I recently attended the Field Service Medical Conference in San Diego. It’s the only peer-led conference for senior service and support leaders in the medical device industry. This conference was focused on bringing together the best in medical device customer success, service, and support. During my time at the conference, there were a few common themes that emerged in speaker sessions and conversations.
Technology is necessary to keep moving forward.
I was pleasantly surprised about the amount of people already on the road to digitization. These leaders realize that in order to stay competitive and to provide best-in-class services that they must innovate and digitize their operations. These organizations are taking the first step to rid manual processes from their business. Their field techs carry laptops or mobile devices to capture and analyze data in the field. But as our conversations became more in-depth, I realized something.
Just because your processes aren’t on paper anymore, doesn’t mean they are digitized.
Businesses may be digitized, but just because a process that once was on paper is now on excel, it doesn’t mean it’s been streamlined or digitized for that matter. From the 30,000 foot view, these organizations have “digitized.” They aren’t using paper for data collection anymore, so that means it’s good, right? But all they have done is gone from paper-based processes, to processes that are now being emailed around on excel. Is that better? In our experience, not likely.
Many companies we work with are trying to get beyond paper and spreadsheets, as my colleague Andy Reid discusses in his blog “Death to Spreadsheets.” In my conversations, I learned that their businesses had inefficient processes because of tools like Excel. Attendees told me about the the amount of spreadsheets they receive via email on a daily basis. And not only that, but also how common the process of transferring data to an Excel file, uploading that into a system, then downloading it to a .csv file and finally merging it with an export from another system, which is then emailed around to do analysis. These inefficient processes are hidden behind the mask of “fully digitized operations.”
Which brings me to the final theme of the conference.
Drew Thompson from TrackVia, gave a presentation called “Beyond EHR: Digitizing Field-Service Operations” about how organizations such as UCSD, Northside Hospital, and Primo Water unmasked inefficiencies by utilizing TrackVia in a variety of different ways. From asset tracking to inventory management to whatever manual or inefficient process that is slowing your business down, TrackVia has a solution.
But how do you solve a problem that you don’t even know you have? Drew covered ways you can find those inefficiencies within your organization. By looking, listening, and capturing data related to your workflow, you’ll unmask those inefficient processes in your business. And when you do, we would love to help.
Attending the Field Service Medical conference was a fantastic experience. I learned that even companies that think they’re digitized, need to take a serious look at their operations in order to unmask those hidden inefficiencies.
Are inefficient processes still present in your organization? I’d love to hear about them.