Category Archive: Aquant News

Data-Driven Decisions: How Generative AI is Reshaping the Future of Field Service for OEMs

According to Aquant’s 2024 Field Service Benchmark Report: Industrial Machinery Edition, OEMs are facing challenges to their profit margins due to global competition, rising costs, knowledge gaps, and scattered and incomplete data. To overcome these issues, they are adopting data-driven strategies and advanced service offerings, such as predictive maintenance and real-time monitoring, to boost uptime, productivity, and customer loyalty.

2024 will be a critical year for OEMs, as integrating Generative AI has become crucial for OEMs to stay competitive. This technology reduces costs, improves service quality, and transforms supply chain management through automation and advanced decision-making processes. Generative AI predicts equipment failures, schedules maintenance, tailors operations to client needs, and enhances workforce capabilities and supply chain foresight.

 

Analysis

This year, we analyzed findings from:

  • 40 organizations
  • More than 5 million work orders spanning nearly 1.3 million assets
  • Over 73,000 technicians
  • Almost $2.5 billion in service costs 
  • An average of 3.2 years of service data per company

Note: Data from OEMs with and without dealer networks are included within this set. 

 

Using technology, we can take somebody new to service and make them perform like they have 30 years of experience. AI assistance guides less-experienced people to perform similarly to their higher-skilled counterparts. Everyone, including customers, can independently troubleshoot issues, which helps with uptime. If they can handle the problem themselves using AI assistance, it helps them fix it quickly without the need to call a technician, especially if the required part is nearby or not needed for the repair.

– Josh Orr, Product Support Services Manager, John Deere [Listen Now]

 

 

Key Findings

In our analysis of trends across industrial machinery companies, we learned:

KPIs:

  • On average, some KPIs, like First Time Fix Rates, are generally stable across various industries. However, the performance differences between heroes and challengers remain significant in bottom-performing organizations—for example, their First Time Fix Rate is just 56% compared to 86% for the top-performing organizations.
  • Diagnostic time continues to impact industrial machinery service organizations, primarily due to complex documentation and multiple revisions within manuals. As a result, many organizations need help locating asset information readily.
    • The median Resolution Time is almost two weeks in bottom-performing organizations, but it is about three days in top-performing organizations
    • Top-performing manufacturers provide tools and training to dealers so that dealers can spend less time diagnosing the issues. This frees up dealer capacity, allowing them to spend more time fixing the problems that come through their doors.
  • The skills gap also presents a challenge.
    • In top industrial machinery companies, bottom performers cost 20% more than the highest. However, the lowest-performing organizations have the most expensive workforce gap, with their bottom performers costing 128% more than the top-performing employees. 
    • If everyone at industrial machinery companies had the knowledge and skills to perform like the top 20% of the workforce, service costs would be reduced by as much as 28%

 

Data:

There is a significant opportunity for organizations to gain more visibility into their performance and spot areas of opportunity. 

  • Industrial machinery companies typically have disorganized and imperfect customer data. It’s generally scattered across multiple ERPs, CRM systems, and locations. The data source can also cause issues—for example, warranty data provided by dealers often lacks visibility into the entire service history of problems, making it challenging to get insights that improve performance.
  • Additionally, multiple stakeholders are involved in handling the assets throughout their lifecycle. For example, repair centers offer repair services, warehouses dispatch spares, and field technicians examine and attend to the product. Customers reach out to contact centers belonging to different product value chain entities. 
  • For these reasons and more, OEMs are typically unable to optimize post-sales services and value due to the effort required to consolidate, clean up, and enhance customer and product data. For service delivery plans to succeed and scale, teams must be able to utilize quality data across the entire organization.

Customer Experience Gap

  • Companies that measure First Time Fix Rates in 7-day or 14-day windows are setting the stage for a significant gap, which can lead to frustrating customer experiences. It becomes easy to overestimate First Time Fix Rates and underestimate Resolution Costs.
  • We recommend:
    • Measuring First Time Fix Rates in periods of 30 days.
    • Prioritizing upskilling & making every service team member equally knowledgeable about equipment and best practices.

 

How are best-in-class industrial machinery companies getting ahead and staying ahead?

