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Globally, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are vying for competitive advantage, differentiated value, and customer loyalty.
Having customers define products or services as imperative is the ultimate goal and accolade. This road to producing an imperative product or service requires a commitment to excellence and an innovative mindset in product design, manufacturing, and optimized service delivery across the ecosystem. Outcome-based services and the shift from ownership to usage require realignment and tighter collaboration across the engineering, manufacturing, procurement, and service functions of all ecosystem partners. The design anywhere, buy anywhere, build anywhere, sell anywhere, and service anywhere model of OEMs to drive down costs and access markets can build stickiness with innovative services that leverage data science. Early adopters and industry leaders have proven that solutions rooted in advanced data science deliver higher value. OEMs will need to be agile and quick to innovate to thrive over the next few years. Through numerous case studies, this paper demonstrates how digital thread plays a crucial role in helping OEMs achieve service innovation for the best outcome and maximum asset uptime and readiness.
Weaving innovation in manufacturing
Typically, in manufacturing, information is managed in silos across multiple enterprise-wide systems such as product life cycle management (PLM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), supply chain management (SCM), and customer relationship management (CRM).
Field service, technical publications, connected product usage, service parts planning, and warranty administration have separate systems. The digital thread connects such enterprise systems with multiple service systems. Such connectivity allows for real-time information flow and analysis across engineering, manufacturing, and service functions inside the enterprise and among suppliers, distributors, and partners. This helps manufacturers reimagine the way products are designed, manufactured, and serviced for better business outcomes. With contextualized closed looping of systems enabled by the digital thread, manufacturers can analyze and improve processes within business functions and across the value chain in real-time or near real-time.
Service life cycle – A critical contributor to digital thread
Engineering and manufacturing data are the foundation for service, and this information is used by every service provider in every transaction, every single day.
Drawing insights from this gold mine of data can positively impact the top and bottom line for OEMs and their customers. The service life cycle is also about ten times larger in volume, revenue, and profit than engineering and manufacturing combined. An engine is designed and manufactured once and serviced for the rest of its life, which for some products can be for decades. This provides enterprises with immense opportunities to gain a larger share of customer lifetime value through service innovation and prepare for the shift to outcome-based services and new business models.
|Case in point|
|To illustrate how data can power the service life cycle, let’s look at a global leader in high performance power systems engineering and aircraft engines. It leveraged engine sensor data and its expertise in engine repairs to develop new service contracts, which assured uptime and in-service availability of engines to customers. To deliver the services, product performance data was analyzed with engineering physics, operating conditions, and then based on findings, parts, rotables, and service engineers were planned in advance. The iconic brand was able to generate revenue and profitability through new revenue streams and build loyalty|