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Steve Alderson

SVP Service Operations

Recent Posts

When it comes to service, your people are the product

Posted by Steve Alderson on November 12, 2013

The latest research from The Service Council: “Field Service Workforce Management: Winning With People” confirms a significant shift in priorities amongst leading service organisations.

The report points out: “In the business of service delivery, people are the product … field service workforce management strategies need to extend beyond the scheduling and allocation of existing resources to the acquisition, management, empowerment and retention of the appropriate service workforce”.

It’s perhaps no surprise that the top areas of strategic focus for service organisations of all sizes for the coming 12 months are field service workforce management and performance management and visibility, ahead of the traditional emphasis on technology/automation infrastructure.

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A fix for the service bug: engaging the workforce

Posted by Steve Alderson on October 14, 2013

In last week’s blog, Cognito’s Consultancy Director, Dave Webb, discussed how technology can help solve some of the issues concerning visibility and engagement faced by service departments.

In this follow on blog post, Steve Alderson addresses the topic of employee engagement and why technology alone is not the answer to improving service levels.

There is no doubt the use of technology can aid service improvement. However, there is a wider issue concerning the reasons for employee sickness. This is rooted in engagement and morale levels, something that technology can not alone resolve but provide trends and statistics for managers to act on.

The correlation between engagement and the impact it has on performance and resistance to change has long been proven; from psychology experiments through to our own research, which found employees are more likely to adopt a mobility solution if they are engaged in the change process:

  • 55% of enterprises struggle getting workforces to adopt mobility
  • Poor executive sponsorship and employee engagement were seen to contribute to slow rates of adoption, with 27% stating these as key issues

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A path to service excellence with Cognito’s Situation Assessment

Posted by Steve Alderson on August 2, 2013

If improving customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention are priorities for your organisation, maybe it’s time for a thorough 360˚ review in order to make the difference between service improvements and service excellence.

Once the need to improving service has been accepted, and the project a reality, there is an impulse to look to technology first to improve efficiencies and automate processes. However, starting with a clear route map to transforming service is essential.

This involves understanding current processes to benchmark what ‘now’ looks like, identifying what needs to be transformed and planning how to get there. Undertaking this assessment with the organisation’s strategic goals in mind is key in providing a long-term solution that achieves what you set out to do.

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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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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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