The State of Field Services: 2013
by Ravi Naidu
WHAT DOES FIELD SERVICES LOOK LIKE TODAY?
There is absolutely no doubt tha...
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17065 Camino San Bernardo, Ste. 200 | San Diego, CA 92127 | Tel. 1.858.674.5491 | Fax. 1.858.430.3571
© Technology Servi...
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17065 Camino San Bernardo, Ste. 200 | San Diego, CA 92127 | Tel. 1.858.674.5491 | Fax. 1.858.430.3571
© Technology Servi...
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17065 Camino San Bernardo, Ste. 200 | San Diego, CA 92127 | Tel. 1.858.674.5491 | Fax. 1.858.430.3571
© Technology Servi...
5
17065 Camino San Bernardo, Ste. 200 | San Diego, CA 92127 | Tel. 1.858.674.5491 | Fax. 1.858.430.3571
© Technology Servi...
6
17065 Camino San Bernardo, Ste. 200 | San Diego, CA 92127 | Tel. 1.858.674.5491 | Fax. 1.858.430.3571
© Technology Servi...
7
17065 Camino San Bernardo, Ste. 200 | San Diego, CA 92127 | Tel. 1.858.674.5491 | Fax. 1.858.430.3571
© Technology Servi...
8
17065 Camino San Bernardo, Ste. 200 | San Diego, CA 92127 | Tel. 1.858.674.5491 | Fax. 1.858.430.3571
© Technology Servi...
9
17065 Camino San Bernardo, Ste. 200 | San Diego, CA 92127 | Tel. 1.858.674.5491 | Fax. 1.858.430.3571
© Technology Servi...
10
17065 Camino San Bernardo, Ste. 200 | San Diego, CA 92127 | Tel. 1.858.674.5491 | Fax. 1.858.430.3571
© Technology Serv...
11
17065 Camino San Bernardo, Ste. 200 | San Diego, CA 92127 | Tel. 1.858.674.5491 | Fax. 1.858.430.3571
© Technology Serv...
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The State of Field Services 2013 by TSIA

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What does field service look like today? Read about the 4 technology industry trends and their impact on field services:

- Technology has a much larger role in delivering service excellence with a reduced workforce.
- Consumption-based pricing models require a much better understanding of the customer.
- Social media is allowing for greater cross-collaboration between organizations and driving better service to the customer.

Unique challenges need to be understood and addressed for field service success in emerging markets, such as the BRIC countries.

Read more about them as well as field service capabilities in The State of Field Services: 2013.

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The State of Field Services 2013 by TSIA

  1. 1. The State of Field Services: 2013 by Ravi Naidu WHAT DOES FIELD SERVICES LOOK LIKE TODAY? There is absolutely no doubt that 2012 was a tough year for service executives. The combination of a shaky global economy, a highly fractious political environment, and the unpredictable presidential election forced many executives into a “wait and see” strategy. Whether you are pleased with the outcomes of 2012 or not, the good news is the heavy weight of uncertainty has been lifted, to a degree, and better decisions can be made. The bad news is that all the problems and challenges that were kept at bay last year didn’t solve themselves and must now be dealt with expeditiously and carefully. Of course, none of this comes as a surprise to any executive responsible for field service and depot repair operations. For years they have been fighting the good fight of balancing cost containment with adding more value to the business and, to some degree, none of this has changed. In 2013, service executives are once again being asked to cut costs and contribute more to revenue. Traditionally, this contribution was measured through customer satisfaction ratings and renewal rates. However, at TSIA we are seeing the role of field services changing or expanding to include activities like cross-selling and upselling that contribute to increasing “consumption-based” revenue. Field services and depot repair used to be fairly simple operations that didn’t require complex technologies to manage the business. However, our world is changing dramatically, and several times last year I was asked how TSIA defines field services. Through much dialogue, it became clear that we needed a better understanding of the business functions that fell under the “umbrella” of field services in today’s environment. To address this, we have created the “Field Service and Depot Repair Value Chain,” shown in Figure 1. Last year John Ragsdale, TSIA’s vice president of technology research, reported that the average field service truck roll cost a whopping $1,011.17. 1 Hence, it should come as no surprise that the field service and depot repair value chain really begins with technologies and business processes designed to help “prevent the truck roll” or, stated differently, reduce the number of onsite visits needed by your field service engineers (FSE). It’s important that we point this out because, historically, this has never been viewed as an FS function. But as mentioned above, our world is changing. The evolution of field services also requires an expansion of the data capture/logging function. In order to truly understand your customer, it’s no longer enough to capture and log the site visit basics such as start time, end EXECUTIVE INSIGHT TSIA-EI-13-005 February 25, 2013 FIELD SERVICES
