Tapping the Power. of Service Analytics

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1 Tapping the Power WHITEPAPER of Service Analytics An Astea International White Paper 1

2 Introduction Field service organizations now have access to an unprecedented amount of data about the performance of their technicians, their vehicles, the equipment they service, and their business performance in general. Field service automation solutions provide insight into technician efficiency, first-time fix rates, parts usage, and billing. Fleet management systems generate data on fuel consumption, productivity, response times, and vehicle utilization. Machine-to-machine (M2M) Internet of Things (IoT) solutions provide even more data on product performance and maintenance effectiveness. But data alone isn't enough. In fact, the sheer volume of data may be burying managers in information that they can neither fully understand nor act upon. Field service leaders want to apply business data to their current service challenges, while also using the information to better plan for and drive future business. What's needed is insight and the ability to quickly access and analyze the data. Big Data and analytics tools are necessary to convert the glut of data into actionable business intelligence for the service organization. This white paper will outline the data challenges faced by service organizations, and how analytics can help drive improved business performance. It will also provide best practice recommendations for service organizations that want to better leverage analytics and improve visibility into their service operations. 1

3 The Value of Analytics The amount of data captured at many service organizations has grown exponentially, but the volume of data has not necessarily resulted in an increase in insight for many of those same companies. According to Aberdeen's Service Analytics: Insight Into Field Performance 2014 report, just 68% of users at average firms are satisfied with the relevance of analytical capabilities to their job roles. Executives need a real-time view of the service organization's performance so that they can optimize the use of resources across the company. Without that type of data, and the tools to gain insight from the information, they struggle to meet ongoing and emerging demands. Making misinformed decisions could also lead to a failure to meet service level agreement (SLA) requirements, or increased service delivery costs. Executives need a real-time view of the service organization's performance so that they can optimize the use of resources across the company. Without that type of data, and the tools to gain insight from the information, they struggle to meet ongoing and emerging demands. Business intelligence in the service organization should be for the masses, not just specialists. Users should be able to manage and display data that is important to their job functions. The more broadly that data is available for all members of the organization, the more value the enterprise can extract from it. 2

4 Astea Whitepaper: Tapping the Power of Service Analytics STATS ACCORDING TO REPORTS BY THE ABERDEEN GROUP: Revenue Increase vs. 16% Advanced Analytics 10% No Advanced Analytics Only 68% of users are satisfied with the relevance of analytical capabilities to their job roles. Those firms with advanced analytics capabilities experienced a 16% increase in revenue (vs. 10% at companies that did not). Only 1 in 5 companies integrate data across the enterprise in a way that enables advanced analysis. Field Service organizations that adopted analytics technology saw: 18% 42% 44% Service profits increase by 18% Customers retention rates increase by 42% Service level agreement (SLA) performance jump by 44% Self-service business intelligence tools and mobile data access will help your service team improve collaboration and decision making. Using these tools, information can be visually presented in such a way that it tells a story about business performance on a company-wide level, and at the technician and customer levels. Gartner has predicted that by 2017, most users will have access to self-service tools for preparing data for analysis. Those solutions can help organizations establish daily, medium-term, and long-term outlooks for end users, with data placed in the context of their specific process roles. 3

5 Astea Whitepaper: Tapping the Power of Service Analytics According to Aberdeen's Service Performance Management: Smarter Data, Better Decisions report, having the right analytics tools can make a big difference in service performance. Aberdeen found that organizations that had advanced analytics and big data capabilities experienced a 16% increase in revenue, compared to 10% at companies that didn't. Those analytics adopters also saw a 13% increase in operating cash flow (compared to 6% for others) and a 7% decrease in operating costs (compared to 3% for all others). In a previous 2013 study (Get Smart: Business Intelligence and Analytics for Service Organizations), Aberdeen reported that best-in-class field service organizations that adopted analytics technology saw service profits increase by 18%, customer retention rates increase by 42%, and service level agreement (SLA) performance jump by 44%. Aberdeen found that organizations that had advanced analytics and big data capabilities experienced: 16% 13% increase in revenue (compared to 10% at companies that didn't) increase in operating cash flow (compared to 6% for others) With analytics in place, companies can better diagnose and resolve service issues more quickly, increase visibility into field assets, and implement predictive/prescriptive analytics to enable proactive service (as opposed to reactive break/fix service). 7% decrease in operating costs (compared to 3% for all others) However, much of that enterprise data is trapped in silos. A report from Accenture (Technology Vision 2014) indicates that only one in five companies integrates data across the enterprise in a way that would enable that analysis. Data must be treated like a supply chain so that it can flow to each relevant operations center within the enterprise. 4

