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Maximizing Success with System Integration: The Power of Service Plans for Your Team & Clients

Insights

5 Minute Read

05/30/2023

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As a follow-up on our last entry here regarding AVaaS, we thought it would make sense to include a natural add-on to that capability involving Service Plans. In case you missed that prior entry on AVaaS, just click here to catch-up on it.

While most of you are probably already offering some sort of extended coverage or service option for your clients, I’m always surprised to talk with teams that are not or are not doing so regularly.

The good news is that SI can easily give your team major assistance with this simple inclusion for your client submissions. However, if you’re not familiar with SI’s Service Plan capabilities, please click here for our prior blog entry on this topic and here for the current online documentation regarding the creation of such.

And, don’t forget our recent offering on the fundamental change in SI known as Labor Types. This enhancement merits thorough examination so for those of who missed this prior entry on the aforementioned Labor Types, please click here to catch-up this one. It is definitely worth your while.


Service Plans

For most of us in the industry, the ability to present a service plan to a client became a must after the advent of IP based products. Many of us were doing so before (of course) but it really emerged as a necessity once the need for frequent resets, reboots, and restarts became the “modis oporundi” of those dreaded after hours and weekend client service calls.

How does this work in SI?

Well for starters and as I mentioned in the intro, you’ll need to have your Service Plan Features and Items built out and priced accordingly as these are the values that will add the pricing to your offering.

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From there, it’s a matter of either including your service plan with your initial bid submission from SI (this is highly recommended of course) or submitting it as a follow-up down the road at some point.

This too is highly dependent upon whom in your company actually owns the responsibility of executing this task. While that duty can possibly belong to project managers at the completion of your installation, we’ll start with how your sales estimators can make this an easy inclusion with the initial presentation to your clients.

Presenting a Service Plan as an add-on in SI.

Once you’ve completed your Project in SI and are ready to submit a bid, your sales team then has the option to include an addendum to the offering that could potentially layout some of the very basic details of how your team can serve them best once the deployment is complete.

From the Project Explorer, highlight the appropriate job and then select the Service Plans tab in the lower sub-tab directory at the bottom of your Projects list:

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Upon creation, your team can then choose to structure the pricing based on values set in the plan or from items in the actual project itself. (The latter is highly recommended.)
Image of set value:

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Image of calculated value from Project items:

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Once your team adds in the corresponding features, you’re then ready for the presentation options.

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And now for that add-on…

Service Plans can, of course, be presented in a full plan style report just like other bids, quotes, proposals, etc.

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But the beauty of the add-on option is that the details of your service plan are neatly tacked-on to the end of your presentation:

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Now to this day, I am still quite surprised by the number of SI users I speak with that are not aware of this particular mechanism within SI. So, here is how it works:
-In your client report generator for projects, look down in the lower, left corner for this checkbox:

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-You’ll then get this option:

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And upon selecting your Service Plan, you’ll see the one(s) associated with your Project:            

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Now from here, when you run the report, you’ll get that nice, neat addendum at the end of your Project Summary.

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Presenting a Service Plan full report.

And of course, for those of you not into the whole brevity thing, there is the opportunity in SI to run a full Service Plan report.
These can be accessed from the lower sub-tab directory at the bottom of your Projects list:

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Or, you can access this capability from your Service Plan Explorer:

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For a lot of our users, this is the preferred method as it gives them the ability to add an rtf introduction as well as an rtf terms section to the SI default reports or their own custom service plan reports:

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For those of you not familiar with this process, an rtf attachment will allow you to add your own specific, custom language into the body of the service plan report.

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*Note: This works in the same manner that the Project Scope of Work insertion works.

Using this method of Service Plan generation will require some external merger magic with your bid/proposal document, as SI cannot yet group Client reports and full Service Plan reports. Not to worry though as most of you have access to Adobe, Word, Excel, or many of the free, on-line document merger sites where this type of compilation can be easily accomplished.

So now you are fully armed to include your specific service plan language and pricing at the end of your current client submission or as a part of a merged document that can be submitted via the SI Customer Portal.

A Perspective
As you may or may not know, I am often asked about best practices and preferred methods with regard to the use of SI in order to achieve greater organizational success. I cannot recommend highly enough the use of SI Service Plans whether they are included in your initial bid submission or if they are presented at a later date.

Now, as a matter of my own professional experience, the earlier you present and review the details of such extended coverage plans with your clients, the more likely your estimators are to not only close those initial deals, but also build in a longer relationship with your clients for those ever-sought renewals.

Further towards this success, would include the use of Service Plan Templates. Pre-configured service plan templates with the appropriate introduction, terms, pricing, and payment structure will also send your selling force into further heights of success with SI’s v20. Meaning, if all they need do is click a few icons to add the corresponding plan to their bid submissions, then how can they refuse?

Now ultimately your team will need to evaluate whether or not this approach to selling service is in-line with your company goals. Suffice it to say, if you are not already using this type of mechanism to enhance revenue streams, then the time is now to do so!

In Summation…

-Present service early (and often) to increase service revenue.
-Structure your SI Service Plans so that they are easy inclusions with your initial bid submissions.
-Base your pricing on Project items (when appropriate).
-Consider the use of Service Plan Templates to speed your team’s service quoting along and remain consistent with your offerings.
-Use the above suggestions to increase your revenues via extended service plan selling!

With all of that said, there’s still plenty more in store for you with SI and forthcoming product releases so keep an eye out for future updates.

As always, we are reviewing your Feature Requests to determine our best step forward and next course of action with future SI product releases so…keep’em coming!



In closing…

For more information on these and other features of SI v20, please see this link: D-Tools v20. You can also review our other videos and our usual support documentation.

You can also get more detailed information about v20 via our upcoming webinars and by enrolling in SI training with our PSG team. Please see this link here for our recent What’s new in v20 webinar.

And don’t forget, that’s why we are here…to ensure your success with our product! Be sure to check back here next time for more on v20!!!

Doug