  2. 2. 2 17065 Camino San Bernardo, Ste. 200 | San Diego, CA 92127 | Tel. 1.858.674.5491 | Fax. 1.858.430.3571 © Technology Services Industry Association | www.tsia.com time, and repair info. While onsite, the FSE is in the perfect position to seamlessly acquire information on product utilization, customer likes/dislikes, etc. With the proper content management system and processes in play, this valuable information can be shared across organizations and can be highly influential in developing better product roadmaps, training curriculum, customer self-help content, and so forth. Extending the revenue tail is a relatively new, but critical, function within the overall value chain. The two main drivers for this are (1) the increasing pressure on services organizations to make greater contributions to revenue, and (2) the shift in customers’ spending habits to consumption-based purchasing. This is why it is so important for you to understand how your customers are consuming your products and develop ways to increase that consumption with your field services organization. We cannot close out the value chain without talking about reverse logistics because there is value in what used to be considered “scrap.” Greater attention on carbon footprints and environmental impacts drove the creation of “green” initiatives. These efforts have uncovered the fact that traditional scrap can be recycled and reused, or stripped and sold in alternative markets. This reduces waste and potentially adds revenue. Figure 1: Field Service and Depot Repair Value Chain
  3. 3. 3 17065 Camino San Bernardo, Ste. 200 | San Diego, CA 92127 | Tel. 1.858.674.5491 | Fax. 1.858.430.3571 © Technology Services Industry Association | www.tsia.com In today’s environment, service executives must juggle the complexities of new technologies, new business practices, a rapidly changing workforce, and the global economy—all while cutting costs and adding value. To makes things even more complex, as illustrated in Figure 2, all of these challenges have to be managed around two critical and growing issues. First, organizations are stretched so thin that service SLAs are being missed. Second, customers are not renewing their service maintenance contracts at the expected levels. This is attributed to product reliability improvements and the introduc- tion of new consumer-based technologies, which are cheaper to replace than to repair. Figure 2: The Complexities and Challenges of Today’s Field Services Environment This report, the first in a new annual series of TSIA research discipline updates, will address these challenges by providing an overall framework. Specifically, the “State of Field Services: 2013” tackles the following topics: • How are the key technology industry trends impacting field services? • As a result of these trends, what services capabilities are companies investing in this year? • What TSIA research activities are scheduled for the FS discipline this year to address the industry trends and challenges?
  4. 4. 4 17065 Camino San Bernardo, Ste. 200 | San Diego, CA 92127 | Tel. 1.858.674.5491 | Fax. 1.858.430.3571 © Technology Services Industry Association | www.tsia.com THE FIVE TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY TRENDS AND THEIR IMPACT ON FIELD SERVICES In December 2012, Thomas Lah published a report titled, “TSIA 2013 Services Capability Heatmap.” In this report, Lah effectively outlines the overall industry trends impacting the entire technology and technology services industries. 2 The overriding trend, according to Lah, is that tech companies are continuing to face the consequences of a shaky global economy. This is reinforced by the data presented in TSIA’s quarterly analysis of the technology services industry, the TSIA Service 50 Index. In 2012, topline revenues for technology companies in the TSIA Service 50 contracted from the previous year, while profitability flattened. The largest factor impacting overall company profitability continues to be pressure on technology product margins, as technology segments continue to commoditize. 3 However, technology providers, according to Lah’s article, are also facing enormous pressure on traditional service revenue streams. Support services, maintenance, and warranty contracts are under pricing pressure causing many service executives to take a closer look at key trends affecting the field services organization. 1. Technology has a much larger role in delivering service excellence with a reduced workforce. • Expense reductions have resulted in very thin staffing models and the collapse of critical mass. • Many vendors have created FS-specific cloud computing offerings to drive greater efficiencies throughout the field services organization. • Mobile computing tools are robust enough to serve even the largest organizations and are helping to restore SLA performance and customer sat. • Embedded/remote diagnostic and monitoring features are being built into products and are effectively preventing the truck roll. • Data security and privacy requirements have grown exponentially with the new access and sharing standards in place. 2. Consumption-based pricing models require a much better understanding of the customer. • Continued financial health of technology companies is dependent on defending, protecting, and optimizing maintenance and support revenues. However, as mentioned above, maintenance contract erosion is already taking place. • FSEs are in the best position to understand and gather data around the customer’s consumption habits. • FSEs are already uniquely positioned as a trusted advisor to the customer and can easily help drive greater consumption.
