Astea https://astea.com Service Smart Enterprise Proven Thu, 21 Feb 2019 22:12:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.9 [WEBINAR] How Service Leaders Meet the Varying Needs of Today’s Customers https://astea.com/resources/blog/2019/02/webinar-how-service-leaders-meet-the-varying-needs-of-todays-empowered-customers/ https://astea.com/resources/blog/2019/02/webinar-how-service-leaders-meet-the-varying-needs-of-todays-empowered-customers/#respond Thu, 21 Feb 2019 19:29:56 +0000 https://astea.com/?p=4568 Watch our on-demand webinar to see how Astea customer APT-SKIDATA meets the varying needs of today’s empowered customers Today’s customers expect expect more from their service delivery. And not only that, they expect their service delivery to be personalized to their unique needs. Is it possible to give every customer what they want? How do...

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Watch our on-demand webinar to see how Astea customer APT-SKIDATA meets the varying needs of today’s empowered customers

Today’s customers expect expect more from their service delivery. And not only that, they expect their service delivery to be personalized to their unique needs. Is it possible to give every customer what they want? How do you find and retain ‘customer-centric’ employees who can help you accomplish that goal? How do you deliver more value so that customers are less inclined to pick the cheapest service provider?

We sat down with our client, APT-SKIDATA to discuss how service leaders are changing their approach to customer service, employee management, branding and service delivery in order to delight today’s empowered customers. Steve Murphy, the Head of Operations at APT-SKIDATA who has 20+ years of experience in service delivery, shared with us the challenges that the distributor of car parking and people access equipment faced due to changes in service delivery trends and evolving customer demands and how implementation of Astea’s field service management (FSM) solution, Alliance Enterprise, enabled APT-SKIDATA to conquer these issues.

Shift in Focus to Customer Expectations

In the last twenty years, the customer perspective has drastically shifted. First-time fix rate response and planned preventive maintenance has now moved to dynamic planned preventive maintenance so it’s done when it needs to be done.

“At that time, service was seen as more of a supporting role, something that was just there in the background”

In the past, service managers were concerned with reassuring the customer of the product’s performance with basic reports. Now, customers want to be more involved throughout the process of their product’s lifecycle. Up-time and maintainability of the product or site are some of customers’ biggest demands.

“Customers now want more engagement”

With Alliance, all of the data can be accessed from one location. Using dynamic scheduling, the product can be efficiently installed based on customer and technician’s preferences. Upon installation, the service team has perfect visibility of installation team’s work and vise versa. Any information pertaining to a customer’s work order, such as history of work, warranty management and maintenance can easily be shared, creating a more engaging experience for the customer.

Flexible Approach to Service Delivery

With today’s advanced technology, customers expect instantaneous information and communication transmittal from their service provider. If they can’t get it, they will most likely seek out another provider.

“Parking and stadium access technology is no different than any other technology solution – there are always alternatives”

Providing a more flexible service delivery approach, such as self-service capabilities, not only empowers customers but prevents them from shopping for alternative providers. With Alliance Enterprise, APT-SKIDATA offered its customers the ultimate flexibility. Customers are able to view important information and effectively communicate and provide feedback via a mobile app.

“SKIDATA is a premium brand and we have to make sure that our service supports cradle-to-grave”

This flexibility creates 100% transparency. When customers have convenient ways to communicate exactly what they’re not happy with, APT-SKIDATA can then effectively explain how and when this issue will be resolved.

Want to learn more? Watch the full on-demand webinar “How Service Leaders Meet the Varying Needs of Today’s Empowered Customers” to see:

  • How APT-SKIDATA is delivering unmatched service
  • How to manage a diverse set of varying customer needs
  • How self-service capabilities can provide more customer value
  • How to create ‘customer-stickiness’
  • How to hire and manage a customer-centric team

Request a demo today to see how Astea can help you become an adaptable and dynamic service delivery organization.

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Astea Introduces Alliance Warehouse Edge™ Mobile Application https://astea.com/resources/blog/2019/02/astea-introduces-alliance-warehouse-edge-mobile-application/ https://astea.com/resources/blog/2019/02/astea-introduces-alliance-warehouse-edge-mobile-application/#respond Tue, 19 Feb 2019 13:53:44 +0000 https://astea.com/?p=4501 Astea International Introduces Alliance Warehouse Edge™ Mobile Application to Make Warehouse Workers Fully Mobile Warehouse Edge enables warehouse workers to perform all their daily activities on a mobile device. This new native mobile application also enables full warehouse management capabilities within its award-winning field service management platform, delivering greater efficiency by linking warehouse, logistics and...

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Astea International Introduces Alliance Warehouse Edge Mobile Application to Make Warehouse Workers Fully Mobile

Warehouse Edge enables warehouse workers to perform all their daily activities on a mobile device. This new native mobile application also enables full warehouse management capabilities within its award-winning field service management platform, delivering greater efficiency by linking warehouse, logistics and mobile warehouse management to service activities.

