£63m of addressable benefits with four organisations

Posted by Alastair on February 9, 2016

Our clients, like all organisations, are feeling the pressure. Whether this pressure comes from tougher regulatory determinations, increasing demands from customers or simply a drive to reduce cost, the pressures are the same, how they can run a more effective field force operation.

Benchmarks are what clients want and in reality that means numbers. What’s the optimum number of jobs per day? How many schedulers should I have? For us, the answer was always the same, it depends. Of course, this was not the answer they wanted to hear nor was it just to gain a consulting assignment as the skeptics might have thought.  Working out which are the most effective operational levers to pull for each client has helped us build our business over the last ten years.

Maturity in Field Service

Managing a fieldforce is complex, there are so many company specific variables it’s often virtually impossible to make comparisons between similar organisations in the same industry. It is however much easier to make comparisons based on a maturity model.

In its simplest terms the most immature companies operate on a very ad-hoc basis and the operations centre might look like a mini cab office with loads of calls, noise and stress. A more mature company looks at its fieldforce as an asset, exploits technology to the full, forecasts appropriately and becomes more demand led. Most organisations are somewhere in-between.

To deal with this dilemma we developed the Heathcheck. An approach that has so far identified £63m in addressable benefits. Plotting an organisation against it peers and making a comparison against it’s ambitions identifies significant areas of opportunity. It’s important to understand that two customers in the same industry will have differing areas where they strive to differentiate, so it’s not as simple as just doing a peer to peer comparison but it does help when looking at the ‘art of the possible’

So where do these benefits come from?

The benefits are predominantly from addressing end-to-end business processes and breaking down siloed thinking. Often we find fieldforces are reactive, waiting for something to happen, to go wrong.  It’s fair to say some planning has happened but only in a very short term tactical timeframe.  Within this timeframe the costs have already been committed.  Avoiding this cost commitment with more strategic level planning to determine what constitutes the right work to do, yields significant savings.

Additional benefits are found in robust integration; relevant, real-time management information and aligning business process with technology.