Senior Director Field Service, Americas, Luminex
SuperNova Award Category:
Luminex® is an Austin, Texas based company that develops and manufactures biological testing equipment for the clinical diagnostic and life science industries. Their field service department employs 49 engineers whose roles transcend that of “fix-it men.” Rather, they are solution providers, dedicated to cultivating meaningful relationships with their customers and ensuring those customers are successful using Luminex’s products.
Previously, the biggest problem confronting Luminex’s field service team was a lack of interdepartmental visibility and communication. The field service, sales, marketing, research and development, and manufacturing teams were all on different pages, operating off of different assumptions—which sometimes resulted in inefficient customer service. For example, incidents frequently occurred in which sales representatives would approach existing customers for upsell opportunities without knowing that the customer was experiencing higher than usual service activity at the time, meaning it wouldn’t be an appropriate time to upsell. Consequently, Luminex saw less than optimal satisfaction amongst customers. There was little relationship building between the engineers and the customers, and the engineers felt that the tools they were using were outdated.
With some frustration amongst customers and engineers alike, Luminex turned to ServiceMax in an effort to instill organizational transparency (both inbound and outbound) and reunite their field service team. At the time, Luminex was using Oracle’s tool, but ServiceMax’s solution offered more benefits. Not only was it a cloud-based mobile solution, accessible to engineers via iPad, but it was more agile, offering troubleshooting and “best practices” to boot. The Chatter tool, which allows engineers to communicate in real time on the job, boosted knowledge sharing and curated a historical database of dialogue. The ability to coordinate scheduling were also an attractive feature for Luminex. That is, Luminex could assign every zip code to an engineer, which decreased the time between when the customer calls about an issue to when the engineer can address it. By becoming a unified team, Luminex put the customer’s well being at its focal point.
One of the most significant results of the adoption is that it has enabled Luminex’s engineers to focus more on their customer’s needs and building a relationship with the customer (not the administrative back-office work). By decreasing the call to service time, increasing the first time fix rate, and quickening the contractual response time Luminex’s engineers can deliver superior customer service, which in turn strengthened customer loyalty. For example, a customer once expressed concern about a backordered part. The engineer quickly used Chatter to touch base with the ordering team, who investigated the issue and fixed it, all while the engineer was still on site. Customers have also sent emails on a number of occasions about the quality of the service provided and how quick the engineer was onsite to fix their problem. On a tactical level, ServiceMax has also enabled Luminex’s engineers to work smarter—they can pull metrics like travel time, type of labor by work order, cost by service visit, and travel and materials used to dispatch engineers in the most efficient fashion. Customers now regard Luminex engineers as trusted advisors and partners who are invested in their success.
- Luminex’s first time fix rate (the engineers’ ability to fix the customers problem during the first visit) now hovers consistently around 97 or 98%, sometimes varying only by 1%.
- The engineers’ response time is greater than 95% and the mean time to resolution is 2.94 hours per service event.
- The service invoice cycle (the time from when service is delivered to when the customer receives their bill) decreased from 28 days to less than 96 hours after Luminex adopted ServiceMax.
- Using a customer loyalty dashboard (measured via a survey administered to customers who have had activity in the past 30 days) on the ServiceMax platform, Luminex can see that 97% of customers responding with greater than a 4 on a 1 to 5 satisfaction scale.
- Adopting ServiceMax has also generated financial benefits for Luminex. Their field service department performs at greater than a 45% margin rate.
Luminex launched with ServiceMax in June of 2013 with 50 users and 200 licenses. While there were a few glitches, all hiccups were quickly addressed and there were no show-stoppers. Steve even went on vacation the week following launch, without having to worry about the state of his field service team.
ServiceMax has completely transformed Luminex’s field service division from a repair business to a solutions-oriented business. Because the engineers are the ones on the front lines interacting with the customer directly day in and day out, it’s imperative that they have the appropriate technology to help them do their work efficiently and in a way that meets the customer's standards. As an organization, Luminex strives to deliver brand value to its customer—and field service is now an indispensible component of the Luminex brand because of ServiceMax.
Thinking of your field service department as "indispensable" is an idea that has yet to catch on in the enterprise world. For most organizations, field service is a disorganized mess that produces only financial strain. However, Luminex has found that putting a high tech, mobile solution into the hands of the engineers gives them confidence and pride in their work. Customers are also impressed to see the engineers weaving technology into their work processes. At this point in time, it should nearly be an expectation, as pad and paper appear antiquated.
The engineers come from different generations and have different levels of comfort with technology—which was a big concern prior to implementation. Given that, one of the most meaningful moments for Steve was when the baby boomers on his team had their “aha!” technology moment after using the ServiceMax app. The entire team was comfortable using the platform after only 3-6 weeks and many of the engineers now even have their own Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.