HORSHAM, PA (February 19, 2019) — Astea International Inc., a leading global provider of field service management and mobility solutions, announced today the launch of Alliance Warehouse Edge that enables warehouse workers to perform all their daily activities on a mobile device. This latest expansion of its Alliance Enterprise field service management platform adds full back office warehouse management functionality along with a new native mobile application for warehouse floor workers. Warehouse Edge expands upon the logistic supply chain capabilities within Alliance Enterprise to provide real-time visibility into parts availability, parts usage, and the purchasing and replenishment process from any of the platform’s native mobile applications or browser-based user interfaces. Astea customers can now realize even greater efficiency by allowing their warehouse and logistics supply chain to utilize the same platform without the need for additional integration.

Astea customers can now realize even greater efficiency by allowing their warehouse and logistics supply chain to utilize the same platform without the need for additional integration.

One of the Alliance Enterprise platform’s many differentiators is the fact that it provides a comprehensive view of inventory throughout warehouses, van and truck stock, customer sites, repair chains, spares pools and parts exchanges. The release of Warehouse Edge marks a significant milestone by adding one more critical capability—complete warehouse management on a mobile device—to our full service lifecycle platform.

“With the release of the Alliance Enterprise platform in September 2018, Astea is now positioned for a series of new releases that will expand what is already the industry’s broadest and deepest field service solution into a wide range of new areas,” said David Giannetto, Astea’s chief operating officer. “Alliance Enterprise has historically given service organizations the ability to manage truck stock, logistics and warehouse inventory. In keeping with our philosophy of consolidating all users onto one platform to increase efficiency and maintain proper focus on revenue and profit generating activities, the addition of a complete, fully-embedded warehouse mobile management solution was the logical next step.”

“In keeping with our philosophy of consolidating all users onto one platform to increase efficiency and maintain proper focus on revenue and profit generating activities, the addition of a complete, fully-embedded warehouse mobile management solution was the logical next step.”

This expansion is seamlessly integrated into the Alliance Enterprise back office platform, allowing warehouse workers to manage physical inventory movement in real-time and perform physical and cycle counts quickly while achieving greater accuracy of inventory levels through the use of native smart device functionality and barcode scanning devices. It also eliminates the need for manual processes and paperwork by enabling warehouse workers to utilize a mobile device to perform their most common tasks including:

  • Parts Picking and Warehouse Pick Routing
  • Parts Shipping and Receiving
  • Transfers of Inventory Stock
  • Inventory Cycle Counting

Alliance Warehouse Edge makes warehouse workers fully mobile while performing all their daily functions.

“We firmly believe that the service industry will soon be at a point where every worker can do their job and be fully mobile at the same time.”

“We firmly believe that the service industry will soon be at a point where every worker can do their job and be fully mobile at the same time,” said Emily Hackman, Astea’s director of global marketing. “Our Alliance Manager Edge mobile app proved that field service managers can perform their complex job while being fully mobile. The same is true of our Customer Edge app that gives end-customers complete control over their service experience from anywhere. Now, that same mission of making all field service stakeholders mobile has been achieved for the warehouse. The launch of Warehouse Edge is the next step that Astea is taking to expand the scope and definition of service. As the company that first defined service management technology, Astea is now empowering its customers to achieve even higher levels of operational efficiency, profitability and differentiation.”

To request a personalized demonstration of the new Alliance Warehouse Edge, click here.

About Astea International

Astea International is a global leader in field service and mobile workforce management, including all the cornerstones of full service lifecycle management: customer management, service management, asset management, forward and reverse logistics management and mobile workforce management and optimization. Astea technology helps the world’s best service-driven companies generate higher profit while properly balancing customer satisfaction and service levels through proactive communication that creates a seamless, consistent and highly personalized experience at every customer relationship touch point. Astea’s solutions unify processes, people, parts, and information to focus the entire organization on the creation of sustainable value in highly competitive, global markets.

www.astea.com. Service Smart. Enterprise Proven.

© 2019 Astea International Inc. Astea, Alliance Enterprise, Alliance Warehouse Edge, Alliance Manager Edge, Alliance Customer Edge are all trademarks of Astea International Inc.

Company Contact:

Emily Hackman

Director of Global Marketing

215-682-2247

ehackman@astea.com

Investor Relations:

Matt Kreps

Managing Director

Darrow Associates Investor Relations

214-597-8200

mkreps@darrowir.com

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[Report] Are Chat Bots the Future of Service? https://astea.com/resources/blog/2019/02/are-chat-bots-the-future-of-service/ https://astea.com/resources/blog/2019/02/are-chat-bots-the-future-of-service/#respond Thu, 14 Feb 2019 18:26:54 +0000 https://astea.com/?p=4428 See why more companies are trading in live support for these conversational agents to deliver greater value to their shareholders and customers. Whether inquiring about your phone bill or checking into your hotel room, you have probably received service through a chat bot by now. With today’s customers demanding instantaneous service, more companies are trading...

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See why more companies are trading in live support for these conversational agents to deliver greater value to their shareholders and customers.

