5 Effective Ways to Reduce Field Service Costs

There are five ways an organization can reduce their cost of field operations and delight the customers at the same time.

1. Go Mobile:
According to a recent Mobile Analytics Report released by Citrix, the total number of enterprise mobile devices worldwide had increased by 72% last year. Without mobility, service organizations can’t overcome some of the critical challenges like lack of real-time information, reduction in productivity, profitability and overall customer satisfaction. Customers, service managers, and field technicians can effectively use a single mobile platform for raising a case, managing work orders and invoices and get a real-time visibility of field support processes. Developing a customized app can streamline the workforce and push the productivity even further. Internet connection is mandatory to get the real-time visibility through mobile.

2. Minimizing fuel cost:
Fuel price is increasing every year globally. Every time a field technician covers longer distance, organizations have to bear the cost of fuel which reduces the profitability. With map integration, technicians can prioritize tasks based on distance, which helps to cut down on fuel costs. In a day, field technicians have to visit multiple places depending on the task assigned by service managers. Map integration not only helps field technicians to track the locations but also it helps customer and service managers to track the particular technician on the field as well. Map intelligence makes a big difference in travel optimization and cost reduction.

3. Knowledgebase integration:
It’s quite possible that field technicians may not be aware of a particular issue every time raised by any customer. Any unresolved issue generally leads to lower customer satisfaction. Organizations should integrate a knowledge base with the present application to look at similar issues and see how they were resolved. This knowledge base can be enriched every time when technicians face a critical and unique case and share their experience in the portal. Parallelly, customers can also have access to the knowledge base which helps the customer to resolve the less critical cases by themselves. It eventually leads to the reduction of service requests and overall cost.

4. Parts Management:
Effective parts management also plays a crucial role while it comes to the reduction of costs and productivity improvement. Most of the spare parts used in the day to day field service are quite expensive. A parts management application integrated with the current application can help organizations to enlist the relevant parts related to the particular products. It can also help to get the list of available parts of the warehouse, enable the field technician with the right tools and skill required. A knowledgeable and skilful service technician makes all the difference when it comes to customer delight and ensures service department with high first-time fix rate.

5. Timely alerts and notifications:
Alerts and notifications feature should be there in service manager console of the particular application which organization is using currently. It can play a major role when it comes to cost reduction and overall customer satisfaction. A manager should be informed of the cases which are not been resolved or an SLA is not met. It should also notify technicians when a new task is assigned or the task priority is changed. It helps to save ample amount of time and increase the overall service efficiency.

The key to managing service operations effectively is to assign the right technician with the job. Mobility can help with faster issue resolution, reducing time and cost for the organization. Customized solutions with the consideration of the above factors can improve the response time. It creates a positive impact for service managers, technicians, customers and overall organization.

Four Stages of Business Growth

1st Stage-Initiation:

There can be varied reasons for a business start-up but the main values in running the business are of those who are the founders. We can see that company exhibits the main skills of the founder in its spirits, for example, if the founder is an engineer, he will emphasize in production rather than sales and marketing which should not be neglected. Main efforts are centered on the acceptability of the product in the market. If the owner can provide the demands of business i.e. time, energy, and finances, he/she can move to the second stage. Otherwise, he/she will have to wind up their business as there is limited time for the company to stay at one stage. Here the main focus changes to establish the company and earn profits. With this financial push company will need to formalize the system and start record keeping, an unskilled manager can’t handle this all. After this, there will be demand for change in administration’s style because of increased activity in his business.

2nd Stage-Growth:

The moment a company moves forward to the expansion stage it should be able to earn a decent profit, but that profit will not go to the owner. This is because it will be invested in the business in order to assist in the capital demands of the company. It demands time for coordinating functional managerial activities; it demands complicated organizational structure mainly focusing on functional lines. Now research and development will be established in order to increase product range. At the start, it will be on a smaller scale because of lack of capital. If management continues changing its environment, the company can stay at this stage for some time. In many cases, owners sell their business at this stage for substantial benefits. The increase of new markets and product will demand more finances. This stage faces larger competitors who deal the situation by putting stress on emerging firm; this stress can be in the form of very low prices as well. At this stage over trading is the biggest threat if not handled properly it can lead the business to demise. As the company grows it need to extend geographical trading and distribution, so ‘supervised supervision’ will be required at this stage. If new competitors enter the market and the owner wants to maintain his shares, he will have to put more capital by himself or attract some partners.

