The way we work, make decisions and organise our business is often defined by yesterday's requirements and needs. But, we have now taken a step into a digital era where innovation opens up new opportunities and behaviours. The possibilities of digitalisation are great for those who welcome change in their business or their products. The question, however, is how smart products can improve the aftermarket for your service organisation?
All devices have the potential to produce data. The data can be analysed and provide insights. These insights help your service organisation to develop smarter and more efficient services for your customers. The Internet of Things, (IoT), provides machines, vehicles and goods with sensors that can generate and gather data. When the sensors are connected to a network, the products can start to communicate with their surroundings. For example, a product can notify you and your customer when a component is breaking down and when it is time for service.
Make your products smart
IoT and smart products are already in use today, it is not a futuristic scenario. The features are already available in many products. Some people think it is expensive and complicated to add a smart element to their product, whereas, in most cases it is an easy first step. There are reliable, cheap, and easy ways to digitalise your products and your business. It can be as simple as connecting a sensor to an existing product or upgrade the system software. The benefit for everyone is that valuable data will be generated.
More efficient service and product development
With devices that notify when they need service it is no longer necessary to spend resources on planning and booking maintenance. It is also possible to minimize emergency service visits for issues with the unit. You can, thanks to the data, analyse what is happening in real-time and know exactly what needs to be addressed before a service technician is dispatched with the appropriate spare parts and tools. Data from the product provides insights into the actual usage and thus when service is needed. A world of generated information provides a basis that helps you develop your product.
Deeper customer needs analysis
By linking systems that handle customer information with your service system that handles smart product data, you can gain more benefits and develop your offering. With the right communication tool in hand, the service technician can add information from meeting with the customer: Are they planning to expand? Do they have any plans to change production? The combination of qualitative data from customer meetings and statistics from a connected product leads to a deeper understanding of the customer's needs. It makes you a strategic partner who can create an even more valuable offer.
More loyal customers with a new business model
IoT can change your entire business model. Already many companies sell hours of use instead of selling the hardware itself. It becomes your responsibility as a supplier to ensure that the customer receives the functionality you promised. This is possible because IoT creates close, continuous contact with the customer as well as the product, where you can prevent issues and instead focus on consultative, relationship-building conversations. You stay in touch with the customer throughout the product life cycle and become a natural partner for future investments.
Are you curious about how your products can be smarter? To help you digitalise the service delivery for your aftermarket organisation, we at Stratiteq can inspire and demonstrate how Microsoft's various products can be combined to enable modern service work in a service organisation. We not only work with the enabling technology but help you with the vision and the associated work processes. Contact us and we will tell you more about what we call Connected Services.