Whether inquiring about your phone bill or checking into your hotel room, you have probably received service through a chat bot by now. With today’s customers demanding instantaneous service, more companies are trading in live support for these conversational agents to deliver greater value to their shareholders and customers.

While 23% of companies already use chat bots, are you prepared for this next generation of customer service?

Currently, chat bots are not suited to handle all customer interactions but are rather programmed to handle simple verbal or text requests of customers based on a set of questions and answers they are assigned. Repeated execution of these tasks leaves minimal to no room for error, leading o higher return on investment and causing more companies to implement bots into their customer experience mix. But what other benefits do companies achieve from adopting these digital employees?

Higher Customer Satisfaction

Waiting for a live agent to assist you in checking your account balance or check into your flight could be both, frustrating and time consuming. With a few quick questions, bots are able to easily access your information and complete a customer’s request in minutes. Unless the request requires in-depth assistance, there is no longer a reason for a customer to hold or be transferred to various agents. This ability to address client needs in a timely and effective fashion, has a direct affect on customer satisfaction kpi by boosting satisfaction and loyalty.

Companies using chat bots achieve 92% greater year-over-year improvement (decrease) in number of customer complaints

Efficiency Gains

Using analytics, companies using chat bots are able to analyze the historical data of chat bot conversations in order to forecast demand that needs to be allocated to live agents. Contact center agents are now being scheduled more accurately, minimizing the risk of unnecessary agent idle time and agent burnout, decreasing inefficiency and unnecessary costs related to over or under scheduling.

Chat bot users achieve 2.4 times greater annual improvement in agent utilization rates, compared to firms without this technology (3.4% vs. 1.4%)

The use of bots allows companies to process more customer issues which otherwise would have been handled by employees, resulting in higher overhead cost.

Centralized Knowledge-base

Since customers often contact a business by various means of communications, it’s vital to integrate all customer interaction systems to build a comprehensive view-of-customer journey and detect repeat customers.

Chat bot users are 32% more likely to have a centralized knowledge-base of product/service information that chat bots can query based on customer input

For example, using machine learning to analyze employee and chat bot historical conversations, helps companies to automate best answers in response to changing buyer needs. This allows firms to reduce dependence on costly data analytics resources while minimizing the risk of human error. In turn, a company’s contact center, whether human or software, is enabled to not only provide more relevant information but also up-sell to the customer based on historical inquiries.

By having access to all data collected through various technologies such as CRM and workflow management, companies are able to program chat bots to support a more efficient customer service and contact center and create a more flexible, automated dispatch and scheduling platform.

Download the Aberdeen report “Chat Bots in Customer Experience: The Modern Way to Sell More and Deliver Better” to learn how companies using chat bots:

  • Report 2.5 times greater YoY revenue growth
  • Improve customer profit margins by 2.3 times more YoY
  • Achieve 6 times greater annual improvement in number of quality SLAs met
  • And much more

Download Now

Request a demo today to see how Astea can help you become an adaptable and flexible service delivery organization that leverages the latest in emerging technologies.

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IoT Meets Field Service Management https://astea.com/resources/blog/2019/02/iot-meets-field-service-management/ https://astea.com/resources/blog/2019/02/iot-meets-field-service-management/#respond Wed, 13 Feb 2019 20:57:21 +0000 https://astea.com/?p=4439 See why the Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the biggest buss words in the business press today, particularly relevant to any discussion about the future of Field Service Management (FSM) software. By Steve Scott, Managing Director, Astea APAC Fundamentally, IoT is about devices being connected to the internet to allow remote monitoring. In...

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See why the Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the biggest buss words in the business press today, particularly relevant to any discussion about the future of Field Service Management (FSM) software. By Steve Scott, Managing Director, Astea APAC

Fundamentally, IoT is about devices being connected to the internet to allow remote monitoring. In a sense, there is nothing very new about this. For many years now, it has been possible to remotely monitor IT infrastructure such as servers and printers. What’s new now is that even the smallest devices down to individual light bulbs and sensors can have network and internet connectivity, allowing entire systems to be monitored in great detail. Implementing IoT and accessing data could be challenging for most service organisation, however, when combined with predictive analytics and artificial intelligence, the potential impact on technology service industries is massive, more than justifying the hype.

A recent article by Gartner “Explore the Internet of Things’ potential for CRM” discusses five layers that define the capabilities of IoT:

  • The device Layer: The ‘things’ connected to the Internet.
  • The communication layer: Communication protocols, networks and the Internet.
  • The information layer: The software systems that capture and store the data.
  • The functional layer: The software systems that analyse and interpret the data.
  • The process layer: The business processes that use the analysis and interpretation of the data to deliver benefit.

Manufacturers of the technology systems typically address the functional layer. Some of industry examples include Schneider’s Building Management System that monitors a buildings HVAC, environmental and fire safety systems or Ricoh’s @Remote software that monitors Ricoh multi-function office products.

