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Digital Reimagination (TM) of Equipment After-Sales

 

Digital technologies are blurring the boundaries and so called segmentation of many High Tech companies - whether it is semiconductors, computer platforms, electronics, industrial automation, or software products. Today, it is imperative for High Tech enterprises to not only create products and solutions that drive digital transformation but also apply these technologies to their own business. By taking full advantage of digital technologies, they can expand services, explore new markets, simplify operations, redefine business models, and serve consumers better.

There are five key digital technologies that collectively represent what we identify as the ‘Digital Five Forces’:

Digital Reimagination TM involves leveraging a combination of the Digital Five Forces to reimagine six areas of an enterprise:

  • Business models
  • Products and services
  • Customer segments
  • Channels
  • Business processes
  • Workplaces

High Tech companies have traditionally operated in the business to business (B2B) space, collaborating within a relatively closed group of ecosystem partners, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), or original design manufacturers (ODMs). The accelerated adoption of digital technologies as well as a need to connect with end consumers is redefining the High Tech value chain. As a result, the partner ecosystem, business drivers, growth engines, supply chains, and engineering focus areas are witnessing a change across all segments of High Tech, to adapt to the B2B2C and B2C models.

Transforming after-sales services through Digital Reimagination TM


At a high level, the functional processes within an equipment after-sales organization are:

  • Service contracts
  • Installed base management
  • Spare parts management
  • Field force management
  • Service operations
  • Warranty management
  • Equipment sales and marketing
  • Customer support

Creating a successful after-sales service strategy
The following recommendations for combining the Digital Five Forces can be applied to short and long term projects, irrespective of the maturity level of organizations.

  • Cloud-based IoT infrastructure to handle the scale, variety and velocity of data from field equipment and multiple protocols in near real time. Many industry players have invested in creating such IoT and machine to machine (M2M) platforms for smart applications and sensor based devices
  • Mobile technology to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of field service engineers and the execution of after-sales services. Mobile platforms greatly enhance the capability to receive work packages, capture service order requests, collect performance data, fill timesheets and collect feedback information to close a service order
  • Social technologies to build a knowledge repository of product experts, domain consultants, product information, known error database, and others. It offers a strong collaboration platform and opportunity to connect with domain experts anywhere in the world, as well as enables easy access to a reusable knowledge base
  • Predictive analytics and Big Data as the foundation for creating an integrated approach to service contracts, maintenance schedules, spare parts, field force optimization and equipment reliability

Conclusion
Digital technologies are impacting every facet of the High Tech business. Billions of connected devices, ubiquitous connectivity, smarter systems, and the rapid adoption of digital technologies are creating new opportunities at multiple levels for product manufacturers. As a result, High Tech companies are reorganizing and rethinking their internal and external structures and processes. We believe that a 360 degree view of the devices and services portfolio will lay the foundation for a world class service organization.

The Digital Five Forces are individually powerful, but when combined, can help companies reimagine their business from how they develop products and market them, to how agile they are in connecting with customers. Through Digital Reimagination TM, organizations can stay ahead in the innovation race, improve business value, gain market share, redefine business models, and create strong competitive differentiation.