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Soaring Field Service Costs Demand Investments in Process, Technology

TSIA Releases New Findings from Its Field Service Benchmark

SAN DIEGO, CA, February 1, 2012 — The Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA), the leading association for today’s technology services organizations, announced today that its latest round of benchmarking of technology firms reveals that the average cost of a field service visit has now exceeded $1,000. The current fully burdened cost to “roll a truck” for a field repair is now $1,011, compared with $797 in 2010. Rising field service costs are linked to several factors, including high fuel costs, shorter response times in service level agreements (SLAs), and higher complexity of technology issues, requiring field engineers to have more training on a wider range of technology platforms than what was required in the past.

TSIA members contribute hundreds of operational, cost, and quality metrics to a confidential benchmark database, and receive readouts comparing their performance to industry peers. Understanding the accurate costs of service delivery is important in order to calculate the cost savings of new technology or to pinpoint processes for streamlining operations and reducing expenses.

To reduce the cost of a field service visit, TSIA recommends that companies look to innovative technologies that can dramatically impact operational expenses, including:

  • Remote and proactive support. These technologies allow more thorough diagnostics of a hardware or software failure to be performed before a field service technician is dispatched, sometimes fixing the problem remotely or at least arming the field techs with more information so they arrive with the right skills and parts to fix the problem.
  • Sophisticated scheduling tools. The scheduling and dispatch of field service engineers is becoming faster and more accurate thanks to multiple technology advancements, including GPS. GPS functionality factors in the current location of field staff in setting appointments, which reduces drive time, and provides real-time traffic information for routing field employees around heavy traffic or accidents.
  • Mobile enablement. The single biggest improvement to field productivity is the introduction of mobile devices and applications that allow field engineers to access corporate knowledgebases and training videos in real time, making every engineer an expert on any product.

“Last year, 34 percent of technology field service organizations had approved budget for new mobile technology,” said John Ragsdale, vice president of technology research for TSIA. “We are also seeing companies adopt more sophisticated scheduling and dispatch tools for field service, thanks to new cloud-based platforms offering lower up-front costs and faster implementations.”

Benchmarking is a key benefit of TSIA membership, helping all lines of service—education services, field services, professional services, support services, and service revenue generation teams—compare their core metrics to peer groups and industry averages. Benchmark reviews provide customized recommendations for companies to improve both processes and core financial, operational, and quality metrics.

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Adam Beeson, Director of PR & Communications

About TSIA

The Technology & Services Industry Association (TSIA) is the world's leading research organization dedicated to helping technology companies achieve profitable growth and solve their top business challenges. Services, Sales, Product, and Channel organizations at technology companies large and small look to TSIA for world-class business frameworks, best practices based on real-world results, detailed performance benchmarking, and exceptional peer networking opportunities. TSIA’s membership community consists of over 40,000 executives from 96 countries and represents 80% of the Fortune 100 technology companies.