Field Service USA wrapped up recently in Palm Springs, and I was honored to attend—both as a presenter and as an attendee. With nearly 800 industry peers and enterprise executives coming together in one building to discuss innovation in field service and the broader service supply chain, there was much to learn in such a short amount of time.
Image courtesy: Pixabay
Here are a few of my favorite key takeaways from the event:
Sell outcomes not products
A conversation between Arthur N. McGinn Jr. senior vice president at Canon Solutions America; Gary F. Johnson vice president, global technical at Pitney Bowes; Charles Hughes, vice president of technical site services at Acuative; Venki Subramanian, head of product management, customer service management at ServiceNow; and Jeff Blum, senior vice president of the West Region at KONE Americas really caught my eye. Their panel, titled “Transforming Your Service Business Model from Selling a Product to Selling an Outcome” focused on how companies can differentiate themselves against competition in a product uptime-driven ecosystem.
The most convincing solution was the use of big data. “The ecosystem is coming together with mobile, cloud computing and the aggregation of big data. We’re on a journey getting to what customers value, which is real-time insights into their assets,” KONE’s Blum said. Big data allows companies to optimize their supply chain in a way that values both the customer and the company, itself, as product uptime is maintained and surplus and excess spend is eliminated.
Another key differentiator is executive buy-in. As a company, you have to make sure that both shareholders’ and customers’ needs and wants are met in a way that makes all parties happy. “The most important thing about all of it is making everyone feel good about how you’re moving forward with the data,” explained Johnson of Pitney Bowes. “It’s a team sport, it’s a journey, and every touchpoint can be a winning point for everyone to move forward and create a positive outcome.”
Growth is a process
Terry Diaferio, senior director, North American Service, and Joseph Molesky, senior national operations manager of the Tennant Company had a conversation on how to set a vision for your company and turn service capabilities into an engine that drives growth.
Growth takes time, but it’s an investment that has several benefits. Growth helps turn cost into profit, generates revenue through increased customer touchpoints and encourages current partners to do more business. But where it gets tricky is understanding how to scale sales and services alongside the overall growth. Diaferio and Molesky frame it this way: Do you want a cost model, or do you want a profit model?