ProntoForms recently attended the Service Council’s 2022 Smarter Services Executive Symposium, one of the premier events for field service leaders. Our team walked away with tons of insights, so we sat down with our Client Director, Pat Foley, a well-known expert in the field service industry with 30 years of experience in heavy equipment maintenance and repair.
Through our conversation, you’ll learn about the value of the event itself, the importance of winning the best overall solution, and some other important takeaways about the industry.
Why attend Service Council’s Smarter Services Executive Symposium?
The Service Council does a great job of ensuring that the attendees are high-level executives. Beyond seeing vendors, they’re there to talk business and learn from each other. That’s why the talks are very high level both inside and outside the sessions.
In terms of education, it’s something you can’t get anywhere else. Some never hear or talk about high-level topics because they’re so entrenched in their day-to-day activities. ProntoForms’ panel sessions and face-to-face conversations with our customers and field service leaders taught us a lot about what they’re really seeing in the field.
What does it mean to win “Best Overall Solution” in Service Council’s Technology Showcase?
It’s an honor. Winning this is a verification and validation from our community. Because all the judges are executives, the award is a vote of trust and confidence–which is priceless to us.
Five people we hadn’t talked to came to the booth right after we received the award that morning. “Oh, I’ve seen these guys and their names are everywhere, but I don’t know what they did to win this award. Maybe I had better find out a little more.”
Can you share your main takeaways from Service Council Symposium?
Knowledge sharing and labor shortages
The labor shortage was a huge topic. It’s been an issue for a long time, but it’s worse now and much more painful. People no longer worry about the “silver tsunami”–that ship has sailed.
Executives scramble to fill knowledge gaps, onboard quickly, and retain existing engineers since nobody can replace the retired. And it is a mad scramble. They’re a lot more desperate. So, they’re looking for technology to overcome some of that.
The state of warranty and solving
The other topic that was quite surprising was the number of people that wanted to talk about warranty and solving issues within the entire process. They’re looking to drive profitability, drive costs out of business, and improve customer satisfaction. There was more of that at Service Council Symposium than I’ve seen at any conference in a long time.
Diversification in service delivery
Creating a sense of diversity, equity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging (DEIB) is more crucial than ever because there aren’t enough engineers in the field. As a company, these concepts must be part of everything you do, from hiring to promotions and operations.
When you hire and keep a diverse group of technicians, you can hear different points of view that help you see things you might otherwise miss. Your team will also look and act more like your customers, making your work more effective through understanding.
During one of our hosted breakout sessions, “The Path to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging,” with Lisa Montoya McFarland, Director of Service Transformation at Baxter International, participants shared many examples of how companies promote DEIB. By saying things like “collaborate” instead of “champion,” posting on job boards that attract a wide range of candidates, and welcoming diversity on interview panels, more people will want to apply for open positions.
It’s important to build feedback loops into essential parts of service processes. When you ask for feedback and act on it from all positions, it shows employees they have a valued voice. People want to feel like they’re doing more than just getting paid. It is essential that they feel heard and can be themselves.
The biggest takeaway is that it takes understanding, empathy, and commitment at all levels in an organization and that the outcomes speak for themselves. Companies that emphasize DEIB are more successful, have more engaged and effective employees, and give their customers more value.
If these trends are also top of mind for you and your organization, we’d love to discuss how we’re tackling these obstacles by empowering service teams to be more effective and safer. Book a demo below to learn more about why we’re the “Best Overall Solution,” as voted by field service leaders.