Why CFOs should care about field service

Rick Gustafson Profile picture for user rgustafson November 23, 2015
If you’re the CFO of a customer-facing company with installation, maintenance and upgrade operations, field service needs to be on your agenda, says ServiceMax CFO Rick Gustafson.

Rick Gustafson

Field service can be a strong and modern revenue generator for companies of all sizes.

In fact, an efficient, outcomes-focused and technology-driven field service department can differentiate your company from the competition.

It can also open the door to new sales opportunities, boost positive customer feedback and help build global networks.

Industry CFOs should take note and consider tapping into the latest technologies to streamline and build out field service operations with benefits that reach across the entire company.

Field Service as a differentiator

Customer requests need to be answered with efficiency and quality in order to establish the value of your service in a crowded field. The industry is no longer limited to legacy manufacturing and emergency-driven maintenance.

For CFOs, this means finding the right formula for a budget and financial strategy that mixes a team of experienced field technicians, streamlined operational processes and technology that improves the measurable quality of customer service.

A strong field service strategy matched with the latest operational technology can set a company apart from others in the market, especially those offering a similar services and resources to their customers.

Field service as a customer success machine

Field service can play a significant role in building customer trust and a company’s reputation. Customer trust can lead to referrals and real business growth. Tapping into technology that offers proactive reporting of operational, incident and maintenance data can present technicians with the information they need to meet and exceed customer needs. This expanded and elevated level of service can translate directly into new sales opportunities and more chances to deliver quality service to existing customers.

The success of any consumer-facing company relies on interaction between employees and customers. Being able to quantify customer success can boost business visibility and enables CFOs to make the case to higher-ups for the modernization of operations across the company. The main benefactor in this equation is the customer, but the right approach can be a serious driver of broader company growth.

Field service as a CFO priority

Companies looking for strategic corporate partnerships often point to reputation as a key component of their vetting process. A well-run field service department offers tangible and clear evidence of a company’s operational efficiency and focus on customer success.

CFOs looking to build the case for mutually beneficial corporate partnerships should turn to amplifying field service operations and technology that reflects commitment to the speed and quality of delivery.

As Mike Vaughan, CFO of Liftech Equipment Companies, puts it:

There is tangible value in streamlining and innovating our service organization. By leveraging technology to meet our customers’ needs and retain our workforce, we can be seen as a preferred service company to work for.

The ability to keep highly-skilled talent is where our competitive advantage comes in and, with our average revenue per technician up by 5%, what serves as the connection to our company’s broader commercial success.

Tactically, [field service] gives us the capability to leverage more revenue through our existing structure by giving the technician the ability to access relevant and important installed product repair history data. This access enables the field service technician to be more self sufficient and less reliant on branch support personnel.

The transformation from cost center to revenue generator requires strategic financial leadership. It also calls for scaling the company’s operations in line with business and customer goals.

A well-built field service department can provide the foundation for increasing sales operations that support growing revenue streams and attract new customers. It can also prove instrumental in building global partnerships with leading companies that complement or enhance customer programs.

If you’re the CFO of a customer-facing company with installation, maintenance and upgrade operations, look to technology-driven field service for results and real business growth opportunities.

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