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Less sickness, more foresight: how visibility and engagement are key to keeping UK service levels high

Posted by Steve Alderson on July 21, 2013

A recent survey of 200 UK organisations has revealed that sickness and absence is still the major issue affecting service delivery and the customer experience.

We commissioned Redshift Research to survey 200 business managers responsible for mobile workers, to examine the key hurdles to service excellence.

Sickness ranked as the most common problem affecting service delivery (39%), followed by traffic congestion (37%) and unavailability of staff (36%).

24 per cent of organisations reported that absenteeism has a large impact on their operations. In fact, all organisations, regardless of the size, found both sickness and absenteeism to be an issue.

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Delivering service excellence, the big (data) opportunity

Posted by Dave Webb on May 8, 2013

Despite the term, big data has more benefits than just volume of information. It represents an opportunity to manage, in real-time, situations that have arisen as highlighted by data accumulation. In a service environment, this can be with regards to a company’s staff, customers and operations.

 

However, before an organisation can begin to digest any information, the significant reasons for why, how and what data is sourced and collated needs to be addressed. For many service-based organisations, this collection of data is still largely restricted to in-vehicle location-based services (LBS), providing information on where a worker’s vehicle is located.

As is common, when a worker is in their vehicle, updates can be transmitted via GPS, allowing real-time tracking of that worker. These updates are regular as locations can change quickly when travelling and can be beneficial to ensure that not only the worker is heading where they are meant to be heading but is driving in a safe and economical manner and using sensible routing options. These services can also help in traffic incidents, to find the best route.

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Location-based services, only one part of the big (data) picture

Posted by Steve Alderson on April 27, 2013

Big data, one of the main buzz topics of 2012, is still attracting a lot of attention. Not least because one of an organisation’s most valued assets is its data, but also because of the possibilities it allows for insightful analysis.

Yet, despite the attention it is receiving there are still organisations not utilising data to its full potential in identifying trends and improving service, and ultimately making cost savings. For example, for many service-based organisations, collection of data is still largely restricted to in-vehicle location-based services (LBS), providing information on where a worker’s vehicle is located.

However, collecting in-vehicle geographic data forms only a small part of the service picture, with the optimum view being achieved by combining job, parts, worker, customer and geographic data all in one system. This geo-location data becomes much richer when correlated with other elements of the field worker’s ability to do the job. In any instance, vehicle location data alone is not necessarily that useful as it may not always be consistent with the exact whereabouts of the field service operative (once they leave the vehicle they can be anywhere) and it cannot give insight into what the worker is doing or how they are performing on a customer’s site. When this data is correlated with other elements, for example, the customer service rating, it becomes more meaningful.

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UK innovation in service caught snoozing, reports ONS

Posted by Steve Alderson on March 20, 2013

Last week the Office of National Statistics released its most recent estimates on International Comparisons of Productivity. The report contained annual estimates of labour productivity for the G7 developed countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and USA) up to 2011 and showed that the UK is lagging behind. So what does this mean for service in the UK? Could our low productivity be having an effect on customer service and the service organisations’ pursuit of service excellence?

The headline finding from the report was that output per hour in the UK was 16 percentage points below the average for the rest of the major industrialised economies in 2011, making it the widest productivity gap since 1993. On an output per worker basis, UK productivity was 21 percentage points lower than the rest of the G7 in 2011.

Stephanie Flanders, the BBC’s economics editor, suggested that these findings may not be as bad as they first seem commenting that “although the average British worker is nearly 40% less productive than their US counterpart, in the short-term having more people in jobs could be better for the UK economy as it preserves people’s skill levels and experience, ready to respond to the upturn when it comes.”

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5 things to make you fall in love with your mobile workforce management solution

Posted by Steve Alderson on February 14, 2013

Customers often tell us that a good workforce management solution has the ability to impact the heart of their organisation, and it’s easy to understand why. Not only does it provide the ability to offer customers excellent levels of service but it enables service directors to put a cost on poor service and correlate this with the impact it has on revenue and profit.

So, if you’re not yet ‘feeling the love’ of a mobile workforce management solution, see our top five St. Valentines inspired tips for when you’re looking for ‘the one’.

1. First impressions count – an automated system that continuously optimises and can monitor and maintain such things as stock levels to increase first time fix rates helps to make a great first impression.

2. It will never let you down – even without an internet connection a workforce management solution has the ability to maintain offline working and should allow for communications via both mobile networks and Wi-Fi.

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