In part 1 we covered three ways that Service Management can drive up Revenue. Now we'll look at the opposite side of the profit equation, and explore two ways that it drives down costs.
4. Costs saved from hiring new people
DevicePilot enabled one customer to grow their connected asset base from 800 to 16,000+ devices … whilst growing their Ops team only from 1 to 3 people.
In technology companies, people are usually the biggest operational cost, so it’s important to make good use of them.
Often companies manage their devices and customers with a Customer Support team (aka front-line or 1st-line support) who deal with individual problems case-by-case, plus an Operations team (aka 2nd-line) which is more about the bigger picture, e.g. spotting systemic problems with technology or process and rolling out fixes for them. Sometimes these two teams are together collectively known as COps, short for Customer Operations.
In the early days of device deployment (up to, say, the first few hundreds devices deployed), it is common to see the emergence of a manual, reactive approach to COps, if indeed it is even a clearly distinct activity. This is because lots of unexpected problems will occur, and if there’s one thing that humans are great at, it’s flexibility in the face of the unexpected, and being creative about finding solutions to make things right for the customer. This approach may involve a lot of ad-hoc processes such as email, spreadsheets etc. which may be entirely appropriate at this “trial” stage.
However, what is fine in trials can be a disaster for growth. If you needed a team of 3 to support 100 devices, then - if nothing else changes - by the time your estate grows to 200 devices, you’ll need a team of 6. This will drive huge people costs, and even if you could afford them, will lead to awful customer experience. This is because you will start to encounter the same issues again and again, and if there’s one thing that humans are really bad at, it’s doing repetitive tasks, quickly and reliably (that’s what machines are good at).
So what the Operations team should be doing at this point is identifying all the ways that the service can fail, and designing and running a process to fix each one. That process may still involve humans, but to the extent that the recognition and resolution of the problem can be automated, it will be done much quicker and much more efficiently, saving money.
DevicePilot’s powerful live automation can react to problems with devices, customers and even to changes in KPIs, driving business automation by synchronising other business tools such as CRM or ticketing up to date, whilst massively decoupling the size of the team from the growing size of the device estate.
5. Costs saved in people time
“We used to spent literally a day each week preparing reports, for internal management and for our customers”
We can all identify the poor soul who spends every Friday (or worse, every Sunday) building reports to deliver to management and/or customers. That’s a person-day a week wasted - and again if the number of customers doubles, then this time sink will double too. And even if you can afford the waste, retrospectively compiling reports to explain how badly you screwed-up last week is just a very old-fashioned way to run a business in the 2020s.
With DevicePilot you build your reports and then they are live, up-to-the-minute, always, for anyone to look at - whether on an office all-hands display, or an operations dashboard, or for a customer to see for themselves. Live reports can even be a feature that customers may pay extra for. You can still “tear off” a PDF copy as a record, if you really insist.
To explore how Service Management can improve your bottom line, contact us today.
Now read part 3 of this series to explore how Service Management can accelerate the growth of your company.