  • Take a deeper look at existing data. Industrial machinery organizations should examine their data more thoroughly. By analyzing data from all aspects of their operations, including customer interactions, equipment performance, and field service activities, companies can identify patterns and trends that will help them make more informed business decisions. They can also utilize AI data collection and processing tools, which allows for accurate and up-to-date information on equipment performance and service needs. By using these tools, teams can better prioritize tasks and address potential issues before they become more significant problems.
  • Emphasize training and building technical expertise as technology advances. The effectiveness of these technologies hinges on personnel’s ability to communicate, problem-solve, and adapt to rapid changes. This trend recognizes the dual need for advanced technical training and the cultivation of soft skills such as leadership, communication, and empathy.
  • Embrace the connectivity and serviceability trends, especially since equipment complexity is rising.
  • Implement AI tools built for servicing complex machinery. These tools will offer insights and problem-solving based on a granular understanding of your business.

 

Inspired by the report insights?

Sign up for Aquant’s 7-Day Challenge today! We’ll analyze your data to provide the essential insights, tools, and strategies to transform your industrial machinery service organization and surpass your business objectives. 

Aquant Tackles Complex Equipment Challenges with Personalized AI, Delivering Custom Recommendations to Enhance Service Team Performance

Aquant, a leading provider of AI-powered solutions for the field service industry, announced a new strategic vision for its Service Co-Pilot platform, marking a significant leap towards hyper-personalized AI in the service industry. Aquant’s latest advancements focus on personalizing AI to uniquely understand and address the complex challenges faced by service organizations in the manufacturing industry.

The motivation behind this shift is the surge in AI and IoT adoption. The global AI in manufacturing market is projected to expand significantly to $20 billion by 2028​​ and IoT technologies in manufacturing is expected to reach $538.09 billion in 2028. As a result, machinery is expected to become exponentially more complex. This complexity extends beyond just the design of the machinery; it also impacts the service teams responsible for maintaining machine uptime, making the need for domain-specific, personalized AI to help avoid downtime and keep up with customer expectations more crucial than ever.

Shahar Chen, CEO of Aquant, says, “Every service situation is unique, each with its own challenges and requirements, making personalized AI crucial for addressing specific needs effectively. Generic AI models only offer recommendations based on the frequency of the solution in the data, which is only helpful with simple, common issues. Complex machinery requires AI that understands the context of the challenge. Our Service Co-Pilot platform stands out by personalizing every response based on a deep understanding of the organization’s service business, including the specific asset, part, customer, and user.”

Forecasts by industry analysts at Gartner predict that by 2027, over 50% of the GenAI models used by enterprises will be domain-specific, tailored to individual industries or business functions—an increase from just 1% in 2023. Gartner also emphasizes the importance of maintaining a human-in-the-loop (HITL) to enhance the effectiveness of AI systems – this is particularly true for the service sector given the complex nature of the business.

Deniz Mullis, Technical Operations Leader, Global Service Engineering at Cytiva, says, “I’ve seen Aquant’s offerings over several years and two different companies in which we’ve implemented them. Service Co-Pilot has been a game-changer in tackling our engineers’ ability (both in-house & in-the-field) to access critical technical information when needed. Aquant significantly improves ease-of-implementation so that organizations can quickly see the benefits of AI and how these technologies will help us meet our strategic objectives.”

 

Aquant’s Approach to Personalized AI:

  • Data Integration and Analysis: Effective personalization starts with the integration of vast amounts of raw data from various sources—work orders, technical notes, and expert insights—converted into trusted data using advanced algorithms.
  • Advanced Pattern Recognition: Utilizing AI to analyze service data allows for the discovery of connections and behavioral patterns. This analysis is essential for understanding complex relationships between assets and issues, distinguishing this approach from other solutions that may lack depth in context awareness.
  • Expertise Integration: Service Co-Pilot converts subject matter expertise into reliable data that the AI uses to improve response accuracy. The platform features an intuitive interface for straightforward expert contribution and utilizes a predictive algorithm designed to forecast outcomes, based on academic research and behavioral decision-making studies.
  • Feedback-Driven Adaptation: A robust AI system must adapt based on ongoing feedback and business goals. This involves evaluating the effectiveness of solutions in real-time, considering factors like cost and operational impact, and making adjustments to continually enhance and personalize recommendations.