6 Astea Whitepaper: Tapping the Power of Service Analytics The value of data is in its relevance and accessibility. If information is hoarded in a department, by individual employees, or rendered inaccessible because it is housed in complex databases or spreadsheets, then the service organization is wasting a valuable asset. Without that data, technicians are working on virtual islands without accurate information. They lack insight into specific customer issues, equipment performance, and other information that could help them resolve issues more efficiently and answer customer questions. DATA DATA 5

7 Analytics Use Cases Analytics tools can help service organizations apply the data generated from their existing workforces to real business problems. For example: By analyzing GPS data, companies can optimize routes, reduce fuel costs, improve vehicle maintenance, and evaluate technician and equipment performance geographically to spot trends and potential operational problems. Using the right analytics tools, these are just a few of the efficiency-enhancing objectives field service organizations are able to achieve: Optimize service routes Forecast future demand Service histories can be mined to evaluate the costs of each route, evaluate customer profitability, and spot common equipment failures or misuse of the equipment. That data in turn can be used to upsell the customers on new service plans or more appropriate products. Improve vehicle maintenance Evaluate customer profitability Using service data, companies can more effectively predict which equipment/components are likely to fail. When service calls come in, this makes it easier to equip the technicians with the right tools and parts for the jobs. It also enables companies to more proactively engage customers before service visits are required. By analyzing first-time fix rates, companies can better match technicians to specific types of jobs based on their performance and skill sets. Identify common equipment failures Predict equipment failures Reduce fuel costs 6

8 Astea Whitepaper: Tapping the Power of Service Analytics Emerging service trends can be used to forecast future demand. Advanced solutions can even allow managers to run "what if" scenarios that can help them determine how changes to routes, staffing, or other variables will affect performance. Furthermore, by making it easier for employees to access this data and view it in a way that provides insight into the company's performance and their own performance, you can create a path for collective learning and best practice sharing. That leads to better workforce utilization and higher customer satisfaction. It's important to reiterate here that analytics and business intelligence tools are not just for managers. Your technicians should also have access to much of the same information. Not only do technicians need this information to complete their work, they also need insight into how they are performing relative to the rest of the organization. According to Aberdeen, 56% of leading companies provide real-time measurement of field service performance to employees, and 44% tie service technician compensation to these performance-based metrics. According to Aberdeen, 56% of leading companies provide real-time measurement of field service performance to employees, and 44% tie service technician compensation to these performance-based metrics. The takeaway: link customer feedback to employee performance data. Using this benchmark information helps employees drive change and innovation within the company. You can also tie incentives to performance improvements, and technicians can monitor their own progress via custom reports. 7

9 Analytics Best Practices According to Aberdeen's surveys, top performers use real-time data to evaluate performance of the entire organization. That information is used to define best practices and feed continuous improvement of service. The technology alone doesn't generate these improvements. Advanced analytics must be interpreted and used to improve the service business. Among best-in-class companies in Aberdeen's research: 41% 32% 32% improve collaboration by breaking down information silos enable business users to be more self-sufficient with BI capabilities deliver analytical capability to more operational business functions 8

10 Astea Whitepaper: Tapping the Power of Service Analytics Other strategies from best-in-class companies, outlined in the Aberdeen reports, include: Providing performance data to executives on a regular basis Using analytics to create compensation plans for the field service team Linking customer feedback to employee performance Providing a central repository of operational data to create real-time visibility into the performance of the entire team Using service performance data to consistently evaluate scheduling criteria Giving technicians access to personal dashboards that reflect their performance as compared to their peer group Giving the entire organization insight into performance, equipment, parts, customer status, and other information Monitoring performance and using data to reward employees By following these strategies, service organizations can more productively learn from their own successes and failures. The tangible intelligence provided by an analytics solution can help enable innovation and identify problems within the company that can be addressed rapidly. The tangible intelligence provided by an analytics solution can help enable innovation and identify problems within the company that can be addressed rapidly. Ongoing performance monitoring can also help identify potential new leaders within the company, and enable those leaders to share their own best practices with peers and managers. 9

11 Conclusion Field service decision makers need real-time information to meet the needs of a dynamic service organization. Linking users with data and analysis tools is paramount to achieving service excellence. With business analytics, service organizations have a holistic view of their businesses that allows them to recognize emerging trends faster, respond to new opportunities and threats, better understand profit and loss, and make faster, more informed decisions based on accurate information. About Astea Astea International is a global provider of software solutions that offer all the cornerstones of service lifecycle management, including customer management, service management, asset management, forward and reverse logistics management and mobile workforce management. Since 1979, Astea has been helping more than 600 companies drive even higher levels of customer satisfaction with faster response times and proactive communication, creating a seamless, consistent and highly personalized experience at every customer relationship touch point. Copyright Astea International Inc. All rights reserved. All other company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. 10

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