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Aberdeen Survey Shows Leading Service Firms' Strategies for Performance

 
January 10, 2008


By Susan J. Campbell,
TMCnet Contributing Editor
 

Aberdeen (News - Alert) has announced that leading service and manufacturing firms are seeking to boost their service performance, as measured through faster service response and improved serviceable asset uptime, as well as leveraging the enhanced intelligence from location-enabling tools and devices.

These assessments are the result of recent research that can be found in Aberdeen’s latest benchmark report, “The Impact of Location on Field Service.”

The research firm’s recent survey investigates the pressures that are increasing the focus on enhanced location data. According to survey results, for the 330 respondents reporting, service response levels across various industries still have significant room for improvement.

Participating firms are reporting an inadequate 65 percent success rate in actually meeting pre-stated service response times. This low success rate is due in large part to the inadequate visibility into service and customer asset location for optimized scheduling and resource allocation.

"In the management of vital service resources such as people, vehicles and parts, the enhanced visibility provided by location-enabled tracking has allowed firms to experience significant benefits related not only to improved workforce productivity and efficiency but also in substantial cost savings," said Sumair Dutta, Research Analyst at the Aberdeen Group, in a Wednesday statement.

"For example, optimized routing and scheduling enabled with location-specific data from GPS-enabled devices has allowed service firms to shave nearly 15% of fuel and overtime costs since the adoption of technology. The 15% reduction in each of these metrics amounts to a near half million dollars in savings, on average."

The report has also found that leading service firms are using location data to monitor their service technicians, as well as to improve planning initiatives and to reposition their service resources.

Aberdeen found that leading firms are more than two times as likely as all others to use location-specific service data to make service outsourcing decisions, so as to better match customer needs in remote areas.

As a result these firms are outperforming their peers by 43 percent in terms of current workforce utilization; nearly two times as successful as all others in meeting service response windows; and twice as successful in improving serviceable asset uptime and service margins over the last two years.

Respondents to Aberdeen's survey include Honeywell, Thermo Fisher Scientific, HP, Dell (News - Alert), Sears, Telstra, Xerox and Bombardier Aerospace.

The results of this survey indicate that while many firms are taking the right approach to optimizing their service capabilities, many others still have a long way to go in achieving levels that meet customer expectations. As industries continue to intensify in terms of competition, lack of adequate service response could make or break the company.
 
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.
 
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