 

Product updates include: 

Personalized Recommendations: This feature analyzes cost-efficiency and the historical performance of assets to deliver the best recommendations, based on the root cause of problems rather than just immediate fixes.

Advanced Guided prompts: With multiple questions available for Triage – Service Co-Pilot’s equipment troubleshooting application – users can get to the core of the problem much faster with better accuracy.

Continuous Learning: We introduced an improved feedback framework that allows real-time interaction and editing of recommendations, as well as improved AI modeling that automatically adapts and learns from user interactions, ensuring alignment with business strategies.

All-in-One Experience: Users can effortlessly transition from initial queries to in-depth investigations and insights, all within a unified view accessible with a single click.

These improvements to Aquant’s Service Co-Pilot are designed to personalize the AI engine and enable it to uniquely address the complex and varied challenges faced by service organizations, by streamlining processes, enhancing decision-making with relevant insights, and adapting continuously to align with strategic goals.

 

Media Inquiries

For all media and press inquiries, please contact:

Micaela McPadden, Public Relations and Communications Manager

[email protected]

2023 in Review: Aquant’s Year of Breakthrough Innovation 

As we approach the end of 2023, it’s a great time to think about what we learned and accomplished this year. This year has been remarkable for many organizations, including Aquant, marked by challenges, breakthrough innovations, and transformative changes. We’ve remained dedicated to staying connected with our customers, sharing our expertise to help them navigate the complexities of AI adoption in service businesses.
 

2023’s Key Lessons

Through collaborative work with our customers and partners, we learned:

  • The future is closer than we think. Generative AI is rapidly evolving, shaping our daily experiences. It’s redefining how we consume information, learn, make decisions, and drive our businesses. AI is not just a competitive edge, but an essential and inevitable path.
  • Consumer expectations are evolving. Service businesses worldwide are focused on lowering First Time Fix Rates and First Contact Resolution Rates. In addition, in a world where customers want to solve problems quickly without escalating to a live agent, self-service has become non-negotiable. 
  • Organizations still need to work on bridging their talent gaps. According to Aquant’s 2024 Field Service Benchmark Report, bottom-performing workers can cost their orgs 80% more than their top-performing counterparts. However, if all employees were empowered to perform like the top 20% of the workforce, service costs could be reduced by as much as 22%.
  • Workers are retiring faster than organizations can replace them. The Great Resignation is impacting service organizations, further underscoring the importance of upskilling teams. Organizations need to transfer knowledge quickly and efficiently to avoid losing it entirely. 

 

A Year of Innovation at Aquant

With those lessons in mind, our team worked tirelessly to deliver product capabilities that adapt to industry changes, empower customers to harness the power of AI, and enhance customer experiences. Here’s a glimpse of what we’ve brought to the table:

  • Introducing Aquant’s Service Co-Pilot: We launched Service Co-Pilot, a revolutionary service intelligence platform combining the best of human expertise with artificial intelligence to transform service operations. This platform allows for global connectivity, advancement, and scalability of service knowledge. 
  • Service knowledge on-the-go with mobile and self-service experiences: In today’s fast-paced world, immediate problem-solving is necessary. We’ve invested in mobile accessibility and self-service options, enabling organizations to provide seamless experiences for their customers and service dealers using information from manuals and other resources.
  • Better service decisions with Triage and Insights: We continued investments into Triage and Insights to help users seamlessly pinpoint symptoms, access actionable insights, and streamline the triage process.

 

2024 Predictions: Navigating AI Transformation Across Enterprises

As we look to 2024, the next challenge lies in navigating this new landscape and operationalizing AI within an enterprise context. Vendors offering guidance will play a critical role in helping businesses harness the full potential of AI while aligning with strategic goals and industry standards.

“In 2024, the AI landscape will see a discernible shift. If 2023 was the year of broad generative AI usage [such as ChatGPT], 2024 will be the year of hyper-personalized and industry-specific solutions.” 

