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November 17, 2021 | 27 Mins Read

The Myths and Truths of As-a-Service with Kevin Bowers of TSIA

November 17, 2021 | 27 Mins Read

The Myths and Truths of As-a-Service with Kevin Bowers of TSIA


Kevin Bowers, Director of Field Services Research at TSIA (Technology & Services Industry Association) joins Sarah for a chat about some of the biggest misperceptions, thrown around terms, and doubts about As-A-Service as well as a discussion around why this journey is so important to embrace and educate ourselves on.

Sarah Nicastro: Welcome to The Future of Field Service Podcast. I'm your host, Sarah Nicastro. Excited to welcome a special guest here with me today, Kevin Bowers, director of field services research at TSIA. Kevin, welcome to The Future of Field Service Podcast.

Kevin Bowers: Well, thank you, Sarah. How are you today?

Sarah Nicastro: I'm doing well. How are you?

Kevin Bowers: I'm great.

Sarah Nicastro: Awesome. So some of you probably know Kevin quite well from the research that he does and leads at TSIA and we'll talk about that a little bit more in case there are any folks that are not already plugged into that, but Kevin recently wrote a column about as a service. And I came across that on LinkedIn and I thought I really love the idea of industry folks collaborating together to improve understanding, elevate awareness, et cetera. So I asked Kevin if he would want to come on and talk about some of the myths and truths, misperceptions, and realities that both of us are seeing related to the as a service conversation. So that's what we're going to do here today. So Kevin, before we get into the nitty gritty, tell our listeners a little bit more about yourself.

Kevin Bowers: Okay, well, we'll start with the important stuff. I'm a husband, father of six. Fun fact. I'm fluent in Japanese. I spent many years in my teen years living there and I like cooking on my big green egg in my free time all year round.

Sarah Nicastro: Nice.

Kevin Bowers: But then professional side of that coin, as you said, I'm the director of field service research at TSIA or the Technology & Services Industry Association. We're a for-profit research institute where we do a lot of deep operational benchmarking to help industrial equipment healthcare enterprise IT companies increase their revenue and optimize their profits by using fact based business frameworks and best practices. And prior to TSIA, I spent 20 years in the industrial equipment arena, specifically machine tools here in Chicago, where I was in operational roles and then the last 10 years running service parts training and contact centers. So that's how I started my career in spare parts and then ended it in service and spare parts. So now I'm talking to people to do that every day. So it's great.

Sarah Nicastro: Awesome. All right, cool. So as I mentioned, this conversation is stemming from an article that Kevin recently wrote related to this topic. So definitely take some time to check him out, check out his and other analysts' research at TSIA because it is another excellent source of information and industry insights. So what I want to start with is in the article, you start with talking about some of the reasons that... And we're saying equipment as a service, and I think some of this is specific to equipment and particularly the equipment that the types of companies TSIA serves. But I think there are aspects of this conversation that are going to be applicable, regardless of whether it's actual equipment or what as a service offering we're talking about. At the beginning, you talk about some of the reasons that equipment as a service can be ignored or underplayed by those organizations that could and potentially should be taking a closer look. So can you talk a little bit about what some of those reasons are?

Kevin Bowers: Yes. So I think it comes down to it. You're right. My research focuses on people with equipment on premise. However, a lot of the themes of as a service, whatever the buzz words you want to use is, is applicable across many different industries. Software and things of that nature. I think it's a trend that is specifically for on premise people, it's coming, it's been enterprise, IT, Salesforce, all that kind of stuff. And it's slowly making its way across the spectrum to other industries. But when we talk to our members, they'll say one and two things like you can't put my stuff in the cloud, it's physical or we already do that. No problem. Why do you want to talk about this?

