New IDC Report Highlights the Importance of Equipment Data and Parts Management

Recently, IDC published the latest in a series of MarketScape reports for the Manufacturing segment. This IDC Parts Management Report, titled IDC Worldwide Manufacturing Service Parts Management Applications 2020 Vendor Assessment, profiles 8 service parts management vendors (including ServiceMax) who help manufacturers manage service parts across the lifecycle of the product they manufacture.

While we are certainly very proud of our placement as a Leader in this report, the most exciting part for us was how much this report surfaces the importance of equipment and asset-centric field service management. To do this type of field service properly, parts management is absolutely required. Having the right parts available and easily sourced is critical for optimal uptime, fast issue resolution, and first time fix, which results in a strong customer experience.

So what does the IDC Parts Management Report have to say about the importance and role of an asset/equipment-centric approach? They make several key points in the study.

1. The Parts Planning & Parts Management Silo Is Disappearing

First, IDC stresses that parts planning & parts management have historically been done in a silo, disconnected from other processes such as CRM and Field Service Management, but this is changing. Simpler FSM solutions from CRM and ERP vendors may argue that their solution is great for managing field service and that it’s best to leave the complex “back office” pieces (like parts management) to another solution. But IDC could not be more clear that this is the wrong approach.

As part of the profile on ServiceMax, IDC warns “Functions within service such as field service, parts management, or warranties should no longer be siloed, and a product that can connect the end-to-end service life cycle will be critical for success for manufacturers and service organizations.”*

2. Cutting Costs Is No Longer #1

Second, IDC notes that the goal is no longer “cut costs”. It is just as much about improving customer experience and revenue growth as it is about saving money. “Service parts management in manufacturing is becoming a more critical function, with overall service life-cycle management with the ability to not only impact operational efficiency and cost but also to deliver new revenue stream opportunities and business service models, enhance the customer experience, improve service worker productivity, enable better visibility across the service supply chain, improve product quality, and trigger new service innovations.”*

3. Equipment Data is the Holy Grail

Last, the IDC Parts Management Report emphasizes that access to the equipment/asset data itself is the source of this power. The data is HOW you get to those results you are seeking. If your system won’t enable you to gather, understand, and trust detailed equipment data, you’ll be flying blind. As IDC notes, “Make service parts data quality a priority. The clichés are plenty, but to transform the service operations, organizations must be able to rely on and make decisions based on accurate, quality data, which can be accessed in real time or near real time.

Failure to have quality data to act on will result in the field team, support planners, management, suppliers, and dealers making decisions based on gut feel or simply refer to historical data points. Decisions today must be made more quickly, and therefore, the service team must trust the inputs they receive as these decisions can have costly ramifications.”*

Customer Experience is a Differentiator

It is clear to us at ServiceMax that, for manufacturers and others with a strong asset/equipment-centric view of service, parts management is crucial. The overall importance of good service and its impact on customer experience and business results cannot be overstated.

As report author, Aly Pinder, Jr., wrote in a previous MarketScape on Field Service Management (in which ServiceMax is also profiled and named a Leader), “The ability to resolve a customer issue and deliver value beyond expectations is becoming a differentiator for manufacturers. Manufacturers recognize the importance of the field service team to create wow experiences for customers and are investing in the tools and technology capabilities to execute on-demand service, driving revenue, efficiency, and the customer experience.”**

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*IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Manufacturing Service Parts Management Applications 2020 Vendor Assessment, Aly Pinder, IDC #US44801020, January 2020

**IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Manufacturing Field Service Management Applications 2019-2020 Vendor Assessment, Aly Pinder, IDC #US44408719, November 2019

IDC MarketScape vendor analysis model is designed to provide an overview of the competitive fitness of suppliers in a given market.  The research methodology utilizes a rigorous scoring methodology based on both qualitative and quantitative criteria that results in a single graphical illustration of each vendor’s position within a given market. The Capabilities score measures vendor product, go-to-market and business execution in the short-term. The Strategy score measures alignment of vendor strategies with customer requirements in a 3-5-year timeframe. Vendor market share is represented by the size of the circles. Vendor year-over-year growth rate relative to the given market is indicated by a plus, neutral or minus next to the vendor name. IDC 2019

ABOUT Susan Tonkin

Susan TonkinSusan Tonkin is manager of product marketing at ServiceMax, and a regular webinar speaker and writer on field service topics. Susan joined ServiceMax in 2011, spearheading analyst relations and product launch activities as ServiceMax grew exponentially. Prior to joining ServiceMax, she spent more than a decade managing product marketing at Cloud and Enterprise software companies such as Saba and Extensity; working regularly with customers, analysts and partners to bring exciting products to market. Susan holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Administration from Saint Mary’s College of California.