The need for agility and resilience in 2022 and beyond | Droppoint
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The need for agility and resilience in 2022 and beyond

Woman wearing hard hat and face mask using iPad in warehouse

In the last two years, field service organisations have had to navigate financial and operational challenges while working to keep up with new and existing demands of employees, customers, and suppliers. Now, as we move into 2022, we must reflect on these events and consider what it means for field servicing organisations going forward. Here, Droppoint CEO Jason Flanagan, explains more.

In a global survey carried out at the beginning of 2020, 40 percent of executives said their exposure to supply chain risks had increased in the preceding three years. When COVID-19 hit, this was amplified as supply chains were disrupted like never before due to border closures, lockdowns, workforce limitations, to name but a few. Industries reliant on supply chains were suddenly confronted with roadblocks they weren’t prepared for. It was uncharted territory.

For field service organisations, the ability to move materials and service assets in the field became a logistical nightmare. Not only were supply chain disruptions wreaking havoc, organisations were contending with such issues as unreliable transport options, skilled resource constraints, as well an increased criticality for parts distribution due to domestic scarcity. Organisations ill-equipped to adapt to such disruption were severely impacted. These as challenges that many are still facing today.

As we look to the future, we must ask ourselves – what can we learn from this experience? For me, two of the biggest takeaways are:

1. Just responding to issues isn’t good enough anymore. Organisations must be proactive and take preventative steps across all areas of their operations.

2. Organisations must rethink their operating models and implement solutions that protect themselves and their customers from the impacts of unexpected disruption.

This relies on having clear visibility of risks, vulnerabilities, and inefficiencies across the entire servicing journey, as well as having the right people, technology and in-field solutions in place to resolve them quickly.

Just responding to issues isn’t good enough anymore. Organisations must be proactive and take preventative steps across all areas of their operations.

The value of technology

Before the pandemic, many service organisations were relying on rigid systems that were at odds with their operational needs and commercial priorities. Some leaders were reluctant to make major operational changes, concerned shifting systems could cause short-term interruptions and impact customer experience and employee satisfaction.

But mindsets have shifted. We’ve been forced to recognise the importance of agility and flexibility in business operations. Now, as we discover what the ‘new normal’ looks like and realise what it means for field servicing, the need for flexible technology solutions is critical. Investing in these now is what will allow organisations to build resiliency for future disruptions and crises, and minimise impacts on the end-to-end journey and the customer experience.

As a 2020 McKinsey report stated, “Preparing for future hypotheticals has a present-day cost. But those investments can pay off over time — not only minimising losses but also improving digital capabilities, boosting productivity, and strengthening entire industry ecosystems. Rather than a trade-off between resilience and efficiency, this rebalancing act might deliver a win-win.”

If you’re a leader within the field service sector, it is important to ensure your service operations are optimised and allow you to:

  • Be agile and adaptable no matter what, with minimal disruption to the customer experience or the bottom line.
  • Track, manage, and report on business-critical issues and make informed decisions at speed.
  • Be proactive, with access to insights to help you identify opportunities and develop preventive strategies.
  • Have end-to-end visibility and control of inventory levels, materials distribution, field resource productivity, costs, and forecasting.
  • Create cross-department communication. Keeping teams across the organisation connected and on the same page enables better delivery experience and makes it easier to address challenges as they arise.
  • Benefit from an agnostic partnership model that provides flexibility and redundancy across the entire servicing chain operating model. Without these options in place during the COVID 19 pandemic, field service organisations have struggled to meet the contractual service obligations they have with their clients.

I’m proud that Droppoint’s unique materials orchestration solution, underpinned by the Materials Orchestration SystemTM platform, has allowed our clients to keep moving forward despite the pandemic and the many challenges.

While the unknowns will always be unknown, building meaningful partnerships and investing in solutions that keep your people and customers moving regardless of the storm or challenge holds great value. This starts by looking beyond traditional solutions to flexible new models that align more closely with the world today. 

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