Field Services T-K Use Case
3 min read
This post is a part of the T-K Use Cases series, highlighting means by which T-K can be used in various industry settings.
Key Challenges in Field Services
The year 2020 brought unique challenges and precipitated major upheavals in the workplace. Field Services providers are no exception to the trend. As we continue to navigate the current tides of uncertainty and plan for the post-pandemic world, here are key challenges we identified facing Field Service providers in 2021.
Growing customer expectations of remote service: While remote solutions are by no means novel, they have become a priority. In a recent study by TechSee, over a third of customers surveyed have required technical assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 75% reported that they would rather avoid technician visits unless truly necessary due to health and safety concerns, and instead opt for virtual service when available.
Workforce planning challenges due to unexpected demands: From equipment failures to malfunctioning systems, much of the effort from Field Services work is traditionally reactive rather than proactive. Demands can often be unexpected and thus difficult to plan for. This leads to costly overstaffing to avoid the risk of SLA penalties for the desk.
Increasing cost of field services: Despite consistent account revenue and work volumes, Field Service operations may see steadily rising costs due to a multitude of reasons. These may include SLA penalties from suboptimal operations, or overstaffing costs from a mismatch between incoming demand and available capacity. There exists persistent pressure to contain costs while meeting SLA goals and improve customer satisfaction, among many concerns of a Field Service manager.
Limited reporting capabilities: Operations may have an existing pipeline to produce business intelligence reports, but any useful insight is often buried away amongst a tangle of Excel sheets, PowerPoint slides, or rudimentary dashboards. They are often time-consuming to generate, unable to identify root causes of problems, and do not suggest a clear path towards addressing said problems.
T-K Solution – an Intelligence Engine
Field Services related data sources are often disparate and imperfect. Examples may include complex ticketing and workflow management systems, or technician names that do not stay consistent across platforms.
T-K by CKM Analytix integrates with existing data streams and harnesses what’s available to provide actionable insights towards reducing operational costs, improving service quality, increasing desk efficiency, and fostering employee and customer satisfaction.
Figure 1. T-K’s Modules
“Field Services tend to be multi-vendor, and therefore you tend to have zero end-to-end visibility of processes. T-K’s algorithms track the breadcrumbs across vendor systems to provide powerful insights” – BPO operations manager
The Effort Model, a set of proprietary CKM algorithms, sifts through these murky data sources to identify who has done what, and when. By quantifying human effort estimates, we enable our clients to make decisions that are uniquely driven by their own operational data.
Services Capacity Management builds on top of the Effort Model by monitoring incoming demand relative to worker availability, enabling workforce optimization across Field Services workgroups by finding areas of over- and understaffing. Where do drops in service levels occur, and when? How can technicians be allocated to address these issues? Where are areas to negotiate a smaller Field Services contract with outsourcers?
Figure 2. T-K’s Capacity Management Module
Identifies areas of over and understaffing
Category Metrics tracks activity across various categories of work and identifies opportunities for remote work. Categories may be based on raw data, or categorized based on work notes, descriptions, comments or other free-text fields. What are the most problematic hardware problems, by volume or effort required? What are the common categories that would be suitable candidates for remote solutions?
Through interactive maps of processes and efficiency analysis, Process Mining points to unproductive rework and process bottlenecks. Are incidents taking more back-and-forth than necessary to resolve? Why? Which field service groups are frequently rerouting tickets, thereby creating more work for the core service desk? Where is effort being wasted?
The operation can be more efficient at tackling work, but not all work is truly necessary to begin with. Repetitive Work identifies opportunities to eliminate unnecessary demand and identify tasks worth automating or finding remote solutions for. A leaner operation may mean reduced staffing needs for in-house Field Service operations, or an opportunity to negotiate a smaller contract with outsourcers.
Conclusion – Tracking Progress in T-K Real Time
Each T-K module tells a story that comes together into an overarching narrative of the current state of a Field Services operation, and how to address key challenges going forward, from shifting demands to mismatched capacity. With an approach driven by past and current real-time data, T-K produces efficiency gains and reduces operational costs with proven, demonstrated results.