Service organizations are challenged daily by reduced customer spending while customer demands are on the increase. Balancing customer centricity with operational excellence while experiencing pressure on margins and competition in field service are just some of the critical challenges being faced today. These critical challenges lead to further strains within an organization where for example reduced margins imply an increased demand on detailed financial overviews on revenue, costs, margins etc.
Increasing service revenue while reducing or containing service costs is a key balancing act service organizations need to manage regularly. All these challenges can be resolved by taking an integrated approach to managing customers, resources, partners and contracts via a service management solution embedded in an ERP system. Organizations in the service industry can jump start the transition of their service departments from being a cost center to becoming a profit center.
ERP and Service Management integrated
Stepping away from best-of-breed solutions and selecting an integrated solution where customers, logistics, sales orders, projects, resources and more are integrated into one ERP system results in a lower total cost of ownership. Lesser hardware requirements, lesser systems to manage and maintain, reduced complexity, easier end-user experience and more integrated reporting are just some of the key benefits which result in service departments turning into profit centers.
Resource assignments – increase first-time fix percentage
Scheduling resource availability is perhaps the most important aspect in terms of managing costs for any service organization. Having a complete visibility over the availability of resources with skill mapping in place, automating the planning and increasing first time-fix percentages are the cornerstones to making profit. A service management system embedded in ERP will not only help in scheduling the right resources, but will also help you to determine whether the available resources have access to the right spare parts. Only the availability of both will increase the first-time fix percentage, which will result in lower costs and better margins.
To take the transition from cost to profit center a step further, integrating mobility into ERP has tremendous impact. Having an out-of-the-box interface and combining mobile field service with the back office shows almost immediate results in efficiency and productivity. (Mobile) Field service automation cuts costs, improves visibility, optimizes service delivery and drives new revenue.
Read about the Case Study of a Netherlands-based payment devices organization offering service support called Taxameter Centrale who have implemented the Dynamics Software Service Management and Mobile Field Service Solutions. Taxameter Centrale’s quick wins include engineers saving 1.5 hours daily which increased their productivity by 25%. They also developed a much faster invoicing capability i.e. from sending an invoice 4 weeks after a service job sometimes to being able to send it within a day if needed!
To summarize, selecting the right service management solution embedded in ERP is the key which enables the service departments of organizations to make the transition from a cost center to a profit center.