– Edwin Pahk, SVP of Pre-Sales & Customer Success, Aquant

Successfully incorporating AI into business processes requires careful navigation. Edwin recommends: 

  • Embracing change and Shifting Left: It’s all about transformation, and the Shift Left approach proactively resolves service issues and leverages data for meaningful business changes. At Aquant, we help organizations implement this strategy, bringing services closer to the end customer, reducing escalations, improving First Time Fix Rates, and promoting self-service experiences.
  • Defining KPIs that align with your business outcomes: Connect your service data and utilize innovative tools to identify opportunities, blind spots, and risks to make better business decisions. Keeping track of critical metrics and comparing them with industry benchmarks might impact how you pivot your new strategy. Customers who measure First Time Fix Rates understand which areas they can improve and how to reduce service costs. 
  • Leveraging the collective insights of your best experts, a.k.a. tribal knowledge: According to Aquant research, 30% of service solutions are not found in historical service data. Instead, the knowledge of veteran service experts contains the best answers. Bridge the gap between top and lower performers by providing an easy way to access information and learn. Infuse datasets with subject matter expertise, adopting a “human in the loop” approach to refine models and ensure accurate results. By ingesting organizational knowledge, you reduce the risk of losing critical insights if someone leaves the company.

 

Awards

We were thrilled to receive a few industry awards this year:

  1. 2023’s Best Places to Work from Built In: The annual awards program includes companies of all sizes, from startups to those in the enterprise, and honors remote-first employers and companies in large tech markets across the U.S.
  2. 2023 Technology Innovation Leadership Award from Analyst Firm Frost & Sullivan: Aquant was recognized as a North American service intelligence industry leader. Frost & Sullivan believes Aquant’s Service Co-Pilot platform could fundamentally restructure how customer service teams function across industries.
  3. CB Insights’ Most Promising Vendor Ranking, Agent Support Tools: This recognition underscores Aquant’s commitment to delivering top-tier solutions to customers and its exceptional standing against its peers. CB Insights’ Challenger designation is an accolade reserved for companies positioned as the most promising within their respective market.
  4. Service Council’s Award for Best Overall Solution 2023: The Service Council recognizes Aquant’s ability to deliver comprehensive and impactful services, setting a benchmark in the industry for efficiency and customer satisfaction. This accolade further cements Aquant’s status as a leader in service management solutions.

 

Thank you for being a part of the Aquant community!

We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to all our employees, customers, partners, and the broader community for their unwavering support throughout the past year. We are truly grateful for the opportunity to share our expertise and knowledge with you.

As we move forward, we are excited to continue investing in innovation and providing ongoing support to our employees, customers, and community. 
 

New Year, New Goals

Want a head start on meeting—and exceeding—your 2024 KPIs? Participate in Aquant’s 7 Day Challenge to discover how your KPIs stack up to your peers—at no cost. Our analysts will process and analyze your data via Aquant’s robust AI engine. We’ll show you the results of your org’s key metrics (including First Time Fix Rate), how you can be more efficient, and where you can save more money.

 

About the Author

Yuliya Shcherbachova, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Aquant

As a Product Marketing Leader at Aquant, I’m passionate about using technology and AI to tackle complex problems. I’m on a mission to make the world a better place through innovative, high-impact projects. Over the last decade, I’ve worked with hyper-growth AI companies—helping them grow, increase their revenue, and develop new product strategies.

Aquant Earns Most Promising Vendor Ranking in CB Insights’ Analysis of Agent Support Tools

Aquant, a generative AI vendor purpose-built for service, has been recognized as a “Challenger” by CB Insights, a renowned market intelligence firm, in its ESP (Execution, Strength, and Positioning) matrix for Agent Support Tools. This recognition underscores Aquant’s commitment to delivering top-tier solutions to customers, as well as its exceptional standing against its peers. 

CB Insights’ Challenger designation is an accolade reserved for companies that are positioned as the most promising within their respective market. The Agent Support Tools market provides solutions to common challenges faced by contact centers, such as high employee attrition, low customer satisfaction, and poor agent engagement, and aims to solve these challenges, improve customer experience, and drive revenue growth through the use of AI.

Organizations such as Hologic, Ricoh, and Canon currently use Aquant’s offering, Service Co-Pilot, to equip not only agents but everyone within the service lifecycle with the knowledge they need to resolve complex service problems effectively. This, in turn, leads to reduced truck rolls, increased remote resolution, improved machine uptime, enhanced customer experience, and reduced service costs.