  5. 5. 5 17065 Camino San Bernardo, Ste. 200 | San Diego, CA 92127 | Tel. 1.858.674.5491 | Fax. 1.858.430.3571 © Technology Services Industry Association | www.tsia.com 3. Social media is allowing for greater cross-collaboration between organizations and driving better service to the customer. • The social media culture has been adapted to allow for real-time collaboration and sharing of business information internally, which drives a greater understanding of the customer and strengthens the relationship. • Chat (and video chat) tools allow for real-time dialogue, diagnosis, and resolution of issues, whether the FSE is onsite or off-site. • Social media is connecting customer communities in ways never seen in the past. To make use of this, service organizations need to implement effective strategies around user communities, support models, and knowledge bases. 4. Unique challenges need to be understood and addressed for field service success in emerging markets, such as the BRIC countries. • What works well in developed countries might not work at all in emerging countries. A cookie-cutter approach will not be effective. • Each country/region has different logistical considerations, infrastructure issues, regulatory requirements, political challenges, and workforce dynamics. All of these must be understood before crafting the right approach specific to a new emerging market. • Often a local partner is needed to help navigate the nuances of a particular country/region. However, due diligence is critical to selecting a reputable, reliable partner. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to state the obvious: This is definitely a very interesting and challenging time to be in the field services business! The remainder of this report takes you through a logical structure called a Capability Map that TSIA has created to define and categorize all the key functional areas within field services. In addition, we provide you with a snapshot of the hottest topics (Heatmap) for 2013 based on direct input for the TSIA membership and the 2013 Research Agenda that has been designed to address these topics.
  6. 6. 6 17065 Camino San Bernardo, Ste. 200 | San Diego, CA 92127 | Tel. 1.858.674.5491 | Fax. 1.858.430.3571 © Technology Services Industry Association | www.tsia.com Business Model Organization Design Channel Strategy Global Expansion Business Alignment Value Proposition Core Metrics & Dashboards Development Lifecycle Pricing Strategy Sales Model Business Value & ROI Metrics CSAT Processes & Tools FS Management Systems Social Media Embedded & Remote Diagnostics Mobile & Video Technologies Knowledge Content Systems Marketing Service Level Agreements SALES&MARKETING Training & Development Performance Mgt & Compensation Attracting & Retaining Talent TECHNOLOGYINFRASTRUCTURE FS Parts & Logistics Customer Analytics FS Scheduling & Dispatch Reverse Logistics Depot & Repair Operations Knowledge Management Contract/ Entitlement Mgt Outsourcing Management Self-Help Workforce Planning Sales Execution •  Creating new field service offers that drive competitive differentiation and increase customer value •  Implementing new technologies with embedded diagnostics that will expedite the problem resolution process •  Reducing spare parts and logistics costs •  Optimize reverse logistics and product refurb/re-marketing •  Applying knowledge management to FS optimization •  Key security and privacy considerations for FS organizations •  Field service and depot repair in emerging markets STRATEGY & PLANNING PARTNER MGT OFFERDEVELOPMENT PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT TALENTMANAGEMENT SERVICE OPERATIONS Key Focus Areas for 2013 FIELD SERVICES CAPABILITIES TSIA defines organizational capabilities as “the ability to perform actions that achieve desired results.” TSIA maps the capabilities required by all service organizations into the following eight categories: 1. Strategy and Planning 2. Offer Development 3. Sales and Marketing 4. Talent Management 5. Service Operations 6. Partner Management 7. Technology Infrastructure 8. Performance Management In each of these categories there are capabilities that an organization must master. TSIA has identified 33 key service capabilities that are required to scale and optimize field service and depot repair organizations, as depicted in Figure 3. Figure 3: TSIA Field Services Capability Map
