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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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5 ways to keep your mobile workforce mobile in the snow

Posted by Steve Alderson on December 18, 2012

With a reduced workforce, and those in the field facing challenging conditions, it’s important to keep your field workers safe whilst trying to service customers’ needs and expectations.

The disruption caused by extreme weather can only be mitigated to a certain point, and of course preparation is key. However, if today’s snowy conditions are impacting your ability to maintain levels of service, you may find the below five points of use.

1. Consider how you might keep customers informed with up-to-the-minute updates on any resulting delays associated with congestion or shortfalls in resourcing. Differentiation through proactive communications will serve to reinforce service excellence as a key brand value

2. In the event that the pre-scheduled engineer is stuck, running late or facing road closures, having real-time geo-location information fed into a dynamic scheduler system helps to redeploy or reallocate resource at short notice

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Looking back to move service forward in Facilities Management

Posted by Steve Alderson on November 28, 2012

To celebrate our 20th anniversary, we have been reflecting on the service changes in the industry and we have been inviting industry experts to discuss what they believe has had the biggest influence on the Facilities Management (FM) and service industry over the past 20 years, and what they think the future may hold.

We spoke with Anne Lenox Martin, Independent Facilities Management Consultant & Trainer, on the changes she has seen in the industry and what she believes is to come.

How do you think service has changed in FM over the last 20 years?

I would say that the most important changes actually occurred 10 years previously. There was a huge shift in peoples understanding of service during the 1980’s, led in the majority by Peter Drucker and Tom Peters (the management gurus) who were talking about service excellence, managing people and how to get the best out of employees. So much so that by 1992 people had already come to realise the importance of keeping hold of their customers. However, FM was still very much in its infancy, with the service of buildings taking precedence over the service of people. Then during the 90’s there was a steady shift towards this new thinking, that facilities was more about people and workspace. I wouldn’t however say there was a major shift at one point; it was more of an evolution rather than a revolution.

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Industry figureheads predict the future of service

Posted by Steve Alderson on October 5, 2012

Our impending 20th anniversary celebrations have put us in a reflective mood, thinking about the technological and social innovations that have been introduced and their impact on service. For example, who knew 20 years ago that we would now be voicing our customer service views (good and bad) on social networks like Twitter and Facebook?

Whilst reflecting on the improvements to service over the past 20 years and the feedback we have gathered from consumers and businesses in our Annual Nationwide Service Report (ANSR), we have considered what the future of service will hold. By collating the views of industry figureheads including Saul Sherry - Service Management, Sumair Dutta – Aberdeen Group and Anne Lennox-Martin – BIFM Trainer we can now provide organisation’s with some insight into where service is headed in the future.

As you would expect in this fast pace of change world we live in, many predictions referenced technological advances that will allow organisations to work smarter, including;

  • M2M communications enabling remote diagnostics of faults
  • The integration of social and mobile channels, increasing the availability of service information
  • Kinetic charging of mobile devices

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