Out in the Field and In the Pocket: Benefits of an Outsourced FSE Program
By Tom Chick
Vice President, National Accounts
Technical Transportation, Inc
For manufacturers that transport highly complex equipment and technology to customers across the United States, providing nationwide in-house field services can present multiple challenges.
Beyond the standard transportation, delivery, and installation of product that is moving from point A to B, any specialized, technical or highly sensitive equipment may be in need of additional services for calibration, networking or operational functionality for immediate use.
For many companies that manage these services in-house, this entails deploying engineers in the field, affecting budgets and potential sales, as these engineers are occupied in a non-revenue generating function. The better option for many, therefore, is to engage a logistics partner who has field service engineers (FSEs) available in geographical markets, trained to handle their specific equipment.
In fact, an outsourced FSE program can help manufacturers meet the following demands:
Your partner must be able to serve you and your customers wherever you have a presence or need domestically. This may include the ability to deploy FSE teams at a moment's notice, or even procure and manage warehouse space to store critical parts.
According to a recent report conducted by Cognizant MedVantage, more than 48 percent of medical field service leaders polled rated their dispatch control scheduling as only adequate, in need of improvement, or poor. For this reason, an ideal partner should be your one source to manage everything, from the scheduling and movement of resources, to the reporting and follow-up.
Your partner should provide you with a single, dedicated account team for all of your needs, and a single, consolidated invoice for the services performed. All while conducting themselves professionally as brand ambassadors in front of your customers.
Your partner needs to specialize in your industry and be well-versed with your products. That includes the ability to create and provide detailed and extensive training so their FSEs can perform knowledgeably, efficiently and effectively with your products and customers. Your client should experience the quality of service they expect, with minimal downtime and impact on operations.
Value-Added, Not Value-Draining
A value-added logistics partner should be able to take any and all non-revenue generating FSE-related tasks off of your hands, so your personnel can focus on core competencies that produce revenue-positive activities and build your business. They can also help you avoid the internal costs of hiring and training field service technicians yourselves, while also eliminating some travel expenses and utilization of resources.
According to the Cognizant report, more than 86 percent of respondents consider technology critical in ensuring efficient maintenance and correct allocation of field technicians, and want real-time access on the go, supporting both online and offline work. Therefore, an ideal partner should also have the technology necessary to keep you informed on your logistics operations, providing real-time reporting and outcomes to anything happening in the field.
If you'd like more information on how your company can build and manage a nationwide field services program, then contact us today and we can help.