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Network outages – how to keep the mobile field force working

Posted by Steve Alderson on August 16, 2012

Twenty-four hours of network downtime is bound to be bad for business, especially a large mobile operator, with millions of consumers crying “epicfail” all over social media.

But what about businesses with huge remote workforces that rely on this technology? Will those historically opposed to it be using this to say that mobile technology for workforce management is flawed, and therefore we should go back to traditional methods of working?

These one-off situations, whilst newsworthy and extremely unexpected for customers and businesses alike, are fortunately very rare. As such, the benefits of the new generation of smartphone and handheld-equipped workers out in the field are too great to ignore.

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How to stop the FM demographic time bomb from ticking

Posted by Steve Alderson on July 9, 2012

Without question, one of the hottest topics within the facilities management industry today is how to address the gap in skills that will appear over the next ten years. The problem commonly referred to as the ‘demographic time bomb’ has been highlighted in the survey findings presented by BIFM below.

56 per cent of respondents were born between 1946 and 1964 (indicating that they are currently between the ages of 48-66)

52 per cent of respondents said they aimed to retire between the ages of 55 and 65

48 per cent of those people currently practising are aged over 45 (according to research conducted by Asset Skills)

These findings, and recent articles such as BIFM’s, The Time Bomb Debate and FM World’s The Ticking Bomb, have brought to the surface what some in the FM industry had realised for some time. There are not enough new entrants into the sector to ensure a continuous transference of skills, and in the next ten years, as those practising start to retire, we will be left with less experienced people in facilities management roles.

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FM and the strive for service excellence - three takeaways from our industry roundtable

Posted by Steve Alderson on June 15, 2012

On Wednesday, we hosted a round-table with Facilities Management Journal (FMJ) to discuss the topic of service excellence and examine the methods for achieving it.

The session, chaired by Simon Iatrou, FMJ Editor, brought together industry leaders to share opinions and discuss the issues and challenges faced by managers in the FM space today. The session was attended by representatives from BIFM, MITIE, the BBC and Channel 4.

Hosted at the revered restaurant Roux at The Landau, representatives gathered and discussions focused on three key areas:

1. How do we strive for service excellence?

One thing is clear, an organisation considering service excellence should think first about providing a relevant and value-added service for the customer rather than how much or how little they should be investing in it. A challenge for FMs (and indeed any organisation) in today’s climate is to provide appropriate service levels and services without focusing foremost on the cost.

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5 ways dynamic scheduling can drive efficiencies & deliver excellent service

Posted by Steve Alderson on June 7, 2012

Given the economic backdrop of a double-dip recession and the upcoming Olympic Games, the task of investing in customer service, whilst driving efficiencies, becomes ever more difficult to juggle. In this blog we identify how having real-time geo-location information fed into a dynamic scheduler system can help field service organisations achieve both.

Below are just five ways that dynamic scheduling can increase efficiencies and customer satisfaction:

1. Reduce repeat visits to the same customer by scheduling experienced staff to challenging jobs; decreasing the time spent on each job whilst increasing first time fix rates and customer satisfaction

2. Use real-time tracking data to gain instant visibility of your workforce and to identify traffic hotspots and congestion - schedule alternative routes to reduce fuel and time wastage and keep customer appointments

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Revealed: good service pays and poor service costs – it’s official

Posted by Steve Alderson on May 30, 2012

Our findings launched this week from YouGov research reveal that organisations that invest in service excellence are 54% more likely to receive repeat purchases from customers. Moreover, 47% of consumers will pay a premium for products or services where they believe they are likely to receive good service.

During the YouGov survey, 2,084 online respondents were also asked to name the brands they believed were best when it came to customer service and delivery. John Lewis ranked first for customer service, with Marks and Spencer and Amazon ranked second and third respectively; Tesco, Asda and Virgin also appeared in the top ten ranking brands.

Other results included:

  • 82% of respondents said they would tell other people about a bad experience, three times more than those who would tell others of a good experience

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