Benchmark Report is available at http://www.aberdeen.com/ab_company/hottopics/fieldservice/default.htm.