Process Layer

FSM clearly plays a role in this layer. Field service management software needs to communicate with the system software and provide functionality that uses the information provided by these systems to provide advanced service capabilities. One obvious case that leaps to mind is when a system detects a device failure, sending an alert to the FSM software causing a reactive service ticket to be raised. However, this is just the most basic case which does little to improve upon traditional service offerings.

The real value comes from preventing system failures.

This involves the use of predictive analytics and artificial intelligence. At the functional layer, software systems utilise the data provided by the connected devices to identify points of potential failure, then sending alerts to the FSM software which can then be used to enhance and supplement planned maintenance programs. This in turn prompts field engineers to test suspect components and complete preventative maintenance.

At the point of maintenance, IoT can go even further, giving the service engineer access to diagnostic data in real time, either while on site or performing remote service. The role that FSM will play in this is to quickly and easily link from the service ticket to the data available about the device or system in question.

Once predictive maintenance becomes part of the mix, the commercial model for the service engagement may also need to change.

If the customer is expected to pay for a device to be repaired or replaced because it is predicted to fail, how can they be sure of the validity of that prediction? However, if the repair is to be provided at no additional cost under the terms of the maintenance contract, what motivation does the service provider have to provide the service before it’s proven to be necessary?

The answer: an increase in ‘outcomes- based’ compensation for maintenance contracts.

One example may be that a HVAC company has maintenance contracts with their customers that include penalties for events where the environment conditions within the building fall agreed parameters (such as temperature or humidity levels) or where power consumption exceeds set limits.

Another example would be ‘usage-based’ maintenance contracts. Again, this is a long standing practice within the copy/print industry where maintenance contracts are billed based on copy/print volumes utilising counters within the device itself. However, with IoT and related monitoring software, it becomes possible to record usage volumes on a much wider range of devices such as medical devices, production line equipment and many others.

In situations like these, the FSM software used by the service provider must have the capability to manage such pricing algorithms within its contract management functionality. It will become crucial to be able to provide the customer with reliable reporting on the factors that impact the billing.

You may feel that your customer is not ready for these changes but what technological advances make possible tends to drive what customers expect of their service providers.

Watch our on-demand webinar “A Practical Approach to IoT in Field Service” featuring Astea’s Director of Technology Michael Glaser to learn more about best practices for integrating IoT with FSM software and better understand IoT infrastructure.

To learn more about how Astea can help your company integrate emerging technologies, like IoT, with your field service management solution, click here.

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[VIDEO] Astea Customer Success Story – Instron https://astea.com/resources/blog/2019/02/video-astea-customer-success-story-instron/ https://astea.com/resources/blog/2019/02/video-astea-customer-success-story-instron/#respond Tue, 05 Feb 2019 14:53:28 +0000 https://astea.com/?p=4390 See how manufacturing industry leader tackled customer relations and service gaps to create a seamless workflow. Astea’s Director of Global Marketing, Emily Hackman, sat down with John Durkin, Business Unit Manager for the Americas from Instron to discuss how the company overcame its operational and communication barriers by implementing a best of breed field service...

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See how manufacturing industry leader tackled customer relations and service gaps to create a seamless workflow.

Astea’s Director of Global Marketing, Emily Hackman, sat down with John Durkin, Business Unit Manager for the Americas from Instron to discuss how the company overcame its operational and communication barriers by implementing a best of breed field service management solution, Alliance Enterprise. This is Instron’s story.

When customers such as US Steel, GM, Ford and Becton Dickinson rely on you for service, it’s pivotal to have the most dynamic and comprehensive field service management (FSM) software on the market. As a pioneer manufacturer of universal testing equipment, Instron was tasked to turn services from a cost center into a profit center and increase profitability without additional overhead.

“We are the most profitable business unit within the Instron business”

With nearly 1,700 employees and 350 service engineers globally, the use of too many various applications as a means of communications and data entry led to a departmental disconnect as well as inefficient data transmittal. Management was unable to accurately forecast profitability, while technicians struggled to operate efficiently. The lack of transparency between management, sales and service technicians led to ineffective communication with customers and inability to tailor to their needs.

“We either provided more service than the customer paid for or not enough because of communication issues”

Instron needed an FSM solution that provided a full suite of service lifecycle management applications including contact center, inventory management, dynamic field service scheduling, contract and warranty management for selling up service agreements, and inventory and call center management software. Astea’s Alliance Enterprise was a clear winner.

Best of Breed vs. Integrated Service Software from ERP or CRM Platform

To determine what solution would be the best fit, Instron established a boardroom pilot including field service technicians, field managers, call coordinators and sales service managers to figure out what exactly they wanted it to perform. Managing a product from shipment through its lifecycle with focus on customer satisfaction, takes various moving parts. Doing it through an ERP bolt-on solution could prove to create more hassle.

“Sometimes information overload causes people to paralyze”

Because these separate modules create supplemental functionality to the ERP system, they are not easily integrated and tend to be less user-friendly. Issues such as connectivity disruption and duplicate or insufficient data are not uncommon. Instron needed a solution that would make the cycle from the sales side of business all the way to delivery and invoicing relatively seamless.

