Empowering Your Mobile Workforce: Asia Pacific

A Look At Ricoh South Pacific’s Transformation

Add bookmark

Steven Lerner

Enterprise Mobility Exchange, in partnership with Salesforce, previously surveyed its audience of enterprise business executives, IT executives, and field service enterprise leaders across numerous industries in Asia Pacific to understand the most critical challenges and opportunities for the mobile workforce in the region. The findings of the survey were recapped in a comprehensive report that was published in January 2019.

In the survey, respondents reflected the changing field service landscape. More competition is driving higher customer expectations of field service agents, and companies realize this. However, 55% of respondents said that they are still being challenged by paper-based manual process. The consequence of this is that 80% said that they have been forced to make return visits sometimes, most of the time, or all of the time. According to the survey, the lack of the right part/tool or missing information often contributed to the return visits.

There is a general consensus that field services agents need to be equipped with the best technological solutions, with 86% of enterprises believing that it is either absolutely essential or very important for field service agents to incorporate new technologies into service activities. Despite this agreement, some organizations are challenged about the need to adopt.

A recent webinar about Asia Pacific research findings on empowering your mobile workforce addressed the survey results. The webinar featured both Paul Baptist (Regional Vice President, Service Cloud Asia Pacific, Salesforce) and CEO Shiv Narayan of Ricoh South Pacific.

During the webinar, Narayan revealed how Ricoh South Pacific is able to deliver world-class predictive field service to their customers with AI. The organization slashed customer downtime, increased customer satisfaction, and improved loyal customers, leading to 30% year-on-year growth. According to Narayan, Ricoh South Pacific embraced these technological changes because customers demanded it. After all, the company’s clients could not afford to wait for issues to drag on for hours. That pressure to fix issues and improve customer satisfaction propelled Ricoh South Pacific’s technological journey.

Challenges To Adopting New Technology

Narayan described the initial challenges to adopting the technology. Although many people in the company recognized the need to change, a series of legacy technology and siloes prohibited the adoption. Some service teams had their own applications, and legacy technology seemed to get the job done.

As Narayan explained, there are roadblocks that often prevent organizations from embracing new technology:

  • Financial cost
  • Change management difficulties
  • The fear that employees won’t know how to use the technology or will invent their own processes
  • Hesitation for new technologies due to previous low adoptions in other projects.

Ricoh South Pacific overcame those challenges by putting a good plan in place for change management. More importantly, the organization got workers involved immediately and showed them the benefits.

“People will adopt things that make their lives easier. But if it’s harder, of course people will resist,” said Narayan. “Sometimes it’s about taking the time to educate how tools and technology can benefit.”

Dealing With Return Visits

In the field service industry, return visits are still a common occurrence. Narayan said that part of the challenge is ensuring that the right worker goes to the customer with the correct resources and information about the solution. New technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), can help field service organizations be proactive in determining problems before they occur, and they can be used to select the right person for each field service visit. By automating this process, instead of relying on manual-based processes, organizations can improve the field service experience for customers. In the case of Ricoh South Pacific, the organization’s first time fix rate is over 90% thanks in part to the technology.

Want to learn more about how Ricoh South Pacific uses next-gen technology to provide world class predictive field service to their customers? Click here to watch the full webinar.