Kevin Bowers: But my job is to try to help translate what enterprise IT and all those folks went through for people that are just starting to catch its wave. And it's like you said, it's over LinkedIn. Every time you look, it's as a service something, robotic, software, equipment, whatever infrastructure. So it's there, it's coming. I think people still may think it's a buzzword, but it's not. I think that it's something that we need to talk about. And that's why I wrote this blog. My boss, Val also did an interview earlier in the year talking about it. So I think it's coming and it's better to plant a tree now for when we need it in five, 10 years.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah, absolutely. And I want to go back to the two main points that you made in that article, which are the belief or misperception that when you talk about something as a service, you're automatically talking about a cloud offering. And that is not always the case. So that's one thing that it can be a part of the overall value proposition, but they are in no way synonymous and it doesn't necessarily have to be a part of it. The other that I think is really important that you mentioned is that people just assume that as a service just means leasing equipment period, like, okay, well, people just don't want to pay CAPEX, so we'll let them lease it and they can pay OPEX.

Sarah Nicastro: And it's really just a conversation about a different way to finance an asset, which is also not the reality when we're talking about the importance of this topic to the companies that have something they could provide as a service, the opportunity it presents. It's that opportunity is not well represented by just moving to a leasing model. So those are two really important things to get out of the way of if either of those two things are things that have precluded you from looking deeper into this opportunity, you need to set those aside and take a closer look. So is there anything else we should clarify about what as a service is not?

Kevin Bowers: Well, you did it pretty good justice. And in my blog, I had the quote where my boss's boss often says, when he does advisory, he goes, do you know what the S in as a service stands for? It doesn't stand for subscription. It doesn't stand for solution. It's for the service. And it's about adding value to that piece of equipment. It's not, like you said, CAPEX, OPEX. It's about adding the value and helping the customers achieve something that they're after. And it can be done. It doesn't have to be in a cloud. There could be parts of your offer that is in a cloud. Software is a prime example of that, but you can have a large 100 ton press that could be as a service if you set it up correctly and understand the value that you need to bring to the customer.

Sarah Nicastro: Right. Yeah. And I think that's a really important point, because again, what we're really talking about here is the journey to delivering outcomes instead of delivering products or services. So even I would go so far as to even say it's even more than just service being the S because I was at a conference in September and Mike from NCR was presenting. And one of his first points when he got up was our customers don't care about our products and they don't care about our service. They just care about the outcome. And it's a very simple statement, but it has a lot of meaning for companies in this space that are ignoring that reality or are... Another reason I also wanted to have this conversation with you on this podcast is because I think there are a lot of companies who think they get it or think they're embracing it, but there's a lot here that can be misconstrued or confused, or there's some maybe beliefs or default actions that you want to embrace it, but then you caution yourself.

Sarah Nicastro: And so then you're hedging your bets in a way that just waters down the opportunity itself. And so, what we're really talking about is this idea of providing outcomes, and so it isn't about offering a product on a subscription. It isn't even about servicing a product. It's about what are the customer needs, challenges, insights that you are uniquely positioned to apply or provide and how do you create a value proposition that is representative of all of those things in a way that delivers on outcome. The simpler, the better, all of those things. And so if we look at the conversation, as anything as a service is a route to delivering outcomes, let's talk a little bit more about why this is so powerful for companies to have that light bulb moment and begin to embrace.

Kevin Bowers: All right. So, as Mike said, and at TSIA, we've been saying it for seven, eight years now, that customers don't care about your product. And you posted about your experience at your event in Netherlands, just recently, talking about it's not about the product, the service. It's about the story, and more and more, that story is about outcomes. And to be clear, it's about the customer's outcome, not your outcome. You're not driving towards more revenue for you or whatever. You're trying to help the customer gain more revenue. So I think that idea still ruffles feathers. Everyone thinks that they've built a better mouse trap, and to say that their product's not important is sacrilege, but at the end of the day, if you have a technological advance, someone's going to catch up in 12, 18 months anyway. So it's about the other things you can bring to it. And another great quote from one of my colleagues is we need to stop calling the product the technology.