  7. 7. 7 17065 Camino San Bernardo, Ste. 200 | San Diego, CA 92127 | Tel. 1.858.674.5491 | Fax. 1.858.430.3571 © Technology Services Industry Association | www.tsia.com Business Model Organization Design Channel Strategy Global Expansion Business Alignment Value Proposition Core Metrics & Dashboards Development Lifecycle Pricing Strategy Sales Model Business Value & ROI Metrics CSAT Processes & Tools FS Management Systems Social Media Embedded & Remote Diagnostics Mobile & Video Technologies Knowledge Content Systems Marketing Service Level Agreements SALES&MARKETINGTraining & Development Performance Mgt & Compensation Attracting & Retaining Talent TECHNOLOGYINFRASTRUCTURE FS Parts & Logistics Customer Analytics FS Scheduling & Dispatch Reverse Logistics Depot & Repair Operations Knowledge Management Contract/ Entitlement Mgt Outsourcing Management Self-Help Workforce Planning Sales Execution STRATEGY & PLANNING PARTNER MGT OFFERDEVELOPMENT PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT TALENTMANAGEMENT SERVICE OPERATIONS •  Creating new field service offers that drive competitive differentiation and increase customer value •  Implementing new technologies with embedded diagnostics that will expedite the problem resolution process •  Reducing spare parts and logistics costs •  Optimize reverse logistics and product refurb/re-marketing •  Applying knowledge management to FS optimization •  Key security and privacy considerations for FS organizations •  Field service and depot repair in emerging markets Key Focus Areas for 2013 FIELD SERVICES CAPABILITY HEATMAP FOR 2013 TSIA received inquiries and research cases from technology companies throughout 2012 on a variety of topics specific to field service and depot repair. In addition, we surveyed existing FS members to ascertain their business priorities and transformation initiatives for 2013. Based on our analysis of this information, there are clear patterns regarding the field service and depot repair capabilities that member companies are enhancing or creating in 2013. These patterns resulted in the top 11 list (Heatmap) of service capabilities TSIA FS member companies are working to optimize as they enter 2013, which are highlighted in red in Figure 4 and described, below. Figure 4: TSIA Field Services Capability Heatmap for 2013 1. FS Business Model. We have an effective and realistic financial model for creating, delivering, and improving our field services business. 2. FS Resource Optimization. We optimize the mix of resources leveraged to deliver our field services to ensure customer satisfaction and margin performance.
  8. 8. 8 17065 Camino San Bernardo, Ste. 200 | San Diego, CA 92127 | Tel. 1.858.674.5491 | Fax. 1.858.430.3571 © Technology Services Industry Association | www.tsia.com 3. FS Scheduling and Dispatch. We optimize customer service and staff utilization through effective forecasting, scheduling, and staff management practices. 4. Embedded/Remote Diagnostics. We use technology for the analysis of customer environments to identify failing components and target opportunities to prevent a field service truck roll. 5. FS Parts and Logistics. We optimize the management of spare parts and inventory tracking, including the exchange process, outbound logistics, and returned merchandise authorization (RMA) tracking. 6. Reverse Logistics. We employ effective reverse logistics processes, such as reselling parts, recycling programs and “green” initiatives to maximize revenue, reduce costs, and minimize waste. 7. FS Management Systems. We have an enterprise-class management system that supports best-in-class FS business processes. 8. FS Mobility Tools. We utilize mobility tools that support best-in-class capabilities for our FS technicians. 9. Depot and Repair Operations. We optimize our depot and repair operations network against our market footprint to deliver consistent service on a cost-effective basis. 10. Business Value and ROI Metrics. We track the key metrics for determining the effectiveness of our FS operations. 11. FS Service Level Agreements. We ensure our SLA standards meet or exceed customer needs, are competitive with the industry and our peers, and are closely integrated with our support capabilities.
