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Times are changing, and rapidly.

The demands of both customers and employees are now radically different from what they were just a couple of years ago, and it is already clear that the companies which aren’t meeting those demands are beginning to lose market traction and may ultimately struggle to survive.

And while the pace of change is increasing, the concept of being left behind by technological advances is as old as commerce. Netflix replaced Blockbuster, just as the internal combustion engine replaced horses, and farmers supplanted hunter-gatherers.

It’s a process the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter referred to as 'creative destruction'. He described it as “the process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionises the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.”

Note that word “incessantly” – there is no time-out, and no escape from the competitive forces that drive the economy forward.

When it comes to technology, the best analogy is surfing. Riding the wave of innovation well; the continuous adoption of the latest release keeps you on your feet, surfing the wave successfully for longer, but poor execution or a simple lapse in concentration could mean a wipe out. 

What does that really mean, and importantly, what do your clients want?

Just think about your own business: At one time, supplying support services meant, for example, providing an “acceptable” degree of cleanliness, or an “adequate” level of security; now your client requires not just excellence in all these areas, but also needs to know what else you can contribute to his winning team.

This might include such elements as the continuous monitoring of standards; seamless handover between teams and individuals, even when handling a live incident; and even giving your client the sorts of insights that only those eyes and ears on the ground can provide.

It might mean highly engaged, customer centric employees. It is also likely to mean increased productivity and efficiency. What it certainly means is that you cannot react with innovation.

You cannot pull innovation out of your pocket when a client asks you the question. Innovation is about being able to articulate what you are doing already and have already done that drive up productivity, efficiency, service and standards, as well as what you already plan to do.

What is the new normal and are you there?

If you're still relying on pen and paper, telephone calls, and tactical contract by contract solutions which use a phone and some NFC tags to run your operations, you will struggle to cope with the demands of today's clients. They will already be seeing better tools and technology from many around you. You will already look deficient.

Every member of a competing supply chain must go the extra mile, and that includes support services.

If you can exceed your client’s expectations, you'll deepen the relationship and become an indispensable member of the team. If you can't, you'll be replaced by someone who can.

Like it or not, this is the new normal in support services.

Help is at hand

Fortunately, the tools at your disposal to meet these new demands are also radically different from in the past. Have you looked at Timegate’s Engagement tools, Service Delivery functionality, Insights & intelligence recently? Do you know what you can do today, and what you can do tomorrow?

The right technology can put you back in the game, and even give you and your client an advantage over the rest of the field.

Timegate, from Innovise, gives you the power to ‘wow’ your client, and makes you a real contributor to the success of the team.