Taking your service organization through a digital transformation is no longer a question of “if” but “when.” Your company is likely already on this journey and maybe even experienced some challenges along the way. We have helped hundreds of companies on this path and have identified three trends that will help you and your peers.

Service Data Gravity

A recent survey by Vanson Bourne revealed that 99 percent of organizations surveyed believe that other parts of the business outside of service can benefit from both the automation and better usage of service data. And eighty five percent think service data should be central to decision making, while eighty seven percent believe it will have a positive impact on their ability to remain competitive.

So, there is near universal agreement that service is key to future growth and additional benefits to drive better performance in other areas of the business. It is widely acknowledged that investment in, and improvement of, service data and the automation of data collection, aggregation, and utilization is quickly becoming an area of “must have,” rather than “nice to have” or possibly a nice “competitive advantage.” In other words, if you do not already have a plan to get there, you are rapidly falling behind your competition and your business is at risk.

Implementing Preventative Maintenance

Deloitte says that five to 20 percent of overall productive capacity is lost due to poor maintenance strategies. Reliance on reactive — for example “break/fix”maintenance — is causing higher customer maintenance costs, lower customer economic output, and lower NPS scores across the board. Companies recognize that the historic method of managing assets and maintenance will no longer suffice. The first step in moving towards a more responsive maintenance program is using connected assets to inform when problems are likely to occur.

Connected Field Service gives an organization the opportunity to “see” how the asset is performing in the field. They can have error codes or service alerts routed directly to their Field Service Management (FSM) application and dispatch service technicians before the equipment breaks, depending on the type of equipment and the kinds of alerts available.

A mature and truly predictive maintenance strategy would establish a digital record of the asset, a “perfectly performing” profile of the asset to evaluate your real assets against in the field. As their performance degrades against this digital twin, users can see assembly failures on the horizon. This technology is not science fiction, it is science fact and exists today in aviation, renewable energy, logistics, power generation, and other technologically advanced manufacturing markets. Now that it does exist, it is only a matter of time before it expands to other markets. Early adopters will see a significant competitive advantage over slower movers. 

Focus on Outcomes

The purpose of these efforts is to become laser focused on customer outcomes. Emerging technologies allow for service leaders to be anticipatory in their maintenance actions. Refine PM schedules based on equipment utilization, condition, and performance. Leverage past performance and performance indicators to inform predictive preventive maintenance, i.e. only service the equipment when it requires service and not according to some mathematical average provided by the manufacturers. Customers want results, economic availability and output, and financial outcomes, not some SLA on how quickly you service the equipment once it breaks. More equipment availability and less service time.

When you think of uptime and outcomes, your customers are buying and using assets to produce something, an economic benefit. Technology can aid you in providing much higher uptime, improved economic output, and reduced maintenance actions, which lead to greater technician productivity and availability. A true win/win.

ServiceMax from GE Digital will be at Field Service Fall next week. Come talk with us at our booth or stop by my session on the business impact of service data on August 27 at 1:25 p.m: “Interactive Workshop E: The Rise of Asset and Service Data Gravity.

ABOUT Joe Kenny

Avatar photoJoe Kenny is the vice president of global customer transformation & customer success at ServiceMax. His career spans over 30 years of leadership positions in Operations, Sales, Product Development, Product Marketing, and Field Service. Beginning his field service experience with the U.S. Naval Security Group Command (NSGC) as a mainframe computer technician, Joe subsequently lived and worked in Asia, the U.S., and Europe. Joe has focused on customer relationship management, using clearly defined and mutually agreed to measurements of success, and driving to continually exceed customer expectations, allowing for exponential business growth and client retention.