Kevin Bowers: It's about the complete offer, the product and the data analytics around it to get you to the customer outcomes. So last month TSI did a conference and each research practice gives a keynote. And I talked about this topic, but when I was starting to research and think about my story, I was thinking about, well, when did I first hear about as a service, and I was digging, digging, digging. I finally, I found a trip report from June of 2009. I took the COO of a large locomotive OEM to Japan to meet our boss, and in my trip notes, it specifically says, I don't care about your product, Kevin, I'm here to learn about how you can make me better. Cool. It didn't register to me then. And it was back then it was the example was Rolls Royce or anyone that had a locomotive, it was connected as a service, blah, blah, blah. But no one else was doing it. So it fell by the wayside. But progressive customers were thinking like that in 2009. So it's not a flash in the pan.

Kevin Bowers: So anyway, as you said, this as a service is a lever, a method to deliver outcomes. And I think outcomes scares people. They think it's complex, but it's not. There's three flavors. You can increase the customer's revenue, you can decrease their costs, or the often forgot one is mitigate risk. Those are the three types of leverage you can pull. And then you have to think about it vertically. What happens with oil and gas is quite a bit different than point of sale in a grocery store, but the same ideas revolve around there. And it is important to understand. And it's important, like you said, you don't want to hedge your bet, but it's not like you have to all of a sudden make every product that you have in your portfolio as a service. We talked about you have the segment, there's some things that it's not worth it. There's no value that you're going to add and help the customer achieve any other outcomes, but you can segment it.

Kevin Bowers: Start to get the data off the product and it'll start to help you I think drive those outcomes and ultimately customers want outcomes. Think in everything that happens in B2C comes to B2B. Think about you want your internet to always work because we have to be on this podcast today. We don't want to... This is a great conversation, but I don't think we want to spend another 45 minutes re-recording. So the outcome is internet service so that we can do business, and it's coming to B2B, so we have to be ready.

Sarah Nicastro: For sure. I think the point I made in that presentation and in the article I wrote after is companies are very accustomed to telling the story of what their products or services do. And increasingly customers do not care about that story. The story they want to hear is how it helps them. And so it's really, I think to start, it's a process of reframing the way you think about your product services and entire value proposition from the mindset of what those customers need help with. And so we did a podcast a while back with Howard Boland from Schneider Electric in Australia, and they've introduced power as a service. And he was joined by a gentleman, Scott Weller from Mossrake Group who has worked closely with them on it. And one of the things that I thought was really interesting about that conversation is this idea that when you think about the early parts of understanding this journey, you have to start with the go to market.

Sarah Nicastro: What is the hook? What is the offering? What is the outcome? And then reverse engineer that into so what does that mean in terms of changes within our business we would need to make to deliver that? Because I think it's really a lot around the communication and articulation of the value proposition, the customer buy-in that companies that have been historically product oriented, they are not used to communicating in those ways and building relationships in those ways. And that in a lot of instances can be a really big initial hurdle to overcome. So to your point, you can do that in an area of the business. It doesn't have to be we're flipping a switch. Today we deliver products. Tomorrow we deliver outcomes, so let's maybe talk a little bit, Kevin, about the idea that I think we both agree that outcomes is the future. And as a service is a very important aspect of how companies can get there. What are some of the challenges?

Kevin Bowers: All right. Well, especially for field services, as you said, go to market, all these things are important. So it's not just a heavy lift for field service. It's the organization that has to do it. And every webinar conference presentation, you see people talk about silos. I think everyone grew up on a farm as much as they talk about silos, but it's true. Everyone has to be in line, and the field service has to have a seat at the table. There's a lot of things that they're going to have to do different. At the end of the day, when you really get to this outcome based pay per use consumption type model, when field service in the past, they didn't get there on time, it was just a missed SLA. All right. There might be a smack on the hand, some penalty, but now you don't get paid.

