The ROI of Reduced Administrative Effort
Within our recent blog posts, we have focused on the ROI of improving things like technician scheduling, inventory management, and how much field service providers stand to gain by upgrading the customer experience. As the calculations in those blogs confirmed, implementing the NextService FSM software results in a robust ROI that quickly recoups the cost of the software before growing the bottom line in exciting (and often unexpected) ways.
This blog will focus on an issue that affects every aspect of service delivery, but holds tremendous opportunity for improvement. We are talking about routine administration: the daily paper pushing and data entry that demands so much time and attention from technicians, schedulers, and managers alike.
What business would not want to spend less time on paperwork and spreadsheets and more time on selling and serving? With FSM software like NextService, businesses have the tools to streamline administration at all levels. And when daily operations become more efficient and effective, it lowers costs and drives revenues across the company.
As this blog article will demonstrate, the ROI of reduced administrative effort can singlehandedly pay for the cost of the NextService FSM software in a matter of months or even weeks. And that is just the beginning.
How NextService Transforms Field Service
Every FSM software reduces administrative effort to some degree. They do this by replacing paper-based processes with digital information, by swapping manual workloads for automation, and by integrating siloed data onto one platform. The primary reason for adopting FSM software is to make administering various aspects of service delivery faster, easier, and more transparent. Few FSM systems transform how field service businesses run like NextService does.
We do that in all the ways users expect, by digitizing, automating, and integrating field service administration from end to end. But we can significantly reduce administrative effort even further because of two key features of our software:
- A powerful mobile app – Field service providers spend massive amounts of energy getting information to and from the field. That often involves printing paper documents, filling out forms with ink, then copying those forms into a computer. All this takes lots of time. There is also a significant labor cost associated with moving information around, and a high risk of error as well. NextService includes a powerful mobile app that keeps technicians and the home office linked in real time. Technicians can get information about job locations, scheduling changes, service histories, equipment manuals, and much more all through the app, eliminating multiple calls between the field and the office that can create delays and have a negative impact on the customer experience. The app also contains digital versions of all the forms and documents the job requires. When technicians record data, take notes, or get signatures, that information flows automatically into the FSM system to keep records perfectly updated. Having an app that people know and like using replaces endless amounts of administrative work involved with getting the right information into the right hands.
- Running on-platform with NetSuite – In practice, many FSM offerings have an underwhelming impact on administrative efficiency because no matter how much they streamline service delivery, they run separate from, or have a weak integration with, other business tools like ERP. That results in lots of time spent integrating data between systems. NextService breaks down this administrative obstacle by running on-platform with NetSuite, meaning both systems share the same databases and technical infrastructure. When data is entered or updated in NextService, those changes automatically appear in the relevant part of NetSuite so that service delivery and business management operate in perfect sync. Not only does this reduce recurring administrative hassles (and occasional mistakes), but it enables a field service provider to operate with high levels of precision, transparency, and flexibility, while reducing required administrative resources. Things do not just get easier; they get drastically better. NextService gives field service providers the unparalleled ability to operate within a single, all-encompassing system rather than a grab bag of different software products duct-taped together. You will find that once the information bottlenecks and data silos are gone, administrative work drops dramatically.
Putting Administrative Ease into Dollars and Cents Terms
One can easily imagine all the improvements a field service company will realize once paper documents are a thing of the past and information moves freely and automatically throughout the organization. The amount of time technicians and schedulers can save on administrative tasks can add up to days or weeks of extra productivity each year. Dispatching and inventory management would get easier so that technicians are equipped to deliver an optimal customer experience on each service call. And accounting could run in sync with service delivery to improve invoicing and increase cash flow. In field service, where there are many moving parts, administrative hiccups are the biggest impediment to operational excellence.
How do you put those positive impacts into monetary terms? The experiences of real NextService customers help us to quantify the ROI of reduced administrative effort:
- Checkpoint Systems – Administrators saved five hours every day by not having to type information into NetSuite. That and other time savings have shrunk the administrative headcount by one person, reducing labor costs and helping to bring fixed overhead down by $200,000 per year.
- Auto Ingress – Despite the fact that field service staff grew by 27%, the number of administrative staff stayed the same thanks to their increased efficiency. It was not necessary to hire new dispatchers to accommodate growth.
- Eagle Point Solutions – Sales performance jumped 30% year over year due to more efficient sales processes that utilize better information access and close coordination among the sales team to turn leads into paying customers.
- Ellis Air – In addition to improving back-office efficiency by 65%, revenue has increased five figures just by tracking and billing for installations that were previously missed in the shuffle of paperwork.
- Headland – Eliminating all paperwork led to a 98% reduction in lost stock and tools thanks to better oversight of when, where, and what inventory was being used.
- SprintQuip – The mobile app helped technicians save 30 minutes on average each day. That translates into five extra hours every two weeks – enabling additional service calls to be scheduled.
Time is money, especially in field service. And while FSM software does more than just make administration run faster, focusing on time savings is a helpful context for anyone to begin calculating the ROI of reduced administrative effort.
What is an hour of technician time worth, both in terms of costs and the amount of revenue a technician could generate in an hour? If they saved just two hours per week on managing paperwork and making phone calls that is more than 100 additional hours a year from each technician.
Now consider the same metric for dispatchers, parts managers, and other administrators. With NextService either eliminating or automating so many administrative roadblocks, the people in the office have hours of time to spend on high-level activities (planning, optimizing, strategizing, etc.) instead of data entry, lost communications, and file management. Not only is their time better spent and more valuable as a result, but companies can also handle more work with the same staff or thin the ranks and save tens of thousands of dollars on labor.
The benefits of time savings also apply to executives and managers. No longer do they have to wait for updated figures or worry that the information in front of them might be outdated, inaccurate, or incomplete. In that way, improving routine administration improves decision making. Furthermore, companies that are well-run at all levels are also more flexible, functional, and resilient, so they can weather disruptions, such as COVID, or seize on new opportunities before competitors. Administrative excellence becomes a strategic asset that pays dividends.
The ROI of reduced administrative effort will be different for everyone, but it is realistic to estimate six-figure returns after accounting for all the various cost reductions and revenue additions. More than just eliminating paperwork, the NextService FSM software unleashes the full potential of a field service business. With the administrative side of things firing on all cylinders, the focus can shift to maximizing profitability, engineering growth, and optimizing the customer experience.
Get Greater Returns from NextService
The fact that NextService was created by actual field service providers, plus the fact that we run on-platform with NetSuite certainly differentiate us in the FSM market. But where we really stand apart is with our intensive focus on ROI – helping customers recoup their investment faster and many times over. Our professional services team is here to deploy a product that immediately addresses the biggest administrative challenges and delivers a day-one upgrade to how things work. Then, our customer success team steps in to help customers take full advantage of everything NextService can do. We want to keep customers happy. More importantly, we want them to reap huge returns from our software – so we put a team in place to make it happen.
Our series thus far has focused largely on the service delivery side of things. But the fact that NextService runs on-platform with NetSuite makes it just as much a tool for business management as field service management. Along those lines, users can take advantage of NetSuite’s powerful reporting capabilities to understand their business in new ways. We will explore the return from having better reporting capabilities in the next blog in this series. You might be surprised to learn how much business outcomes improve simply by having better information during decision making.
We will be continuing our ROI blog series soon, but until then, contact the NextService team for a custom ROI calculation to learn about additional ways you can leverage FSM software to provide value for your customers. Additionally, we encourage you to Speak with a Next Technik field service management expert to learn how much your organization can save in administrative and other costs by implementing NextService.