Most service companies understand that technology is crucial to their long-term success. Service Management Software (SMS) helps them to run their business better and enhance customer service
SMS can also be used for order management, dispatching technicians, capturing and storing customer information, and stock management processes. And, by reducing the need for paperwork, it helps service-led organisations to increase productivity and efficiency. What’s more, by ensuring that everyone has access to the information they need to do their jobs, such technology can also provide valuable insights that work as a catalyst for growth.
But, despite this, too many organisations continue to focus on their immediate needs; rather than looking at how they need to evolve and keep up with the competition. So, what can you do to encourage your business to see the bigger picture and take a more strategic view toward technology investment?
Make everyone aware of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
Last year, the world collected 16 zettabytes (ZB) worth of data into devices, storage systems, and data centres. And, by 2025, that figure is expected to reach a whopping 163ZB. What’s more, with 25 billion things forecasted to be connected to the internet by 2020, these devices will eventually be used in most, if not all businesses; leading to cost savings, new revenue streams, and enhanced productivity.
The IIoT sees such connectivity impact the factory floor. It harnesses technologies, processes, physical objects, and services to create an interconnected system that monitors and shares information explicitly for industrial applications. With IIoT enabled tech, your programmers, technicians, engineers, and customer support staff are free to prioritise work that drives improvement and opens up new opportunities. And, as we see accelerated IIoT adoption, increases in productivity will only become more pronounced. So, any service company that fails to adapt to our new manufacturing reality is unlikely to succeed in the long term.
Conduct an audit
There is no ‘one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to service-led technology. So, before you make a case for investment, take the time to figure out what you already have and how it works.
Look at your software and hardware and how this all fits together (and where it doesn’t). Establish where data and applications are stored and who has access to what and where. Find out how technology is being used and how it can be used better.
Once you know what you have, it will be easier to establish what you need and how best to implement this (e.g. would it be simpler, and more cost-efficient to outsource your service management software to a cloud-based provider). Look at how quickly you need to access information, any legal compliance issues and what needs to happen if data is lost.
You should also establish and how any new technology can help you meet your broader business objectives. For example, SMS can also take over simple tasks, freeing your customer-service team to provide more proactive support.
Consider any security issues
Data security issues are rarely out of the headlines. So, if you are to convince your business to invest in new technology, an increased focus on security is to be expected.
Of course, the more data is held in the cloud, the more people worry about cybercrime. But, the interconnected world is here to stay, so there is no point sticking our heads in the sand. Look to address each concern and establish measures to protect your business as much as possible.
The good news is that, with the right measures, could-based Software as a Service (SaaS) is often safer than storing your valuable data on site. Today, reputable vendors make security a top priority and will have a reliable, secure infrastructure in place that far outstrips what most businesses would be able to build for themselves. In fact, substantial investment would be required to make an on-premise solution meet the security and reliability of most business-standard cloud applications.
Tackle data silos
Service-led companies often have data stored in a plethora of different places using a wide variety of tech. But, a silo mentality is a huge barrier to business success. Indeed, where departments and offices don’t share information with others, both efficiency and productivity are reduced.
To break down data silos in your business, start by looking all the different data assets in your company. This could include CRM software, E-commerce data, email signup marketing contacts, data held in Excel spreadsheets, and social media data (among others). Next, look at how any new technology can provide a better data management solution that consolidates all this valuable data, and shares it across your business.
Creating a single, integrated infrastructure that works across your organisation, SaaS encourages the simplification and standardisation of business processes, while helping people in different teams and locations to work collaboratively with one another. Put simply,
Service Management Software (when correctly implemented) makes silos of data stashes and fragmented communications a thing of the past.
Consolidate your IT architecture
Managing disparate technology is a problem for most IT teams. As such, you shouldn’t just look to eliminate multiple data sources, but also any system that relies on a variety of vendors, manufacturers, or storage platforms.
Helping to improve productivity, modern service businesses use SaaS to help with a broad range of functions. But, if you want to make more significant improvements it’s worth deploying an integrated SMS. This offers complete integration throughout all your processes, rather than trying to patch different applications together.
Consider the total cost of ownership (TCO)
When it comes to investing in new technology, cost is always going to be an issue. So, when making your business case, it’s vital to understand the TCO. This includes things like initial investment costs, ongoing support and maintenance, upgrade costs, energy costs and the cost of any downtime.
The good news is that SaaS can be implemented at much lower price than an on-premise solution, with no significant investment in licenses or infrastructure needed. SaaS also comes with lower running costs and will help you to create a more transparent cashflow, with everything you need provided on a pay-as-you-go basis. Ultimately, SaaS delivers reduced TCO as you no longer have to fork out on expensive infrastructure upgrades.
Optimise for the mobile workforce
If your engineers spend lots of time in your office, then they are not out keeping your customers happy. The right technology removes the need for mobile workers to come into the office to share business-critical information. Instead, everything they need can be accessed remotely. And that makes good business sense. But it’s not just about your engineers, by 2020, it’s predicted that 50% of the workforce will be remote. So, your technology must provide a consistent experience – for employees and customers – across platforms and devices.
Providing a total Service Management Solution at Service Geeni, we will help you to invest in the right technology for your business. Technology that will help you to increase your efficiency, optimise your workforce, and boost your sales. To find out more about how we can help your service-led business succeed with Service Manager Software, speak to a member of our team on 01942 261 671 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.