Since 2003, the top service and support minds have gathered in Palm Springs for Field Service USA's flagship conference in April. The conference is packed with workshops, innovative sessions and an expo that includes the latest and greatest service technology.
This year on day 1 of Field Service USA, Trimble led a workshop called Optimizing Service to Cash, to a packed room. The workshop was very interactive with audience insight and stories from the field about the challenges that field service managers experience.
In one of the first activities of the workshop, we polled the audience to learn more about the biggest challenges in getting work orders closed and invoices generated in the audience's organizations. It was clear that some of the biggest challenges were the burdens of paperwork and the process of ordering parts. The below word cloud was populated by the audience and shows the breadth of challenges facing field service managers today.
We then went through a few additional polls with some insightful conclusions. The polls were:
1. How long after the service has been rendered does it take to get an invoice to your customer?
2. Have you deployed a mobile application to your field technicians to capture data in the field?
3. Do you have a way for your customers to pay online?
The workshop continued with an overview on the steps in the service to cash workflow and the gaps in each step.
- First, a field technician provides service to customers and is still using paper forms, which delays the closing of work orders.
- Second, when the work order is closed, the lack of visibility into customer data such as discounts, service contracts and equipment data may delay the work order process in the back-office.
- Third, the invoice is generated and sent to the customer but there is a lack of process automation that would enable invoice creation and email upon work completion and approval.
- Finally, a customer receives the invoice, but there is a lack of visibility into job detail and the customer disputes the invoice, or there is no process automation or easy-pay options causing the customer to be dissatisfied and payment is delayed.
We then went on to show how with Trimble PULSE™ organizations can narrow the gaps in their service to cash process using optimized scheduling, easy parts ordering, and reduced paperwork to improve work order close to invoice time.
If you are interested in more information on how Trimble PULSE™ can help you step into an automated system, please download our Pon Cat case study and find out how Pon Cat, the official Caterpillar dealer in the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, improved it's scheduling and billing processes for 1000 technicians.