Kevin Bowers: So that's a mind shift and it's way away from the product. So the service teams, do they have the infrastructure in place? Do they have the ability to resolve the issue quickly? Did a webinar yesterday, actually. And in it, we asked about the different types of SLA offers that field service members had and still only 40% have something around resolution time, but that's all that's going to matter as we move to outcomes. If you get there and mess around for two days, no one cares. They want you to get there and solve it. So that's quite a paradigm shift for most organizations. So you got to put a lot of investment in there. And then again, we talked a little bit about it, but you need the connectivity, that data that comes off the equipment's going to give you all sorts of insights before you go.

Kevin Bowers: So to be efficient, proactive, insightful for the customer, you really need this telemetry. And that'll ultimately drive other types of outcomes when you get that data. I think the data that comes off the product's way more valuable than the product. And like you said, people, it's hard to get people out of the blinders away from the product. We can't be product focused anymore. We got to start to move to efficiency, proactiveness, and then ecosystems that help customers achieve their outcomes, I think, and then you got to, like we said, focus on the metrics. That's what the basics. Can you fix it right the first time? To fix it right the first time everything has to be hitting on the cylinders, you have the right training, the right tools, the right people, software that can help route you the right people.

Kevin Bowers: So, you can't run field service on an Excel sheet anymore and have pie dreams that you're going to deliver an outcome. And then there's also, as you said, financial implications to this, moving from CAPEX to OPEX, every OEM loved that big paycheck 10, 30 days before the product even was installed, they got this huge chunk of money and then little money trickled in. Well, the idea of outcome or as a service is that initial selling is the lowest amount of money you're ever going to get. And at TSIA, we call it swallowing the fish. Your costs go up, your revenue goes down for a while, and then you got to do things to mitigate that. So a lot of that is how fast you resolve things and what data you have to offer different, additional outcomes and offers to help offset that. So it's a lot of fun I think. I don't want everybody to think it's impossible, but you have to think about it and you have to communicate, and it's all aspects of the company really.

Sarah Nicastro: I think the point you make about silos is important in the sense of, I think it's one of the most fundamental challenges here that this is not a field service conversation. This is not a service operations conversation. This is a company-wide strategic direction conversation. And so it has to happen at that level. Or it's a waste of time, quite frankly. And so, one thing we see is you see leaders of service in a ton of different companies that get it, that are working in organizations that don't yet get it and trying to drive this change in a way that causes them a lot of frustration. That's actually another aspect of what we talked about on the podcast with Scott Weller of Mossrake which is he calls it the microcosm approach, but how you can rather than giving up, ultimately you have to get the company on board, but when that feels like an insurmountable task, he talks through some of the things you can do to create this change in a microcosm to prove it out, to help shift those minds.

Sarah Nicastro: But let's just say the top level leadership of the company gets it. And let's say that there's some top level buy-in on the direction of this. So that's imperative. You're still talking about a fundamental change in the way that you do business, in the way that you manufacture, install and deliver products, in the way that you handle your company financially and the way that you deliver service. So again, to your point, none of this is to dissuade anyone from this journey, because I am a firm believer that the writing is on the wall here. So you can ignore that and get further and further behind, or you can embrace it and start working on this change. But I think another big challenge that I've noticed, Kevin, is the idea of there is inherent risk in this model. And it's far different than the risk that these companies are accustomed to. So I also recently interviewed Dave Mackerness from Kaer, K-A-E-R, and they do cooling as a service in Singapore and other places. And they were pretty early adopters of as a service.

