As recently as three of four years ago, it was an intriguing idea that was debated but rarely acted on: that elevator service departments can be run as profit centers. But something has changed: in 2013, according to the Service Council Report of Field Service, an overwhelming 68% of respondents indicated that they were in fact managing field service as a profit center, and 72% expected these departments not to simply drive new, untapped revenues, but to be profitable in the next year.
So what's behind this revolution, and how can it be changing the service landscape so dramatically?
To put it simply, the same back-office teams, managers and mechanics, are using the same hardware, but are working by the rules of a new business strategy. The terminology is the same, the assignments are the same and the clients are the same. What's changed is the dynamic of the interaction with those clients.
When your customers trigger a job event, your role is, first and foremost, that of a responder. But when your software automatically tracks DOB-required maintenance and inspection schedules or violation deadlines, your dispatchers can pick up the phone and point out that it's time to have a preventative maintenance once-over or an inspection pre-check. Suddenly, your role shifts from being a vendor to a strategic partner.
Field Mobile Service Apps
As your workforce is made up of more and more Millennials, paperwork is finally on its way out and the coordination of logistics and communications on mobile devices is becoming a given.
With a system designed for Elevator Services, mechanics are able to photograph the work done and attach those images and additional notes to the record, which eliminates the duplication of data entry efforts. The prompt online work assignment in one direction and the documentation of progress in the other, yield data that’s not only accurate, but instant.
When mechanics are armed with mobile devices, they can take the initiative to proactively recommend to their managers the obvious, appropriate and revenue-generating upsells and spot-checks based on the information they have in their hand. Their managers have all the information they need to make scheduling decisions, update their customer contact, or to advise the mechanic to change the approach. It’s especially valuable because let’s face it—often, the customer doesn’t even know what questions to ask.
An investment in mobile devices and software should not be considered a long-term capital expenditure luxury; when apps are designed specifically for the Elevator Service industry, the return on investment can be extremely short—tracked in weeks or months, not in years. A system designed for Elevator Service is not just a simple task list, but everything the mechanic needs, served out for mobile convenience.
As your new role evolves to a trusted advisor to your customers, you now have an opportunity to talk about new projects and initiatives, leading to an even more mutually beneficial and profitable relationship. To learn more about moving from a cost center to a profit center module, download our whitepaper,
by SBS Group