Managing a services business is a perennial challenge. From developing a quote to delivering high-quality services on time, on budget, and within the expected scope, success is both management science and art. Historically, the software tools used by services organizations have been ill-suited. Services teams are often forced to use systems designed for a product business, or must cobble together disparate applications, none of which are purpose-built for services or designed to be integrated. Absent proper tools, many services organizations lack a comprehensive, timely view of their business and consequently underperform. Delivering on customer promises is challenging at best. All too often, services organizations operate at a financial loss or struggle to break even. This does not have to be the case.
This research note highlights the twelve most common – and most costly – shortcomings of services operations. It can be used as a practical benchmarking tool to assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of a services organization.