“We want a system designed around service delivery vs. designed around a lot of aspects of general business”

Instron looked for a comprehensive management solution that covered the entire service lifecycle including customer, service and asset management, forward and reverse logistics and mobile workforce management based on their service delivery needs. It was crucial to have a system in place that offered specific functions that would enable the organization to perform tasks in multiple ways and to share pertinent data in the way that allowed employees to see what’s going on without overloading them with information. This is exactly what the best in breed solution, Alliance, provided. By sharing job specific data, Instron created transparency among departments which in turn led to greater efficiency and overall productivity.

Sales Opportunity Management

When sending a technician into the field, it’s expected that he only completes the job at hand. If he notices a secondary issue that could be fixed on the spot at an additional cost, it would often become significantly inefficient to contact the manager for approval and find correct materials. This resulted in lost opportunity and in turn lost revenue.

“We have all the service business run through Alliance: warehouse, logistics, technical support and customer support and that essentially lets everyone see what’s going on”

With Alliance, a technician could easily manage all communication and inventory through a mobile device. Once he sees an opportunity for additional service, he checks the inventory, sends a message to his supervisor and upon approval can easily provide a quote, perform service and even invoice the customer on the spot. Eliminating the inefficiencies that came with traditional up-selling created greater opportunity for business.

On the Sales side, Alliance provided sales and marketing teams with insights into the customer base, creating opportunities for not only up-selling, but also more importantly offering products and services based on customer’s individual needs and preferences.

“The service team was originally there to help Sales sell more product but we have now become relationship managers”

Customer Satisfaction

Using numerous channels for communication and customer data, proved to be a challenge in meeting customer demands for updated information. Flexible scheduling, technician information and work to be performed were some of their top concerns. The Alliance Enterprise platform enables customers to communicate directly with the technician via a preferred channel (IM, text, etc.) to gain knowledge of precise arrival time, work needs and any other information related to the work order.

“In many cases now, there is a sense of heightened security: customers want to know who you are”

Years ago, customers knew their service technicians by name because they typically serviced the account for many years. With today’s high technician turnover rate, nothing can be assumed anymore. Alliance allowed Instron to provide its customers with information such as who will be servicing their account and the exact work that will be performed, ensuring customer peace of mind and thus creating a better customer experience.

Visibility and Business Intelligence Reporting

As the business manager, it’s crucial to have access to all of the right information to determine profitability of products and services and accurately forecast financial performance. In the past, it was very unclear what the financial health of the business was as the months progressed. Management would rely on Finance to provide the numbers to determine how the business is doing.

“You ran the business mainly through intuition”

Alliance enabled Instron to have complete visibility of the business and key metrics such as utilization of employees, job duration and pricing of products and services to better determine profitability of service products.

By adopting an all-in one field service management solution, Instron was able to overcome both service and customer side challenges. In the field, mobile workforce management seamlessly connected technicians to the right information and departments, creating a higher first time fix rate, efficient communication with customers and in turn greater customer satisfaction.

Watch this short testimonial video featuring Instron’s Business Unit Manager for the Americas, John Durkin, to see how Instron achieved:

  • seamless workflow through the same data set
  • accuracy with revenue prediction
  • transparency between departments
  • better inventory management and service technician utilization
  • improved customer retention
  • and more

Watch Video

Request a demo today to see how Astea can help you become an adaptable and dynamic service delivery organization.

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[REPORT]: Benchmarking Tech Adoption in the Medical Device Industry https://astea.com/resources/blog/2019/01/report-benchmarking-tech-adoption-in-the-medical-device-industry/ https://astea.com/resources/blog/2019/01/report-benchmarking-tech-adoption-in-the-medical-device-industry/#respond Thu, 31 Jan 2019 19:10:44 +0000 https://astea.com/?p=4327 In this research report from Astea and WBR Insights, see how field service organizations in the medical device industry are prioritizing patient satisfaction with field service management software. Field service management (FSM) technology is critically important to any service-driven industry’s success, but perhaps even more so within the medical device industry. To maintain stringent compliance...

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In this research report from Astea and WBR Insights, see how field service organizations in the medical device industry are prioritizing patient satisfaction with field service management software.

Field service management (FSM) technology is critically important to any service-driven industry’s success, but perhaps even more so within the medical device industry. To maintain stringent compliance and meet growing customer expectations, industry leaders turn to software that can provide improved field worker productivity while remaining agile enough to respond to regulatory changes.

Astea partnered with WBR Insights in a study of 155 medical field service leaders across the globe to benchmark the success of their existing FSM solutions.

When an Existing FSM Tech Solution Isn’t Enough

As field service organizations diversify in operations, it’s becoming imperative to keep all stakeholders connected internally and externally. Having a comprehensive field service management tech platform is key. But many organizations lack the ability to maintain transparency between their company, technicians and patients while many respondents identify a lack of platform integration as one of the key issues. By implementing field service scheduling software for example, you are able to drive, manage and monitor technicians, increasing efficiency while achieving greater customer satisfaction.

