Managing The Costs of Field Services As Retailers Push The Innovation Envelope
May 06, 2011
It’s becoming more and more evident that retailers are feeling the pressure to keep their stores running efficiently in the digital age. Just recently, Aberdeen Group released their “Customer Connected Store” report, which emphasized that retailers consider the improvement of store operations workflow to be their top priority, as customer and market-readiness is the “ultimate retail requirement.”
We have been witnessing firsthand the challenges our clients face on a daily basis in keeping up with the record-breaking pace of innovation going on within store-based technology.
From our perspective, it’s a fact that the number of store visits by technicians and field service representatives has multiplied drastically due to the emergence of new technologies like traffic counters, kiosks, wireless devices and digital media. What’s more, as retailers scramble to get an edge over the competition, projects are becoming increasingly more complex and, in most cases, require a specialized technician(s) who can efficiently handle the scope of the work.
We’ve had great success working with our clients on innovative ways to handle the increased need for field services support, while still effectively managing costs. A few of the most impactful tactics have included:
• Getting the Right Technician for the Job. Because every store is unique and every retailer has different needs, it’s important to not only have a variety of flexible options that allow you to customize your service, but to ensure your store/establishment is getting the right technician(s) within the right timeframe, for the right price.
One of the ways we help our customers manage costs for on-site work is through our unique independent contractor model. This model allows us to extend significant savings to our partners as it removes the added expenses of a costly middle-man. Working directly with each contractor also allows our Mission Control team to work with Project Management every step of the way to monitor progress and ensure proper protocol for out-of-scope work so that there are no surprise billings at the end of a job.
Also, with access to a database of 11,000 qualified technicians who are rated based on knowledge and expertise, we have been adding value through a customized technician approach. Whether it’s a small retailer that needs immediate service or a large retailer that needs a group of specially trained technicians for larger-scale projects, we have customized convenient and affordable solutions based on the specific needs of our partners.
• Maximizing On-Site Service Time. One way to get the most out of service calls is to take a pro-active approach to consolidation. Keep a log of peripheral matters like battery replacement or magnetic stripe cleaning on payment terminals that can be addressed by a technician when they’re already on-site for larger, more need-based issues. Not only will this help you save significantly on maintenance costs, but will drastically reduce your service calls.
Have any field service tips to share? Join us online in our LinkedIn group, Retail tekSPERTS and tell us about them! We’re always online, so if you’d rather just stay up-to-date on the latest developments in retail/hospitality technology, you can always follow us on Twitter @tekservePOS or connect with us on Facebook.
John Pruban, President, tekservePOS