Sarah Nicastro: I believe they started offering it in 2012. And I think in 2018 maybe, 15, can't remember, they went all in on it and stopped offering anything else. But what he talks about is the fact that Netflix is $10 a month, and so you can sign up today, you can watch it for a month and then you can cancel at the end of the month, if you're not enjoying the outcome. If Netflix was $10 a month and you had to sign a 10 year contract and pay six years upfront, the model is not successful. And so companies that, again, this is what I was talking about that try and embrace this, but then want to hedge bets, you're really shooting yourself in the foot because that's just not how it works. So there's this idea. I think one of the other challenges is to understand enough about the opportunity and what that opportunity means to your business, to have the confidence you need to accept the risk involved because in most instances, when we're talking about the move to outcomes, customers want guarantees. They want uptime guarantees.

Sarah Nicastro: They want deliverable guarantees, so you are putting yourself in a position where you have to make good on that. And so I think these are some of the things that once people dig in and understand that, they panic and run, but what we're here saying is don't panic and run because you need to face it and tackle it and commit to the journey. There's a customer IFS has in, well, it's a global company, Cubic Transportation, but they do a lot of work with the London underground. And they actually were an earlier adopter of outcomes based service because Transport for London came to them and said, hey, we want to deliver our customers guarantees, which means we need you to deliver guarantees to us. And so they stepped up to that challenge. And going back to the point you made about, so where does technology fit into this, Mike Gosling from Cubic has said many times over, we would not have been able to scale in manpower to meet those deliverables and to uphold those guarantees.

Sarah Nicastro: We had no choice but to rely on technology to automate and optimize things in a way that makes it possible for us to do that. And so that's where you get into first understanding what the outcome is the customer wants. And then like I said, digging into then, okay, how do we evolve to make this possible? You provided a couple of examples in your article that were other ways that companies have started to overcome some of these challenges and take steps in this direction. Can you talk through a couple of those?

Kevin Bowers: Yes. As you mentioned, we're both pretty active on LinkedIn and you'll always scroll down, you see those landscape maps, who's doing this. And there's always these equipment as service ones. And whenever we talk in conferences, generally the same names. Rolls Royce, GE, Heidelberg, Kaer air conditioning as a service is another great example, but I think everyone thinks there's four people doing this. I've seen 50, 60 companies doing this, which there's a lot more, but the point is, it's expanding and there's this ecosystem around them expanding. You need the software, you need the technology, you need the sensors, you need the IOT platform. So you're right. It's here. So back to your question, some examples, so in my blog and also in my conference, I talk about a company called TRUMPF.

Kevin Bowers: They're in industrial equipment. They make laser cutting equipment. And they have a full pay per part, full OPEX. They roll everything in, but they also have this other model where you buy the piece of equipment and it has a six kilowatt laser. And you say six kilowatt laser. What does that mean? It means either I can cut up to maybe a three quarters of an inch pretty efficiently or thinner material I can go faster. Well, what happens if one day you get a job where it's an inch or an inch and a half thick? Well on the machine, they have built in more laser power. And then if you want to go from six to 10, all you do is hit a button. You've signed this contract. Now you start to pay per hour for this laser. Well, that's a subscription.

Kevin Bowers: No. We're helping them meet additional production needs. So, TRUMPF still gets the great, a big chunk of CAPEX upfront, but then they get this incremental amount of money from every time someone wants to jump up in laser power. And they also make a promise if you use it enough, you paid for it. It's yours. So, it's a blend of the traditional model buy an upgrade in the field or pay per use. So I really like that idea because it mitigates some of that risk. You still got the OPEX in front, but you still have the opportunity to show some value and add some more things. And we all always tell our members, make this connectivity option and opt out. You as the OEM need the data, so if the customer opts out, great, Mr. Customer, no problem.

Kevin Bowers: That means it's going to cost you more. And our service levels are going to go down because we need that data to help you achieve your outcome and that's a mind shift. And the other thing that people, I think that you said they shy away from these conversations of guarantees. Well, if you can provide the tangible value and show you what the outcome's going to be and how that's going to help them, you can start to flip the script and say, well, what if you need me to fix an issue in four hours, what if I do it in two? What are you going to give me? That's a conversation you can start to have granted it will not be probably well received, but if you balance it with the value you bring, they'll say, oh, well, that makes sense. And they still gain because they're back to obtaining their outcome quicker.