3rd Stage-Expansion:

This stage demands proper management reports, budget control, and dispersed authority, along with a formal accounting system. Basic adaptation at this stage will be to systemize administrative roles which are keys to survival through this stage. The expansion stage demands stable long term funds which will be important and if there is not plan for partners then this stage must be considered right now. Although retained earnings are major forms of funds but dividends are the special attraction to the investors; at this stage these are inevitable. Now company’s track record will help in gaining long term loans but the company will have to give security in the form of assets.

4th Stage-Maturity:

At this stage main issues are about expense control, search for growth opportunities and productivity. The direction of authority can be towards functional lines or it is reorganized with production lines. As there is severe price competition, therefore, productions department should be the center of focus and authorities should emphasize on innovative moves towards betterment.

Now basic investments are in sales and marketing struggles and maintenance and plant up gradation. The company grows up to a level that income is sufficient to tackle this but occasionally more long term load prove to be a support. At this level firm may limit its operations or move on, normally acquisition or floatation in order to become a large corporation.

Top 5 Reasons Businesses Should Use Banner Stands

If you are a business looking for an advertising medium that is flexible, easy to use and easy traveled with, consider banner stands as options. Below are five reasons why business should use, and do use, these types of equipment for their advertising, promotional and display needs.

They Are Easy to Use

One of the biggest draws of these types of equipment is their ease of use. No matter which one is selected, they offer a huge benefit of being easy to use. There are no technical aspects about a banner stand that need to be learned in order to use them. Every one of them comes with step by step instructions on how to put up properly.

Quick Setup and Take Down

The X banner stand is the most involved of all the banner stand choices and takes a maximum of ten minutes to setup. Once it has been set up a few times by the owner, the time for getting it to setup is lessened.

The L banner stand consists of a base and a back pole. The banner itself is independent of the display and acts as an additional piece to install in order for it to be completely upright and functional.

The retractable roll up banner stand is the least time consuming to setup requiring only seconds. When purchasing the banner and it’s relevant stand as a combination purchase, the banner will be installed onto the retractable way unless the customer specifically requests for it not to be. In addition, if only the retractable banner stand is purchased to be used with an already existing vinyl banner, the customer only has the banner installation to complete before it is usable. Typically, most customers will purchase it and banner combination in order to save money and have a ready to use out of the box advertising tool.

Convenient Traveling

They tend to be very convenient when traveling around. Many businesses travel around to different locations in order to promote their products. Trade show vendors are a common profession that makes heavy use of them. Each one of them is comes with a carrying case and many come with a shoulder strap.

The lightweight compact size makes it where a person can easily carry it over their shoulders and tote along with them. This type of advertising tool does not require any special storage and can fit in even the smallest of cars.

Cost Effective

The cost of a banner stand, out of pocket, is a fair prices and toward the lower end of the advertising budget for most businesses. The amount of use is significant making this equipment an even better investment. Being that they do not have to be stored, they do not incur any additional storage costs. They do not have any special maintenance procedures and they can be used multiple times over and over and even have their graphic switched out for a completely different look.

Long Lasting

The life span of banner stands varies greatly. The factors that affect the lifespan of it include the way it is stored, the use it gets, the conditions it is used in and the overall treatment of it.

In order to get the longest life span from them, be sure to store them where they are not on the bottom of a pile of heavy items. The same is true for when traveling in a car, truck or SUV. Do not place heavy items on top of it to ensure they will not bend, warp or scratch. The higher end types will generally last longer because of the materials they are made out of. Another item to consider is the actual vinyl banner that is being displayed. Retractable roll up banner stands will keep the vinyl banner safe from being ripped.