The manufacturing industry has become highly competitive the past several years, with much of a company’s success hinging upon service delivery quality and efficiency. There’s more value placed upon services than ever before, thanks to an increase in global competition, companies that try to use their existing capital equipment for as long as possible, and the fact that equipment buyers now demand business solutions whose outcome is a combination of products, services, and performance benchmarks. The unpredictable economic times we’ve endured the past several years certainly haven’t made any of this any easier.
As a result, OEMs have started viewing the business processes of SLM the same way they might have previously for Supply Chain Management and Product Lifecycle Management. Processes like spare parts management, returns management, knowledge & content management, and depot repair are just a handful of the areas in which OEMs are enforcing SLM optimization efforts.
Although there have been huge strides made in the service technologies field, there is unfortunately a pervading sense across the industry that these vendors are not providing optimal service, that the investments haven’t paid off. Studies show that from 2001-2009, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) failure rates reached a peak level of 70%, tapering off to what’s still a staggeringly high average of 50%. ERP implementations are also falling short of initial expectations. So what, exactly, has been happening?
Common “Pain Points” in Service Lifecycle Management illuminate a lot of what’s been going wrong. Through these primary pains, we can see that sometimes SLM can seem like a disjointed network of technologies and business practices, with no unifying thread, no checks and balances, to keep everything running efficiently. A few of the most common Pain Points service executives face include (but are not limited to):
-Field service and logistics not optimized (Results in low profitability and low customer satisfaction)
-Inability to manage/control service business day-to-day (Business is often run as a product business instead of a service-based one)
-A need for real-time control over parts and personnel in the field (Results in slow response time to customer needs in the field)
-High cost of logistics and inventory (Results in constant purchasing of new parts as well as parts not being where they need to be when they need to be there)
-Inability to manage the business strategically (Low customer satisfaction, low employee morale, and low revenue growth)
The solution, in broad strokes, is systemic optimization, that elusive “unifying thread”, a spine to keep everything standing upright. These businesses require a sequential, organized service technology system that gives executives the power and tools they need to effectively profit from post-sales service. Businesses often achieve optimization in one area, but not all of them, resulting in what can feel like a less tangible form of assembly-line bottlenecking. It’s important to keep the domino effect of all these processes combined in mind.
This infographic helps illustrate how systemic optimization across processes can have a symbiotic, positive effect on the business as a whole.
To learn how the Blumberg Advisory Group can help your business achieve this kind of Service Lifecycle Management optimization, please visit our site and read about our SLM Consulting Practice. We customize our solutions to meet your specific needs and specialize in enhancing your service parts logistics operations quality and productivity.