Data must drive action. Otherwise, all the strides that your organization has taken to get connected to equipment in the field have been taken in vain. Internally, other stakeholders will be frustrated that the connected journey isn’t yielding any results. More importantly, your customers and partners will wonder about all the value that was promised.
We can’t assume that assets and equipment are connected. While it is easier and cheaper to connect from a technology point-of-view, there are still significant security challenges that need to be addressed when looking to remotely capture performance and health information from a serviceable piece of equipment. Yet, organizations have made progress in developing a connected infrastructure, especially when it comes to net new assets. The major selling point has been value for the stakeholder to who connectivity needs to be sold.
While our research points to increasing maturity around connectivity, we still find that most organizations are in the early stages of acting on the connected data that they have. In a simplistic manner, we find that service organizations embark on 4 stages with the aid of connected data:
At the very core, most service organizations are trying to go from right-to-left, with the right being a field service interaction, and the left being a remote resolve. In that, organizations need to be able to analyze performance data to appropriately resolve service situations when they arise (or even before they do). An analysis of service events, as driven by the products being serviced themselves, can provide organizations with a priority list of actions and investments that they can make when addressing their service response portfolio.
Eventually the hope for most organizations is to predict future failure and service events. That is a nice vision, but one that will continue to be out of reach for most even with their connected infrastructure. The issue isn’t tied solely to technology, but also to the service resources and business models available to deliver predictive service. That said, there is a great opportunity to deliver value in reactive service and support. A better understanding of the service issue can drive a better experience for the customer. This isn’t only reflected in response times or first-time fix, but also in the ability of the service organization to guide the customer through the service event. Enhancing the customer experience around service events continues to rise to the top of the action list for service business leaders.
We spoke about going right-to-left from a field support model to one with a greater incidence of remote resolves. There is another version of right-to-left that is desired by service leaders, one which involves the creation of a service event prior to its occurrence. To accommodate this, organizations need to understand and isolate the leading indicators of pending service occurrences and then have the infrastructure in place to resolve these issues prior to their occurrence.
The first three stages are transformational in how service is delivered. Yet, they don’t significantly transform the interaction and consumption model for customers. As service organizations get a better handle of service events, service needs, usage patterns, and usage preferences, they can begin to tailor products and services to different types of customers. In this, these organizations need to evolve to focusing on the utility that their customers desire, as opposed to relying on the standard product-service purchase/transaction.
I’ll be talking about these four stages on an upcoming discussion with leaders from Microsoft and PowerObjects on June 14 (Register). If interested in learning about the connected service journeys that organizations are taking, I’d encourage you to join in.