“Aquant’s AI Co-pilot is informed by a unique blend of service performance data and expert knowledge, which empowers service teams to deliver better service outcomes,” said Shahar Chen, Aquant’s CEO and Co-Founder. “Our offering, Service Co-Pilot, harnesses an organization’s intellectual property in a way that enables every stakeholder within the service journey to get fast answers that improve their decision-making and problem-solving in every scenario.”

The ESP matrix is a comprehensive assessment that leverages data and analyst insights to identify and rank leading companies. Companies undergo a meticulous selection process with several stages of analysis, where they are chosen for inclusion in the matrix based on their overall quality and strengths related to their market presence and execution. Each company is assessed using the same criteria to produce an unbiased and visual representation of the market.

Furthermore, Aquant has garnered recognition in two Expert Collections, magnifying its presence in key technology spaces: Artificial Intelligence and Sales & Customer Service. These Expert Collections are curated by analysts and serve as a definitive guide to the companies at the forefront of these critical technology domains.

For more information about Aquant and its offerings, please visit: https://www.aquant.ai/ 

Aquant Wins “2023 Technology Innovation Leadership Award” From Analyst Firm Frost & Sullivan

Creator of Generative AI tool “Service Co-Pilot” identified as best in class in the North American service intelligence industry

Aquant, an enterprise AI software vendor providing customer service solutions for manufacturers and servicers of complex equipment, has been awarded the “2023 Technology Innovation Leadership Award” by Frost & Sullivan, a US-based analyst firm. Aquant was recognized as a leader in the North American service intelligence industry. Frost & Sullivan believes that Aquant’s Service Co-Pilot platform could fundamentally restructure how customer service teams function across industries. Organizations such as Hologic, Ricoh, and Canon currently use Aquant to improve machine uptime, enhance customer experience, and reduce service costs.

“This accolade reflects the commitment of our team in harnessing the power of data and AI to tackle the industry’s most significant challenges.” said Aquant CEO and Co-Founder Shahar Chen.  “I’m incredibly thankful and proud of our forward-thinking team, whose hard work turns our vision into reality day in and day out. I also extend my heartfelt gratitude to our innovative customers for placing their trust in us to support them in reaching their goals.”

Aquant and its product offerings were scrutinized under a rigorous analytical process, with Frost & Sullivan determining their prowess in the service intelligence sector. Aquant was evaluated against its technology performance and business impact. 

Frost & Sullivan specifically recognized Aquant’s Generative AI service tool, Service Co-Pilot, for its ability to democratize service knowledge, improve machine uptime, and enhance the overall customer experience. Beyond product offerings, Aquant’s Shift Left ideology, praised by Frost & Sullivan, represents a pivotal approach in revolutionizing the customer service landscape. The idea is to shift the resolution away from field-based engagements and customer escalations and more towards remote solutions and self-service. 

“One of Aquant’s key focus areas is de-escalating the entire resolution process by allowing users to solve more issues themselves, enabling customer service executives to solve more problems remotely.”

— Hiten Shah, Senior Consultant at Frost & Sullivan.

Aquant distinguishes itself through its capacity to gather insights from a customer’s subject matter experts. With numerous frontline employees lacking sufficient product knowledge, Aquant fills the gap by collecting valuable expertise that is often undocumented in manuals and guides. This engine then transforms this specialized knowledge into actionable data, resulting in substantially enhanced answer accuracy.

You can explore Frost & Sullivan’s detailed dossier of Aquant’s service intelligence capabilities here.

Aquant’s Service Co-Pilot Delivers Generative AI Purpose-Built for Service

Aquant, an enterprise AI software vendor, has launched Service Co-Pilot, the latest generation of its customer experience offering. This new release, enhanced by generative AI, is built for servicers and manufacturers of complex equipment and machines. The offering aims to identify the best solution to any service-related issue (e.g. how to fix an MRI machine or how to identify which customers are at risk), improve customer experiences by resolving cases faster and more efficiently, and minimize costs. 