  9. 9. 9 17065 Camino San Bernardo, Ste. 200 | San Diego, CA 92127 | Tel. 1.858.674.5491 | Fax. 1.858.430.3571 © Technology Services Industry Association | www.tsia.com PLANNED RESEARCH FOR 2013 The following highlights the planned research agenda for the field services discipline. This has been designed around the hottest topics and concerns identified by the overall TSIA membership community. Figure 5: 2013 Planned Research for the TSIA Field Services Discipline* *Note: This agenda does not include joint partner webcasts, which are TBD. Key highlights in 2013 are: • Executive Interviews. We are planning to conduct a series of confidential, one-on-one interviews with services executives in various vertical markets. The purpose of these interviews will be to discuss many of the issues highlighted in the FS Heatmap, above, gather the feedback from this executive cross-section, and create correlations that will be leveraged in other aspects of TSIA research. • Conferences. TSIA is hosting the following conferences in 2013. Each conference has field services-specific sessions and an excellent line up of speakers and presentations from our member/partner community. Please visit the TSIA.com website for specific details and agendas for these conferences. o Technology Services Europe, March 12–13, in Munich, Germany. o Technology Services World Best Practices, May 6–8, in Santa Clara, California.
  10. 10. 10 17065 Camino San Bernardo, Ste. 200 | San Diego, CA 92127 | Tel. 1.858.674.5491 | Fax. 1.858.430.3571 © Technology Services Industry Association | www.tsia.com o Technology Services World Service Transformations, October 21–23, in Las Vegas, Nevada. • New Field Services Benchmarking Survey. On February 1, 2013, TSIA released the newly revised Field Service and Depot Repair Benchmarking Survey. The highlights of this new survey include: o Newly designed practices, metrics, and results around the most top-of-mind issues facing field services organizations today. o Direct alignment of every question to the Field Services Capability Map. o A new format that is more “member friendly” and facilitates a team-based approach to completing the survey. o Newly designed core modules that are mapped to key field services business functions, as shown in Figure 6. Figure 6: Core Modules of the TSIA Field Service and Depot Repair Benchmarking Survey
  11. 11. 11 17065 Camino San Bernardo, Ste. 200 | San Diego, CA 92127 | Tel. 1.858.674.5491 | Fax. 1.858.430.3571 © Technology Services Industry Association | www.tsia.com CONCLUSION An often unacknowledged fact is that the field services organization is the “company face” when it comes to dealing directly with your customers. While the old saying, “first impressions are lasting” still holds true, the average customer has dramatically changed in a short period of time. Customers are purchasing and consuming differently, they communicate via a multitude of channels, and they expect their technology providers to give them exactly what they need when they need it … period! And if you can’t do it, they’ll find someone else who can. Consequently, field services organizations need to adopt an “every impression is lasting” attitude and culture to meet the growing demands of business today. This report highlights many of the challenges facing field services executives today. While it may be a daunting task to address these challenges it is very important to know that you are not alone. TSIA is singularly focused and uniquely positioned to help you by sharing what is working (and not working) for others. We are often asked the question: “There is just so much to do, how do we even know where to begin?” The simplest answer we can provide is to offer you the tremendous benefit of benchmarking your organization. Participating in the Field Service and Depot Repair Benchmarking Survey will provide you with a clear picture of your performance across the critical practices, metrics, and results that are pertinent and topical to the current environment. You will see not only your performance but that of your peers and the industry overall (in a strictly confidential manner, of course). In addition, your benchmark report will provide you with a list of prioritized initiatives and additional resources available within TSIA to assist you in the journey forward. With this data and roadmap in hand it is much easier to chart a course for success. The sooner your company begins the transformation to build the new service capabilities required for success, the better your company will be positioned to be a leader in tomorrow’s consumption-based technology industry. At TSIA, we’re glad that we can take this journey with you. We wish you all the best for a challenging, exciting, and rewarding 2013! 1 See “Hot Technology Trends for 2012: Mobility, Video, and Social Collaboration,” July 25, 2012. (This same statistic also appears in several of John Ragsdale’s other publications.) 2 See “TSIA 2013 Service Capability Heatmap,” December 11, 2012. 3 See “TSIA Service 50, Q4 2012,” January 24, 2013.

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