The Rise of Third-Party Field Service Teams: How ABB Is Adapting to a Changing Landscape
Standards for customer experience are higher than ever. On each episode of Aquant’s Service Intel Podcast, we sit down with leaders raising the bar and creating incredible experiences for their customers. These top names in the industry have all agreed to share what they’ve learned about navigating today’s service landscape so our listeners can not only get inspired, but put their own bar-raising service plans into action.
As technology evolves and customers demand more efficient and cost-effective solutions, third-party service providers are increasingly important in delivering high-quality field service.
In a recent podcast interview with Service Intel, ABB’s Vice President of Service, Salvador Accardo, discussed the rise of subcontractor work and third-party field service teams and how his company adapts to this changing landscape.
According to Salvador, several factors are driving the growth of third-party service providers. First and foremost, there’s an increasingly finite amount of resources among teams, and at the same time, customers are looking for more flexible and customized solutions. They want services tailored to their specific needs rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.
In addition, many companies are looking to reduce costs and streamline their operations. By outsourcing their field service needs to third-party providers, they can focus on their core business activities while ensuring that their customers receive high-quality service.
For ABB, this shift towards third-party service providers presents challenges and opportunities. On the one hand, it means that ABB needs to be more flexible and responsive to customer needs. They must be able to work with a wide range of service providers and integrate their systems and processes with their partners.
On the other hand, it also presents an opportunity for ABB to expand its reach and increase its customer base. By working with third-party service providers, ABB can offer a broader range of services and solutions and tap into new markets and industries.
So how is ABB adapting to this changing landscape? Salvador explained that the company is focusing on three key areas:
Partnership: ABB is partnering with a range of third-party service providers to ensure they can offer their customers the best possible service. This includes developing strong relationships with partners and sharing knowledge and best practices. This requires a balance between internal vs external. There needs to be an understanding and clear communication regarding responsibilities and swim lanes between all workers – both internal and external – because oftentimes, internal folks can view external workers as a threat.
Technology: ABB invests in technology to help them work more effectively with third-party service providers. This includes developing software and tools that can integrate with their partners’ systems and provide real-time data and insights.
Training and tracking performance: ABB is providing training and support to its employees and third-party service providers to ensure they have the skills and knowledge needed to deliver high-quality service. Regarding tracking performance, ABB conducts monthly health checks and quarterly quality reviews to ensure they’re meeting both company and customer standards.
Overall, Salvador emphasized the importance of understanding the competitive environment, given that most contractors are likely also working for competitors, safeguarding intellectual property presented to third parties, and ensuring the quality of work through regular auditing. He noted that while the rise of third-party service providers presents challenges, it also presents an opportunity for companies like ABB to innovate and improve their services.
Lastly, Salvador stressed not to be afraid of the third-party model. The field service industry is undergoing a significant shift, and third-party service providers are playing an increasingly important role. By partnering with these providers, investing in technology, and providing training and support, companies can adapt to this changing landscape, continue delivering high-quality service to their customers, and maintain a competitive advantage.
Listen to the full podcast here!