22% of organizations claim customers are already demanding more modern, outcome-based service contracts

Customers now more than ever are expecting the most convenient service and communication with their service providers. When field service providers’ FSM solutions lack critical means for proper communication between clients and technicians, they are missing out on crucial feedback that would allow them to implement necessary changes to not only improve customer experience but decrease their operational costs.

Motives for Adopting a New FSM Platform

When dealing with high-cost medical equipment such as diagnostics machines, every minute spent on extra service calls not only entails a high cost but may also be the different between life and death. Reduced downtime, predictive maintenance and other nuanced service solutions are now in higher demand but are often not supported by original field service management tech solutions. To achieve these solutions, many organizations are adopting next-generation technologies such as artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT).

24% of organizations consider the use of predictive and artificial intelligence among top 3 most important features they look for in a new field service software platform

New technologies are becoming essential for forming meaningful relationships with clients and patients. With the ability to see a holistic view of patient data as well as integrated capabilities, information will be able to be relayed to technicians on-site almost instantaneously, transforming customer and patient experience.

We recently promoted a report on Augmented Reality (AR) to see how best in class organizations use AR to get new technicians on-boarded, trained, and exceed industry standards in service faster. AR allows organizations to empower a new generation of technicians with on-demand information and virtual training from retiring workers, improving connectivity and workforce effectiveness.

Download the full report on “Benchmarking Medical FSM and a New Generation of Integrated Solutions” to see some of the latest industry insights, including these key findings:

  • 72% of organizations believe medical field service has either an indirect or critical impact on patient satisfaction
  • 77% of organizations have adopted field service management tech solutions to address Knowledge Management issues
  • 56% of organizations consider their current FSM tech solutions one of their top-three biggest challenges today

View or Download Now

See how Astea’s comprehensive field service management solution, Alliance Enterprise, can help medical device industry organizations embrace modern day customer demands and emerging technologies.

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[INFOGRAPHIC] Keep your millennial employees and attract the next generation https://astea.com/resources/blog/2019/01/infographic-keep-your-millennial-employees-and-attract-the-next-generation/ https://astea.com/resources/blog/2019/01/infographic-keep-your-millennial-employees-and-attract-the-next-generation/#respond Fri, 25 Jan 2019 16:26:01 +0000 https://astea.com/?p=4138 Download our infographic to find out how you could win the global talent war for millennial talent by understanding who they are and what they want from an employer. The lack of skilled workers continues to plague service companies, who are scrambling to fill the shoes of retiring baby boomers. In a recent poll of...

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Download our infographic to find out how you could win the global talent war for millennial talent by understanding who they are and what they want from an employer.



The lack of skilled workers continues to plague service companies, who are scrambling to fill the shoes of retiring baby boomers. In a recent poll of 42,000 employers, 40% reported having difficulties filling these roles. The main question for many service organizations is, ‘How do we do a better job of attracting the next generations of service workers, the Millennials and Gen-Z?’ We interviewed nearly 50 Millennial technicians and used leading industry research to create an infographic that tells you what you need to know when it comes to tackling the modern day technician resource gap.

As service companies face the pressure to find and quickly onboard new and reliable talent in order to keep up with customer demands, they must change their strategies to attract one of the largest shares of the American workforce: the Millennials. But appealing to the next generation’s needs and demands is proving to be a big challenge for many field service employers.

Only 15% of companies have redeveloped strategies for Millennials

Differing attitudes and priorities between the baby boomer and Millennial groups pose a potential threat of conflict but also present an opportunity to take advantage of the dynamic skills and experience of the the Millennial workforce.

Below are several factors that motivate Millennials and impact their perception of a potential employer.

Latest Technology

As digital natives, Millennials demand to have instant access to information to learn about and adapt to new environments. They are rarely without a mobile or tablet device and thus have high expectations when it comes to workspace technologies.

Millennials believe that technology is the cornerstone of advancement in communication, efficiency and productivity and tend to seek out employers online who not only understand but keep up with modern technology.

67% of Millennials said that field service is not their first career choice

Knowing that a lot more time needs to be allocated to educating the next generation of workforce, you must consider how to effectively offer recruit, train and develop through channels that Millenials prefer and demand.

We recently promoted a report on augmented reality (AR) to show how best-in-class service companies use AR to tackle modern day technology and turnover issues and get new technicians on-boarded and trained faster.

Advancement Opportunities

Offering complete transparency regarding learning opportunities and possibilities for advancement is crucial to attracting and retaining the Millennial group. It’s important for

29% of Millenials will only work for a company that has clearly defined growth opportunities

When it comes to careers, steady work with compensation and good benefits, along with an opportunity to learn and grow, is a common thread that links all generations. Ultimately, they want a company that is willing to invest in their career development.

Download the infographic now to learn:

  • Supply and demand outlook of Millennial workers
  • Best practices in training and content delivery for Millennials
  • Driving factors in Millennials’ decision making
  • How to develop Millennials into future field service leaders

Download Infographic

For additional information, check out our webinar on effectively fixing your technician resource gap.

