Missed Service Opportunities in Industrial Equipment Manufacturing

August 24, 2020

Why do industrial equipment manufacturers often have to allocate a huge chunk of their sales budget as overtime to their field agents? The right way to come out of this sticky situation is by enhancing field service and sales strategies in order to cut down on the overtime costs and offer work-life balance to service reps. And all this has to happen while taking care that superior service standards are maintained and customer commitments are satisfied.

But do we have insights into how industrial equipment manufacturers are—even the current economy—able to boost customer retention? Yes, we actually do.

Including fresh service offerings to the integrated portfolio is currently paving the way for industrial equipment manufacturers toward profitable margins and enhanced customer retention. Since they are already well-versed with the concepts of equipment design and development, they are already suitably prepared to enable unrivaled equipment performance for their customers.

Too often, we end up doing the wrong things in the industrial equipment industry with the hope that it will make that much needed difference to the business. Let’s take a look at what should be the features to look for when it comes to field service management (FSM) for industrial equipment manufacturing:

Intelligent Process Automation:

An FSM solution worth investing in would come with capabilities such as predictive maintenance to create work activities and identify the best-fit field technician who can be at the customer site at that time to work on that activity. It’s thanks to inbuilt smart scheduling, dispatching, and streamlined algorithms that this becomes possible for these solutions.

Ready Access to Critical Information: Efficient FSM solutions offer field service agents with comprehensive information and direction that they need to carry out the assigned work in the most productive manner possible. What’s more, they help the agents to stay on top of their spare parts and consumables inventories.

Fast Processing of Information: Integrating the FSM solution with the company’s ERP is vital as it then permits express invoice generation and the quickest possible processing of spare part inventory information and work time and costs. Result? More connected, seamless field operations.

Crowd-Servicing: A concept that is new to the industry equipment manufacturing industry, crowd-servicing enables onboarding, certifying, and overseeing third-party technicians on a need basis to expand the service scope area minus the headache of bothering about the overhead of these technicians. And if that doesn’t sound attractive enough, this feature is available on phones and tablets and have offline options as well.

Data Recording and Processing: If the FSM solution the organization chooses is among the best in the market, it will streamline the complete field service process while perfectly recording the pertinent data to arrive at cost and productivity calculations of the field agents to enable constant enhancements.

But then, in case there are better things to do for these enterprises than geek out over the possible solutions to their service delivery dilemma, here’s a quick refresher course on what they should look for when hunting for a sturdy, reliable field service management platform:

  • It should comprise all facets of after-sales service with field technicians
  • It should enable them to guarantee a high level of plant availability, service efficiency, and customer satisfaction
  • It should help service dispatchers to work with a high volume of work orders per day and assign them to field technicians with a range of skills
  • It should enable field technicians to access important data, spare parts, and materials whenever they need them
  • It should help customers benefit from fast troubleshooting

Trends we have seen in the industrial equipment manufacturing industry

For over 15 years, we have worked with equipment manufacturers who have voiced their field service challenges. We have found that the problems that often surface fall into these areas:

  • Patchy insight into previous interactions
  • Negative customer feedback for issues that are beyond a tech’s control
  • Missed service revenue opportunities
  • Delayed resolutions due to lack of inventory or resources
  • Skill and knowledge gaps among team members
  • Manual or cumbersome planning, work execution, and billing steps

After their engagement with us and the subsequent SAP Field Service Management implementations that followed, the most notable gains they are experiencing include:

  • • More service opportunities and better margins, resulting in increased service revenue
  • • Richer customer insights leading to more personalized interactions with customers
  • • Increased brand loyalty as a result of positive customer experiences

Upcoming Webinar

To help industry equipment manufacturing enterprises drive efficiencies in their service processes and ensure that their field service execution teams are utilized efficiently by leveraging Field Service Management technology—particularly SAP FSM, we will be hosting a live webinar on Sept 24, 2020, which will focus on the Top Priorities for Industry Equipment Manufacturing Business and Technology Leaders. Details follow in the coming sections of the newsletter. Should you or any of your customers be interested in being a part of this live online event, be sure to click on Register here.

Soraya Whitehurst Diallo

Author: Soraya Whitehurst Diallo

Soraya is the Sales Operations and Pre-Sales Director at Knack Systems. She has extensive experience working with various SAP and non-SAP cloud applications. Soraya resides in Dothan, Alabama.


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