Service Co-Pilot uses a ChatGPT plugin to generate recommendations sourced from historical service data and data synthesized from the knowledge of an organization’s subject matter experts. This innovative approach allows the engine to predict the best solutions to even the most complex customer service issues, empowering every stakeholder (e.g., the end customer, contact center agent, field technician, or service leader) to diagnose and resolve problems like an expert. The omnichannel platform can be leveraged, via desktop, mobile app, or chat, at every touchpoint across the customer experience.

“Service organizations are challenged with hiring and retaining skilled service professionals while managing rising customer expectations and sky-high costs. One in three service calls result in a truck roll, which can cost upwards of $2,500 – this is no longer sustainable. Generative AI can reduce these costs and bridge the customer experience gap. To help organizations keep pace with these changes, Service Co-Pilot is enabling users to access critical information without escalating an issue. This helps alleviate the strain on the service workforce so organizations can exceed customer expectations.”
— Assaf Melochna, President & Co-founder, Aquant

Service Co-Pilot’s unique approach to AI

Service Co-Pilot combines Aquant’s proprietary technology with open foundational models. With ChatGPT alone, customer service professionals will have difficulty relying on answers due to the risk of hallucinations and challenges with more advanced troubleshooting scenarios. However, Aquant’s AI technology goes further. First, it mines structured and unstructured service data, including work orders, machine logs, service manuals, and free text notes using a service domain-specific natural language processing model. Then, it improves AI performance by datafying expert knowledge – the process of converting the knowledge stored in the minds of your experts into synthetic data. 

This approach trains Service Co-Pilot over time, making it a best practice machine that can adapt and adjust based on real-world feedback, rather than relying on hard-coded workflows that may not be optimized for all scenarios. Aquant’s internal data shows that incorporating human expertise is critical: 30% of solutions are not found in historical service data, but are found in the data provided by experts. By tapping into the knowledge of subject matter experts, Service Co-Pilot achieves more personalized and reliable results.
 

Service Co-Pilot’s New Features: Search and Self-Service

Service Co-Pilot’s generative AI search feature allows stakeholders to ask a chatbot for the right answers to any service question, at any time. This feature helps users solve specific customer issues and provides guidance along with useful links to the exact point in manuals where the answer exists. If more than one answer exists, the user will be asked a series of questions generated by AI to triage the issue and narrow down the most viable and cost-effective solutions.

In addition to the search feature, Service Co-Pilot includes new self-service capabilities. So now, end customers – in addition to technicians and contact center agents – can make intelligent, informed decisions using Self-Service Triage or Intelligent Triage, Service Co-Pilot’s troubleshooting and diagnostic tools. 

Additionally, the platform includes Service Insights, an analytics dashboard built for service leaders to access clear, detailed, and holistic recommendations to improve workforce performance, customer risk management, and product quality trends.

“Leading organizations are increasingly shifting toward low-touch, more efficient customer experiences. In service, we call this approach shifting left,” said Shahar Chen, CEO and Co-Founder of Aquant. “Aquant’s Service Co-Pilot helps organizations reduce costs and the time it takes to solve cases. This technology is no longer optional for organizations that want to survive long-term.”

How are Your Peers Solving the Skills Gap? Join Aquant’s Service Leaders Spring Break to Find Out

Service leaders, we’ll be frank with you: the old way of service doesn’t work, especially in today’s economically-uncertain landscape.

One of the top questions that service leaders are grappling with today is, “What steps should I take to improve service outcomes while managing costs?” If this sounds familiar, grab your (free!) one-way ticket to Service Leaders Spring Break

New data shows that top organizations are turning away from traditional service models and looking towards a new frontier — one that prioritizes remote- and self-service options, top-tier customer service, and service knowledge on demand. That’s why this year’s event is all about training and retaining all-star teams, data analytics for service leaders, and quickly and efficiently achieving accurate resolutions in an era of self-service.