 

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[VIDEO & QUIZ] The ROI Impact of Field Service Software https://astea.com/resources/blog/2019/01/video-quiz-the-roi-impact-of-field-service-software/ https://astea.com/resources/blog/2019/01/video-quiz-the-roi-impact-of-field-service-software/#respond Wed, 23 Jan 2019 14:56:03 +0000 https://astea.com/?p=4057 Watch our short video and take our 5-minute quiz to see what kind of ROI results your organization could achieve by implementing field service management software. You may be aware that field service management (FSM) software could help you streamline processes to create efficiency but do you know what kind of impact it could have...

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Watch our short video and take our 5-minute quiz to see what kind of ROI results your organization could achieve by implementing field service management software.

You may be aware that field service management (FSM) software could help you streamline processes to create efficiency but do you know what kind of impact it could have on your bottom line? With a proper FSM software, your company could be taking advantage of significant cost saving opportunities. Take our 5-minute quiz to see what kind of ROI results your organization could achieve by implementing field service management software.

Here are 4 categories of ROI benefits from implementing a field service management solution:

Productivity Gains

In order for your organization to function efficiently and effectively, customer data must be accessible to every channel of the organization at any given time. With a field service software system, all of your data is stored in one secure location.

Having access to the right customer information, your call center could handle a higher volume of calls and prioritize work orders. Look for an FSM platform that offers call center management software. Field technicians are able to track inventory and customer updates and in turn, execute work orders in a more responsive and accurate manner. By eliminating error and reducing overtime, your organization could utilize its workforce to its fullest potential.

On average, companies using Astea’s field service software see a 19% improvement in first-time fix rate.

Cost Savings Opportunity

Field service management allows your organization to reduce your overall inventory investment by sending the right technician with the right equipment to each job. By decreasing turnaround time on a work order, the field technician reduces your organization’s monthly fuel and overtime costs. Having an FSM platform that includes inventory management helps ensure that your technicians always have the right parts for the job.

With effective utilization of its resources, an organization could expect to see a 7% decrease in overtime hours and 10% reduction in fuel costs.

Revenue Improvement

Sometimes, it’s more difficult to attract new customers than it is to keep your current ones happy. If you don’t have a proper CRM tool in place, keeping them happy could be a huge challenge. With field service software, understanding and managing your client base is easier than ever. When technicians can readily access customer information, they are better able to understand and fulfill customer’s needs, increasing customer satisfaction and retention. In addition to retaining customers, you need to be focused on up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. See how our field service platform makes it easy for technicians to identify new opportunities, helping you drive profitable business growth.

Customer retention rate could increase by up to 15%.

 

Reduction in Billing Cycle

With the right field service management software, a technician is able to finalize the work order and invoice the customer onsite. This ability to bill on a same-day basis, drastically reduces your overall billing cycle and creates a more consistent cash flow for your organization.

A field service user in the medical industry saw a 30% reduction in the billing cycle.

See What Your ROI Could Look Like

If you would like to see additional estimated savings that an FSM solution could bring to your organization, take our 5-minute ROI quiz and receive a personalized report.

Your personalized ROI report will cover the real impacts a field service management solution will have on your:

  • Total Annual Service Revenue
  • Annual Service Costs
  • Customer Retention Rate
  • Average Billing Cycle

Take ROI Quiz

Read some of our recent customer reviews or request a demo to find out how Astea could benefit your organization.

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Field Service Software Reviews https://astea.com/resources/blog/2019/01/field-service-software-reviews/ https://astea.com/resources/blog/2019/01/field-service-software-reviews/#respond Fri, 18 Jan 2019 21:44:16 +0000 https://astea.com/?p=4013 Read Astea customer reviews for our award-winning field service software, Alliance Enterprise. When you’re in the market for a new field service software system, you want to read reviews from actual users. We compiled some of the most recent end user reviews from Astea customers. Don’t take our word for it that Alliance Enterprise is...

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Read Astea customer reviews for our award-winning field service software, Alliance Enterprise.

When you’re in the market for a new field service software system, you want to read reviews from actual users. We compiled some of the most recent end user reviews from Astea customers. Don’t take our word for it that Alliance Enterprise is the best field service management software on the market, listen to our customers!

The Vice President of a Telecommunications company said:

“Astea Alliance is a full featured field service software that covers almost every need you may have. It can be customized to an organization’s particular needs and procedures, and integration is available for a number of back-end systems. The software offers a full feature set and can be used in a number of industries. The mobile component allows real time data entry from the field for instantaneous feedback.”

An Accounting Specialist from a Construction company said:

“Overall, I would recommend this product to other businesses. It is a great tool to track employee hours, material prices and so much more relating to jobs. I like all of the information that is available related to each specific job. We use Astea Alliance for “break-fix” or “service”. I working as an Accounting Specialist and I bill several of these jobs in Astea every day. I enjoy being able to see location information for the project, the price of services and material, all of the actions that have been taken during the lifetime of the project, etc. We also use the attachment function a lot to provide backup documentation for the project.”

