Servitization is when a company proactively maintains and optimizes a product’s performance over the course of its lifetime. You’re no longer selling a singular product, but rather selling a result. The relationship with the customer doesn’t end at the time of purchase, but is nurtured over time as they receive outcome-based service to ensure their products perform as intended.
But you can’t be everywhere customers use your products, so how can you possibly achieve this? Here are a few tips to help you successfully transition and implement a servitization model.
Phase one is all about optimizing, which is rooted in understanding your data and assets. To achieve servitization, you first need to get a big-picture view of your current service model and identify areas where you can make proactive improvements. Make sure you are focused on data surrounding cost reduction, efficiencies, and automation of field service. These metrics will set you up for success down the road.
When mining data, establish a single source of truth and standardize processes across the business. A vital tool for understanding service data is a data analytics system. It can give you historic and real-time views of the performance of many facets of your operations — technician performance and productivity, customer satisfaction, ROI, product life and function, and device malfunction.
A Field Service Management (FSM) program is a valuable tool for optimizing data and establishing a foundation for an outcome-based service model. This will not only help you learn from past data and patterns, but will help you continually improve product performance in the future.
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The second piece is based on understanding how connected devices and processes complement your foundation. The Internet of Things (IoT) has allowed for easy and comprehensive connectivity across devices, products, and services.
IoT it is the foundation on which you can automate services, leverage data, deploy new products, and ultimately save money and increase profits. Another connected tool outcome-based service models can utilize is the newest AR/VR technologies.
IoT for servitization not only helps you improve your field service capabilities and stand apart from the competition, it can also help you monetize your field service operations. With connectivity across your services, internal processes, and the customer, you can monitor each on an all-in-one dashboard.
To achieve this connectivity, all aspects of your front and back end operations need to be hosted in a singular cloud. This makes generating performance reports, inventory data, scheduling service, and more, easier and more efficient.
Maximizing IoT capabilities is what makes proactive servitization possible. It provides real-time monitoring of equipment and service health, deploys software updates or technicians to make repairs, ultimately reducing downtime. When you’re a proactive field service branch, you can begin condition-based rather than ad-hoc maintenance, tending to higher-probability issues before they occur.
AR/VR technologies are new to the world of servitization, but IoT is making them valuable tools for outcome-based service. They aid in real-time monitoring of product performance, improving response time and customer satisfaction.
These technologies can be used in-office or in the field, helping you troubleshoot issues remotely and immediately. When AR/VR, field service software, and customer relationship management (CRM) software are working together, technicians and product experts are alerted to an issue and can provide instant feedback.
With insights from your data analytics programs and a 360-degree view of your product’s performance made possible by IoT, you can now take servitization to the next level. Field service mobility, automated processes, and predictive maintenance are innovative offerings new to the outcome-based service model.
Field Service Mobility
Mobile devices and integrated apps can help service providers stay connected. Sometimes work orders change, customers have an emergency, or technicians encounter a situation they weren’t expecting. Field service mobility can improve servitization by:
- Giving technicians access to customer and work order information online or anywhere they are via native mobile devices.
- Allowing customers to track a technician’s route via native mobile apps, so they know when they will arrive and can get a more accurate window of when service will occur.
- Providing technicians with remote step-by-step guidance for better first-time fix rates.
To save time and money, those with servitization models can implement automated processes powered by IoT and the advanced analytics at their disposal. Manual tasks that used to eat up hours, such as dispatching, scheduling, contracts, and more, can now be automated and monitored with field service automation software.
The native mobile applications you’ve outfitted your technicians with can be plugged in to this information. Automatically alert them to a new order or automatically order the tools they need based on the work they’ve completed or are looking to complete.
A key differentiator for service companies is their ability to nip issues in the bud. Servitization relies on being proactive, making predictive maintenance a cornerstone of this service model. All of the aforementioned features – IoT, data analytics, VR/AR, and Field Service Monitoring Software, are the key to a successful predictive maintenance system.
IoT allows you to constantly monitor and receive reports about the state of your products. You know their lifecycles, their potential bugs, and should be aware of their last service. Using the insights offered by your data, you should be able to calculate a predictive maintenance schedule to keep systems running and prevent downtime.