What’s the Value of Service Management?

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This is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart.  One of the interesting things about service is that you often don’t even realize how important it is to your organization.  For example, when I first started my career, I thought I was going to be an engineer, building all these cool devices, and designing who knows what!  When I look back at those days, I realized that one of the things my engineering classes never really covered was to design things so they could be repaired (ideally, repaired easily).  It is very easy to design something on paper or your computer…  and not take into account the fact that it is nearly impossible to assemble because no one could even get their hand or a tool in place to tighten the bolts.

This is so often the case when it comes to service management.  Now, engineering is getting smarter about designs for manufacturing and service…  but often the system side is still neglected.  I see the same mentality in company after company that I consult for.  It’s the notion that they are used to “working around the system” because it’s “just the way things are”.  Being in the service world now, I realize just how painful that becomes for the service group, and more importantly, for the entire organization.  Why would it impact the whole organization?

Very simple…  whether you choose to believe it not, service is your best and easiest revenue source.  I know you are probably rolling your eyes… but hear me out.  Study after study talks about the cost of acquiring a new customer being 2 to 10 times more expensive than selling to an existing customer.  Take the low or the high estimate…  but I’d much rather cut out all the time, expense and pain of finding new customers.  This becomes especially true when all you need to do is keep your existing customers happy.  How do you keep them happy?  again, it’s a pretty straightforward formula.

1.  Make good products.  How does service have any impact on this?  well, if you’re collecting your data properly, you should have all of the market research of things you should be doing, as well as all of the quality information to tell you what you need to be doing better.  Often, this isn’t available until the product gets into the customers hands.  If you want to make the best products, you better be listening to the quality & service data.

2.  Give great service.  Want to keep your customers always buying from you, even if you are a little more expensive than the competition.  Stand behind your products and give your customers a great experience when something goes wrong.  If you can turn around a repair faster than anyone, offer a great warranty program, or provide your customer enough self service tools they will be happy to continue buying new products and coming back to you for any calibration, scheduled maintenance, etc.

I am a firm believer that service management, service processing, or whatever your organization calls it is the make or break factor in both of those points.  I’m sure there are more points…  but do you really need more than this to know that service is the key to a great organization.

Thanks for reading,

As always, thanks for reading and don't forget to check out our SAP Service Management Products at my other company JaveLLin Solutions,

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