System Software Engineer at a Supermarket Chain said:

“The Astea Alliance Enterprise product is a huge leap in automation for our company. The advanced workflow application saves our team members times as we can automate tasks that our team would normally do manually. The customization support allows us to set the application up in a way that is easy for our team members to learn.”

Regional Service Director from a Machinery company said:

“Astea has been amazing. We are able to manage customer information, technical information, logistics, and call routing all from one place. We are able to quickly implement changes and give our field personnel additional features to meet internal and external customer needs.”

Other Field Service Software Users Said This about Alliance Enterprise:

“Alliance Enterprise is a huge leap in automation for our company.”

“I have worked with many companies, but nobody has provided the exceptional support that Astea has.”

“Astea has some powerful background processes that have allowed us to reduce order turn dramatically and reduce inefficiencies dramatically.”

  • “I would recommend this product to other businesses.”
  • “Great all in one product”
  • “The customization support allows us to set the application up in a way that is easy for our team members to learn.”
  • “The data held in the background is solid, which has enabled more accurate reporting.”
  • “Our engagement with Astea and the result of our implementation has all been very positive.”

Read all our reviews on Capterra. You can also read why Frost & Sullivan named Astea the 2018 Company of the Year in Mobile Field Service Management.

See what Astea’s field service management software can do for your organization. Request a demo today!

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How the Best-in-Class Use Augmented Reality for Field Service https://astea.com/resources/blog/2019/01/how-the-best-in-class-use-augmented-reality-for-field-service/ https://astea.com/resources/blog/2019/01/how-the-best-in-class-use-augmented-reality-for-field-service/#respond Thu, 17 Jan 2019 20:39:22 +0000 https://astea.com/?p=3990 In this Aberdeen report offered by Astea, see how best-in-class service companies use augmented reality to get new technicians — and especially contract technicians — onboarded and providing consistent service delivery faster. Are you struggling with technician turnover? If so, you’re not alone. The service management industry has a major workforce problem. Not only are...

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In this Aberdeen report offered by Astea, see how best-in-class service companies use augmented reality to get new technicians — and especially contract technicians — onboarded and providing consistent service delivery faster.

Are you struggling with technician turnover? If so, you’re not alone. The service management industry has a major workforce problem.

Not only are service companies struggling with high technician turnover (at an alarming rate of 32%), but more and more service technicians are contracted (on average 27% of the technician workforce) so there are challenges with consistent service delivery as new technicians get up-to-speed.

Negative Impacts of Field Technician Turnover

With high turnover comes low ratings: specifically, key field service productivity metrics such as first-time fix rate. Service organizations with higher-than-average turnover see a 14% lower first-time fix rate compared to firms with lower turnover. High-turnover companies also see customer retention at a mere 60%, compared to 72% for those with lower-than-average turnover.

High workforce turnover also leads to inconsistency in service delivery. In the baby boomer generation, technicians stayed at the same job an average of ten or more years. This means field service companies were confident that the majority of their field service agents were knowledgeable, competent, and able to abide by the appropriate standards and practices.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in January 2018 the median tenure of workers ages 55 to 64 was 10.1 years — more than three times that of workers ages 25 to 34, whose average tenure was 2.8 years.

There are many differences between the workplace characteristics of baby boomers and millennials. In fact, last year we hosted a webinar and created an infographic on how service organizations can attract and retain millennial talent.

 

Since it’s harder to retain younger field service technicians, more and more service companies are outsourcing work to contract, third-party, or contingent workers. Relying on short-term labor has negative impacts as well and certainly many challenges. Yet having an agile workforce enables field service organizations to increase their overall geographic coverage, increase their flexibility to meet demand fluctuations, and to reduce labor costs. In fact, Astea’s field service management software integrates with online marketplaces for contract technicians.

The Challenges of High Turnover and Increasing Reliance on Contract Technicians can be Solved with Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) has been used successfully by best-in-class field service companies to get new, and especially contract technicians, on-boarded, trained, and providing the appropriate standards in service faster.

Notably, AR-powered knowledge sharing is being employed by 25% of Best-in-Class firms.

AR helps organizations harness the tribal knowledge of their retiring workers and share it with new technicians, whether they be full-time employees or contract workers. An expert’s time can be managed much more effectively by no longer having to be on site and by being available on-demand. Additionally, aging technicians who may not want or be able to be on site can use augmented reality to advise new technicians, save time, and improve workforce effectiveness.

Astea is happy to offer you the Aberdeen report “How the Best-in-Class Use Augmented Reality for Superior Service Management” so that you can learn:

  • How AR-powered training easily captures knowledge from retiring techs
  • Why 67% of AR users are leveraging IoT data for remote repairs
  • What kinds of devices are most popular for AR deployments
  • The positive impact to SLA compliance, customer retention and satisfaction, that AR first-movers are experiencing

Download Whitepaper

Astea understands how critical Augmented Reality can be to helping you overcome workforce challenges. Click here to learn how our field service software offers seamless access to Augmented Reality.

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