Kevin Bowers: A lot of things have to change when you start to do this, but it's not all on the customer side. Once you get all this data coming in, it's going to help you on things that aren't as a service. Start to build up your data models for predictive and prescriptive type service for people that are still paying CAPEX. So I think getting the data, it's a win and you should go through some of this pain to do it. And I think this is a great way to do it personally.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. Some of what you said made me think of another conversation we had on a podcast here with the CMO of Park Place Technologies. And that was a really interesting conversation because I think they've done an especially good job of how they market these offerings. And again, for some companies that have a deep, rich legacy as a product manufacturer or equipment provider, that type of marketing and communications is very unfamiliar. And she gave some really good advice, but they have a tagline and it's related to their first time fixed guarantee and she talked about what went into identifying the opportunity of offering that and then digging back through, okay, what do we need to do?

Sarah Nicastro: We can't say it and then not do it. So what do we need to do as a business to be able to make that claim and then uphold it? So, yeah, there's a lot of interesting stuff to this. So I wanted to ask too, Kevin, when we talk about the role field service plays in this picture, how do you see that role evolving as we move more and more to delivering outcomes instead of break, fix type service?

Kevin Bowers: Well, we talked a little bit about it. It's a team play. It's not field service. It's not service offer or management. It's not product. Everyone has to play here, but at the end of the day, field service is on the bleeding edge. When product's not working, producing the outcome, who goes? Field. So they're getting beat up. So they have to have a seat at the table. Inform here's what we're capable of. If you want more, we need more parts in more local locations. We need more training. We need more capacity. We need these types of data hooks in the product. Please develop this. So it'll help us. So feedbacks is critical, and really field service's best friends is the contact center. And traditionally the contact center's goal was to solve everything remotely, because it's a lower cost to serve. Well, that myopically doesn't work because overall the customer care is when I call and when it ends, the resolution time.

Kevin Bowers: So field and contact center have to work closer together. So everyone has to come together and break down these silos. I think that's pretty critical. And then like you said, the investment in the structure and the technology, because it's like a pyramid. Automate what you can because you're not going to probably get all the head count you need, think about maybe outsourcing some of the simple stuff that maybe it's not legacy equipment that's not as a service. So that starts to free up capital. So you can invest in your people that you still have and make them the experts. So when it does hit the fan, boom, we're there, we have the density and we get it done. So field's going to take the brunt of this when it doesn't go well. So they're going to have to have the mechanisms to give the feedback.

Kevin Bowers: And at the end of the day, they're the best ones to know what outcomes the customers want. A lot of sales is going to be digital now. Travel budgets are gone. They're never coming back. But field service is and how it has been going on site, from our benchmark data, they go on an average of 40 visits a month. So they're the only ones who are going to give you real feedback from the customer. And if we recall the outcome is the customer's outcome. So you need to know what that is and field's going to get that for us I think.

Sarah Nicastro: I agree. And I think I would take it a step further and say that when you talk about changing the identity of a business from being a product manufacturer and provider to as a service offering or an outcome, a solution provider, and then you think about the fact that to your point in many situations, the field service talent is the most frequently engaging with customers or the only one engaging with customers in a face to face way. So how are they representing the brand? And it's not just about their ability to do the job. And to your point, the tools that you are enabling them with to make sure that outcome is possible, but it's also about their ability to build relationships and to represent your organization and its value proposition in a way that is going to build customer loyalty and all of those things, those are new and different aspects of that role in many ways.

Sarah Nicastro: And so companies need to be thinking about what that means in terms of their need to upskill or re-skill or what they're looking for in the talent they're now bringing in so you're right. They'll bear the brunt of it when it doesn't go well, there's also a lot of opportunity and in many ways the criticality and the importance of the frontline field service workforce increases as we go down this path. I had a conversation recently with Karin Hamel from Schneider Electric and she brought up a really good point, which is well, salespeople get to go on these presidents' club trips, why don't field service people? And some sales people I'm sure would be like, what? But it's a good point and it might be an even more relevant point as this matures because to what degree are we relying on them to nurture and maintain these relationships that are what we are dependent upon for this recurring revenue?

