The unprecedented events in 2020 forced service leaders to challenge the status quo or risk obsolescence. Companies that prided themselves on having a best-in-class field service workforce were suddenly caught with an enormous operating expense sitting idle with no end in sight. In contrast, flexible service teams that could meet the retail industry’s demand for contactless technology experienced tremendous upside.
Nowhere was this more prominent than retail store system installs. Retail technology projects are notoriously unpredictable, and 2020 was no exception. An unexpected surge in demand for replacing point-of-sale systems with self-serve, in-store experiences placed enormous pressure on resource-strapped teams. Overnight, multi-year rollouts were suddenly condensed to 90 days.
And service leaders were expected to deliver it all: a price point that won the deal while still improving margins and providing a quality service experience. It was an impossible scenario, and many companies failed to deliver.
This challenge is not a new one. For years, service teams have struggled with how to do install, move, add, and change (IMAC) projects at thousands of retail locations across the country at the lowest possible cost. Some responded with field teams traveling hundreds of miles at a moment’s notice, adding even more cost to the project. Others partnered with subcontractors to increase coverage and agility. But what they gained in agility they lost in control, since they were now removed from the technician selection process. The resulting cost/ quality dilemma placed service leaders in a precarious position. Either give up control of their brand to gain flexibility and coverage and risk the customer experience, or cover the gap with travel and absorb enormous costs.