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- May 18, 2018
- by Trevor Carlsson
In today’s technologically advanced world, an organisation relying on outdated tools is at a disadvantage against better-equipped rivals who are changing the game. Making the case to the decision-makers can try the patience of even the most stoic field service managers. In this article, we look at the key areas you'll need to master if you are to be successful in transitioning your business to the future.
Align with Organisational Strategic Goals
You need to identify, evaluate, and select the right software for your business, and support that with a strong business case. To make the optimal choice, you need to find the solution that can best help your company achieve its field service goals. But it’s critical that you align these with bigger organisational objectives.
Think about this - you are not picking just software, you are picking a solution that will address your challenges, and deliver benefits to both your staff and customers. By looking at what your objectives are, this quickly shifts your focus to one of strategic alignment. Do you need to reduce your first-time fix rate? Perhaps your objective is to improve your customer service by allowing your customers to login to a portal to access and create service requests themselves? A common business objective is to shorten your invoicing cycling by ensuring data is available in real-time to service and invoice customers.
By aligning your strategic goals and working closely with your software vendor, you can build a strong array of user stories, showcasing the value of implementing a new solution, one that aligns to what your executives care about.
Really Do Your Research
Your next step is evaluating your options. Engage your IT group early as a key participant. This will help ensure you address their requirements and avoid IT resistance later in the process. Plus, IT can become a convincing ally as you make your case to the executive team.
It's important to consider your workforce in your decision, and what a transition will mean for them. Is the software user friendly? Does it offer useful time savers and can it be flexible enough to align to some of your needs? No software is perfect, but picking a platform that will meet most of your needs and is flexible enough to bend is going to offer the best outcome. It's also worth looking at the customers that are using the platform. Are they in the same industry as yours? Success stories are vital, as they paint a picture of what your solution and implementation may look like.
Build A Strong Business Case
Now it’s time to document the key findings of your evaluation. Remember, you’re not selling software to the executive team. All they care about are the results the solution can deliver and the ultimate value of the investment. With that in mind, write in a language that matters to your leadership team. Explain your preferred choice and justify your selection process. Focus on presenting the facts of your assessment, and be prepared to articulate the risk versus ROI of going with your recommendation.
If one of your objectives is to decrease time to invoice, focus on a realistic scenario that will support this object, such as: Job's completed in the field will be instantaneously ready in the office for review and invoicing, cutting down a 3 day lag time. This will result in an additional average of $X revenue received in the calendar month as a result. If your objective is to increase customer satisfaction, use statistics to support your case, such as: Research carried out by CSG highlights good communication as a basic expectation across customers surveyed, and noted that "consistent and proactive communication is a differentiator, whether it’s in person or through technology." Highlight how the solution will aid in driving this, from automated email and text alerts, to customer portal visibility into work carried out.
Work with your vendor to identify these user stories and key outcomes, and present a compelling business case that clearly highlights this value.
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