Here’s how Service Leaders Spring Break offers a fresh perspective on service:

  1. Learn how to upskill your service team in record time — and with record efficiency. Nearly one in three service leaders reported upskilling technicians and designing training programs as their most difficult challenge. But the best way to hire, retain, and upskill your employees is to invest in technology that offers the best knowledge-retention tools and professional support. Teams that feel empowered to take on the toughest challenges have better retention rates and provide unmatched customer experience. A bonus: if everyone had the knowledge and skills to perform like the top 20% of the workforce, service costs could be reduced by 21%. 
  2. Get comfortable with data analytics for service leaders — even if you don’t have a data science degree. There are many routes that your company can take to start tackling the skills gap, whether it’s via centralizing intelligence, leveraging AI, or using documentation to improve workforce performance. Aquant created the blueprint for collecting, storing, managing, interpreting, and applying data in ways that drive your service goals forward. You’ll learn how to use your data to start taking action, so all emerging solutions will apply to your use case. 
  3. Go from missing apparent signs of a customer escalation to using your data to create the seamless, preventative, low- to no-touch service experience that customers prefer. You can reduce costly service interactions by preventing escalations at every process step. We’ll explore strategies for quickly and efficiently achieving accurate resolutions in every service lifecycle stage.

 

Big problems require expert solutions, so we’ve assembled an all-star panel of service greats who have successfully charted their organizations’ paths:

  • In a chat moderated by Ashley Bewick (Aquant), Tamra Call (Johnson Controls), Amber Porter (3D Systems), and Paige Gourley (Thermo Fisher Scientific) will introduce you to the new faces of service — and share their thoughts about hiring, shifting work environments, and recruiting advice, especially from the female perspective.
  • Juan Cruz, Jr. (Haemonetics), Chris Westlake (Generac), and Anthony Billups (Comfort Systems) are providing a crash course on closing the skills gap from the three perspectives that matter most: people, processes, and technology.
  • Lotem Alon and Tim Burge of Aquant share expert tips for collecting, analyzing, and applying data in ways that drive service goals forward.
  • Sidney Lara and Rich Marchetti of the Aquant team show you how to create data strategies, establish internal benchmarks, and improve your baseline measurements to establish business goals.

 
If you haven’t yet secured your spot, there’s still time to celebrate Spring Break with us. Register today to save your seat.

Aquant Earns Placement on Built In’s Esteemed 2023 Best Places To Work List

Built In announced that Aquant was honored in its 2023 Best Places To Work Awards. The annual awards program includes companies of all sizes, from startups to those in the enterprise, and honors both remote-first employers as well as companies in large tech markets across the U.S. 

“At Aquant, teamwork is our competitive advantage. We encourage each and every one of our colleagues to have a beginner’s mind and to have the courage to innovate. This mindset allows us to provide exceptional and long-term value for our clients and motivates colleagues across teams to work together to achieve great things.”
 
— Assaf Melochna, President & Co-Founder, Aquant


“At Aquant, teamwork is our competitive advantage,” says Assaf Melochna, President and Co-Founder of Aquant. “We encourage each and every one of our colleagues to have a beginner’s mind and to have the courage to innovate. This mindset allows us to provide exceptional and long-term value for our clients and motivates colleagues across teams to work together to achieve great things.” 

Built In determines the winners of Best Places to Work based on an algorithm, using company data about compensation and benefits. To reflect the benefits candidates are searching for more frequently on Built In, the program also weighs criteria like remote and flexible work opportunities, programs for DEI and other people-first cultural offerings.  

“It’s my honor to congratulate this year’s Best Places to Work winners,” says Sheridan Orr, Chief Marketing Officer, Built In. “These exemplary companies understand their people are their most valuable asset, and they’ve stepped up to meet the modern professional’s new expectations, including the desire to work for companies that deliver purpose, growth and inclusion. These winners set the stage for a human-centered future of work, and we can’t wait to see that future unfold.”  

Field Service Costs Rose Sharply in 2022 Despite Overall Service Improvements

  • While key performance indicators improved across service teams, average costs for field service rose 7% in 2022—keeping up with the pace of inflation.
  • First Time Fix Rate (FTFR) has improved by 2.34%, but all the positive benefits that are typically associated with an increase in FTFR have been lost due to inflation.
  • On average, bottom-performers of service organizations cost 67% more than top-performers, indicating that the skills gap is a major factor in rising costs—in addition to inflation. 
  • If every technician had the knowledge and skills to perform like the top 20% of the workforce, service costs would be reduced by 21%.

