Extending ServiceMax Beyond Service: Controlling Costs

As discussed in my last piece, enabling asset maintenance is the focus of ServiceMax, but the intrinsic value of ServiceMax extends far beyond just enabling the act of servicing the asset. We discussed the impact of these tangential approaches to using ServiceMax as it pertained to revenue generation, so now let’s look at the ways in which ServiceMax can significantly enable cost reduction and control.

One of the most common statements that I hear when customers go live with ServiceMax is “wow, it is like someone turned the lights on and suddenly you can see what is happening.” That increased visibility, the taking of raw data and turning it into information and insight that can be acted upon, stretches far beyond how and when to service a piece of equipment. Enabling the capability of configuring those views to meet the specific needs of individuals and departments also enables better understanding and actions in the management of those assets.

Let’s take a look.

Fleet Managers

How does asset data impact fleet management? Having the ability to track and capture all aspects of maintenance provides fleet managers with an excellent ability to gauge the health and performance of a fleet of assets. On a macro level, which areas, geographies, shops, and service teams are performing better than others? Are there best practices to be mined from those with better first-time fix rates (FTF), mean time to service (MTTS) times, mean time between service calls (MTBS), or overall asset uptime (EQAVAL)?

Capturing the maintenance time, cost of parts, and number of PMs and CMs can also inform service leaders of the costs associated with warranties and service contracts. Is your warranty costing more than you budgeted for it?  If so, why? Can manufacturing or R&D help reengineer the asset to reduce warranty service calls? Are you making money on service agreements or is the cost to maintain that equipment in PMs, CMs, and consumables more than the revenue associated with that service agreement?  Should you raise your service agreement prices?  Possibly change and lower the contractual entitlements?

Asset Managers

When should an asset be sold, replaced, or disposed of? Tracking the accumulated costs over time and balancing that cost against the schedule of depreciation, revenue generated by rental or lease of the asset, or the economic output of the asset can inform asset managers when to stop “sweating” an asset and to decide on the future disposition of it. Long-term trending of asset maintenance costs, revenue associated with the asset, the asset book value, and the resale value can allow for asset managers to proactively make the right decision for the company, and customer, in advance.

Asset managers can also make better decisions on where the asset is being utilized. Many areas of the country are impacted by seasonality. Looking at asset demand over time and by location can allow for asset managers and service leaders to proactively make decisions on where to stage assets or asset families based on seasonality and geographical demands. In addition, significant weather events can be tracked over time, and demand for specific asset types or families can be forecasted.

In preparation for blizzards and/or hurricanes, how many of our assets should be pre-positioned in a certain location based on past demand? How much of our construction-related equipment should we relocate to the southern states in September based on seasonal construction jobs? ServiceMax can help provide the data and insight to make these decisions in a reliable and repeatable way.

Asset Warranty Managers and Supply Chain

Most assets used or serviced by service leaders come with their own warranty. Many of the parts replaced are covered by warranties or service agreements. How difficult is it for service leaders, asset managers, and supply chain professionals to accurately track, file a claim, and ensure reimbursement of OEM warranty claims within their service organizations?

ServiceMax tracks the asset according to the Bill of Material (BOM) as purchased. We also track every maintenance activity that ever occurs to that asset and record all changes to the BOM, an “as maintained BOM.” If the parts removed are covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, extended warranty, or service contract, our system (through Service Performance Manager) will require that service technicians create a warranty or service agreement claim – specific to that manufacturer’s process.

In essence, the system can be configured so that the technician cannot complete a work order without entering a warranty or service agreement claim and generating an RMA for that part if required. That RMA or claim number can be part of a dashboard and tracked from the service technician to the OEM and back to inventory or deposit automatically.

Asset Managers and Service Leaders

Maintaining assets after their deployment to the field has many unique challenges, not least of which are Field Change Orders, Field Modifications, Safety Letters, Service Letters, or Firmware Upgrades, to name a few. This means some maintenance activity must be performed on every asset within a specified class or family or within a specifically identified group.

In many cases, service leaders and asset managers turn to excel, generate individual work orders for the assets impacted, create a SharePoint or Access database, and track these activities manually. ServiceMax provides the capability to create a single work order, identify the target asset profile, and automatically create serialized work orders for all of those assets. Each of these work orders comes with instructions on what needs to be done, parts required, any tech notes, or other artifacts – which can be dash boarded and tracked through to completion easily and simply. Managers have an up-to-date, real-time, view of progress toward completion at their fingertips. Alerts and escalations can be included to message supervisors or managers if action is not taken within a specific time frame or if those work orders remain open for an extended period. Easy to track, easy to identify, easy to manage.

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to adapting asset data to better management practices and processes. Understanding the condition of the asset in the field, being able to assess its overall health, output, and pending maintenance needs are key to reducing and controlling costs over the life of the asset.

Next time we will look at workflow automation and how it can be used across your entire Salesforce platform.

ABOUT Joe Kenny

Joe 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.