In examining the benefits of business intelligence, decision support, and management reporting, best-in-class field service organisations reported a resulting 42% improvement in customer retention, as well as significant gains in service profitability and first-call fix rates, according to a survey by Aberdeen Group.
The recent study, entitled 'Get Smart: Business Intelligence and Analytics for Service Organisations', found that leading field service organisations are adopting business intelligence and data analytics technology and best practices to enable better and faster decisions and reporting.
A trend toward modelling
These companies are also beginning to deploy simulation modelling within their organisations to perform sophisticated "what-if" planning and forecasting. Among the service organisations recently surveyed, companies that have implemented technology for reporting and decision support have noted several improvements:
- Service profitability increased by 17%;
- Customer retention rates increased by an average of 29%;
- Service Level Agreement (SLA) performance increased by 33%.
Those organisations classified by the Aberdeen survey as being 'best in class' tended to show the greatest improvements, with service profitability being up 18%, customer retention being up 42%, and SLA compliance being up 44%.
Accuracy drives improvement
"These organisations have realised the value of having accurate, readily available information to drive service decisions," explained Micky Long, research director for Aberdeen Group. "By leveraging technology and applying the right business processes and workflows, organisations are making better, more informed decisions, providing better analysis of service performance and giving service executives the tools to perform rigorous business analysis. The results are reduced costs, better customer retention and higher service profitability."
Other best-in-class characteristics included:
- 80% have enterprise-wide balanced scorecard initiatives in place;
- 71% have a vice president or higher executive overseeing service functions;
- 40% have established enterprise-wide standards and process to ensure data accuracy.
Based on the survey's results, Aberdeen recommends that service organisations should consider the following key strategies to help drive greater efficiency and decision-making support:
- Implement technology and process to ensure data accuracy within the service operation.
- Provide the whole organisation with total visibility into parts, workforce and knowledge across the enterprise.
- Implement technology to enable and examine "what-if" simulations.
- Focus attention on long-term customer facing metrics (e.g. customer retention) as well as profit.
Thanks to survey underwriters IBIS, ServiceBench, and Tavant Technologies, a free copy of the report has been made available for download from Aberdeen's web site - click here (free registration required).