Despite an overall improvement in performance across service organizations, the average cost for field service rose 7% in 2022, according to Aquant’s 2023 Service Intelligence Benchmark report. Service leaders are grappling with the realities of a looming recession while continuing to deal with issues that arose from the pandemic. This includes the surge in parts costs due to supply chain shortages, rising labor costs, and a steadily increasing skills gap caused by the retirement of experienced technicians who are leaving before a new wave of younger, equally-knowledgeable workers can replace them. 

While organizations can’t control an imminent recession or make themselves immune to its effects, what leaders can control is their response and set their businesses up for success amidst an economic shift. The service leaders who invest in the right tools to manage their workforce’s performance now will positively impact the business long term. Alternatively, businesses that don’t invest in technology will slowly fall out of the competitive set.

To report on these findings, Aquant gathered data from 113 organizations, including service divisions within original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and third-party service organizations across manufacturing, medical devices, capital equipment, HVAC, commercial appliances, and more. This data consists of information from more than 16.2 million work orders and input from nearly 125,000 technicians. The report sought to analyze the service landscape, focusing on key challenges within the industry and the success and failures of companies trying to adapt to the new normal. The report discovered four key findings, including:

Top-performing organizations are improving. Lower-performing organizations are facing more challenges.

Top-performing organizations are combating the challenges of inflation by narrowing the skills gap, while lower-performing organizations have a widening gap in workforce performance. Top-performing orgs have a 16% difference in cost per resolution between top-performing workers and bottom-performers, down from 24% last year. Lower-ranking organizations have a 164% difference in cost per resolution between top-performers and bottom-performers, significantly up from 104% since last year.

Why are the good getting better and bottom-performing organizations getting worse? Anecdotally, from speaking with analysts, clients, and other service experts, the general consensus is that lower-performing organizations have not invested in the tools, resources, or people to help them keep pace with the top-performing organizations. 

“Service organizations must invest in the right technology now,” said Edwin Pahk, VP of Growth at Aquant.“Organizations that don’t invest in the right tools to monitor and properly train their workforce will not be around in five years due to the rapidly increasing cost of service. Bad service mixed with lower-performing employees costs more than good service with higher-performing employees.”

The skills gap is expensive

In 2022, service organizations still faced hiring challenges, leaving the industry with tens of thousands of unfilled jobs. Some reports estimate there will be an industry-wide shortage of three million skilled trade workers in the next five years. 

This lack of skilled workers translates to increased costs. On average, an organization’s lowest-performing employees cost 67% more than the top-performing employees, considering less-skilled workers are more likely to order unnecessary parts and take longer to reach a resolution. 

The report found that upskilling average-performing employees closer to top performers will reduce service costs by 13%. But, if every employee had the knowledge and skills to perform like the top 20% of the workforce, service costs would be reduced by 21%.

“Companies with healthy field service operational practices can improve their metrics over time because they’re measuring progress in a helpful way,” said Sidney Lara, Aquant’s Service Principal. “They are also using the data to inform necessary investments in people, processes, and technology that can solve service issues. If organizations hesitate to make changes now, they risk greater economic impact in the long term.”

First Time Fix Rate does not tell the same story it used to

For many years the sole KPI that helped organizations determine if they were successful was their FTFR rate. In 2023, however, FTFR is no longer telling the same story. 

The benchmark data reflects that while FTFR has improved slightly (2.34%), all the positive benefits that are typically associated with an increase in FTFR have been lost due to inflation. 

Companies who have long relied on an increase in FTFR to help their bottom line are no longer seeing the same benefits as they used to, prior to 2020. Now they need the technology in place to tell them where to cut back to make up for inflation’s skyrocketing effects on service costs.

Successful organizations are investing in the right people, processes, and technology 

Service organizations can’t control parts costs. But they can and should focus on areas within their control, like managing their workforce’s performance. With the correct tools under their belt, organizations can prioritize:

  • Closing the skills gap by hiring new techs and getting them ramped up faster. 
  • Reducing parts shotgunning by determining the best and most cost-effective part for the fix.
  • Solving equipment failures on the first visit—as opposed to making quick, short-term fixes that address symptoms but not the root cause.
  • Adopting a laser-focused approach to spending by reallocating resources and cutting costs where necessary.