Kevin Bowers: No, you're exactly right. And the CFO is going to drive utilization, get in, get out, get the next job. So we know that getting training time is a premium. So if you only get nine days of training time, you're going to focus all on technical, so you can fix it faster, but that doesn't serve your brand. We need customer service skills, professionalism. If we want to drive this incremental revenue and this land and expand ideas for the field service, we got to give them some skills to do that. And not every field service engineer is good at that. If they wanted to be in sales, they would've went into sales but with the right training, some certifications and like you say, incentives, a president club. And we had a lead generation program at my last company and only 40% of the people did it.

Kevin Bowers: 60% were like, no, I don't want it. But those 40%, when you started to say, hey, I brought home an extra $1,000 this week, can you post that type of information? Boy, boy, does that drive some adoption. Field service is the trusted advisor. I know we don't want to compromise that, but they have the context, they have the immediacy, they're on site. They know what the customer's doing. They know what good looks like because they see bad. So it's a great opportunity for them to drive and keep adding to this revenue and the more incremental revenue you get, it makes that fish smaller and makes the switch a little more palatable. So that's critical.

Sarah Nicastro: For sure. Yeah. All right. So this has been great, Kevin. Is there any other thoughts or comments or advice that you would offer related to as a service, the myths, the facts, the opportunity, any closing thoughts?

Kevin Bowers: Well, so I like quotes and in my blog I had one quote from a Roosevelt and then I found another one the other day from a Roosevelt. So the first one was from Theodore. It says nothing worth doing comes easy. This isn't going to be easy. And the second for Eleanor Roosevelt was it takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan. So you can wish this away. It's not coming from me, but I think we've done a fairly good job explaining that it is so it's planned. Just plan for it. And maybe it's five, 10 years away, but we start planning now, all these muscles you build around all the other things that we talked about were necessary, it's going to help you with your customers today. You're going to start to see the reward there.

Kevin Bowers: So when everyone on the team decides, yes, we're going all in on as a service, you're ready. So start talking about it, start researching, reading about it. Hope they listen to our podcast. Great. Find more research on it, come talk to TSIA, whatever. You have to plan and plan now, I think. It's not going to be easy, but it's not all doom and gloom. And hopefully we tried to dispel some of that today.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. Keep looking for the examples of how companies are working through these challenges and making progress and use them and their knowledge to learn from and shape. I know you just had an in-person event the first in a while. When is the next?

Kevin Bowers: The next one is in May, in Orlando. So nice weather. Disney adjacent. So you can bring your family as you learn about things. And it's unbelievable conference. I've been on board at TSIA a year and a half now, and my first three were virtual, which great experience, but-

Sarah Nicastro: Nothing like it.

Kevin Bowers: No, I didn't realize how much I missed people. I'm generally an introvert, but it's like, wow. The interactions. And it was great. And it's like you said, field service, we need to work together and share some of these experiences so that we can have the right ammo to go to the top and say, this is what we need to do the things you want us to do. So we're a community.

Sarah Nicastro: Absolutely.

Kevin Bowers: For sure.

Sarah Nicastro: Good. So everyone check out the May event TSIA is doing, and certainly check out Kevin on LinkedIn, on the blog. And Kevin, I really appreciate you coming and spending some time with me today.

Kevin Bowers: It was my pleasure. It was great. Great experience.

Sarah Nicastro: Good. You can learn more by visiting us at You can also find us on LinkedIn and Twitter @TheFutureOfFS. The Future of Field Service Podcast is published in partnership with IFS. You can learn more at As always, thank you for listening.