For industries like medical technology and industrial automation that highly value business relationships, brand protection and service quality, field service models have historically relied on an employed field service workforce. Today, as new challenges arise, we at Source are recognizing a greater shift in these markets as more OEMs consider outsourcing some or all of their field service capabilities to improve SLA performance, reduce time to repair, balance workforce utilization, build service resiliency, and reduce costs all while protecting their brand.
In particular, we’ve seen medical technology OEMs start to be more active on this front. Few industries are under as much stress from all sides, and everyone from physicians to administrators has to be able to trust that their equipment will work as it’s supposed to, every time. The industrial automation market is similar. Entire economies and societal systems depend on the constant operation of the industry’s infrastructure, and the pandemic has only increased that need. It’s never been more essential to have the entire service spectrum in place to keep equipment up and running. As a result, outsourced service teams are increasingly being considered to deliver field service bandwidth and quality work these industries need to stay online.
What type of field service work should we outsource? Several different kinds of work roll up under the umbrella of field services. There’s break-fix, installation, preventative maintenance, and service parts logistics. Outsourced teams are increasingly being tapped for any or all of these kinds of service work, meeting the demand for workforce resiliency and faster response times while also enabling the OEMs to increase their customer satisfaction.
As an outsource technical product service provider with 20 years under our belt, Source delivers onsite installations, preventative maintenance, and break/fix engagements every day and we understand how all of these can impact service delivery and cost of service operations. The various aspects of service are all interconnected, so they should all be integrated and balanced to optimize success. When considering what solution might be best for your organization, consider these key factors:
- Field service is an interconnected ecosystem. The various aspects of field service (preventative maintenance, onsite repair, and installations) are all interconnected. Preventative maintenance services are essential to maintain operational equipment and minimize break/fix related issues. Break/fix repairs are time sensitive as mission-critical equipment is inoperable until repaired. Also, you want to deploy new revenue-generating systems in the field, which, of course, will generate further preventative maintenance and break/fix engagement needs down the road.
- Balancing outsourced field service operations could improve customer satisfaction and brand perception. Because all field service operations are interconnected, it’s critical to find a balance for your workforce that enables your team to engage in more complex service engagements while also leveraging an outsource service partner. This keeps essential but less complex service engagements moving forward while building a coherent and seamless customer experience for your end-users, thereby helping to improve customer satisfaction and ultimately brand perception.
Especially in times like these, it’s critical to ensure you have the proper resources in place to deliver consistent, quality service for your organization. For more on how we at Source stand ready to support you in doing that, visit sourcesupport.com/solutions/product-support
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As always, the business environment is causing businesses to take a fresh look at the way they operate. This is certainly the case when it comes to sending skilled technicians to support complex technology. Eric’s post shows how executives are evolving their strategies.