Three reasons you should be using a service parts management solution
To remain competitive in todays on-demand society, manufacturer...
Why field service and aftermarket supply chain are key to improving customer experience
To remain competitive in today’s on-demand society, manufacturers are looking for every opportunity to optimise and automate the supply chain process. From initial conception through to production, meticulous planning is applied to every system and tool that goes into manufacturing a product. However, there is a final step that many don’t think to take. And that is improving the area of the business that interacts with your customers most often - your field service organisation.
The quality of customer interactions with durable goods manufacturers is becoming increasingly critical to company success. Customers expect services to be faster and more reliable than ever before, and this relies heavily on having an efficient aftermarket supply chain, which includes the field service team.
Aftermarket service shouldn’t be a headache
Most companies are well versed in the importance of reducing response times and empowering customers by providing the necessary information for them to fix issues on their own. But where many fall down is in the ability to provide the right part when it’s needed. In terms of aftermarket service, such as repairs, it’s all too often that the technician arrives on time, is highly-skilled and eager to help, but does not have the necessary part to get the job finished. Suddenly the investment in the field service management technology is hard to justify. And what’s worse, the customer is left unsatisfied and disgruntled.
So what’s the solution?
In reality, resolving these types of customer issues and experiences is perfectly feasible with the addition of service parts management and scheduling solutions. These technologies can integrate to ensure that when your technician arrives at the right place at the right time, they have the right part to repair whatever was broken in the first place.
Essentially, using technology within your field service organisation will result in three key benefits:
- Better customer & technician relationships
By improving how and when a maintenance visit occurs, while also ensuring the adequate parts are in stock to provide time-efficient service, customers are more likely to view technicians as trusted advisors.
Technicians are the ‘face’ of the brand, and are the people who interact with your customers most often. Being able to repair a product quickly will not only save the customer time and money, it will also leave them with a positive brand experience.
- You can predict upcoming maintenance
Using the right technology, manufacturers can quickly see any repeat patterns in repair jobs. For example, they can tell if technicians are making visits to multiple customers to repair the same issue on the same piece of equipment. This means it’s easier to predict when another customer may experience an issue in the future.
- Increased technician capacity
Ensuring that technicians are stocked with the right parts and are able to repair products during the first appointment with a customer means they can make more visits each day. Ultimately, this will increase opportunities for business and improve ROI.
Businesses need to realise that the barriers for customers to switch providers are lower than ever. The landscape is becoming increasingly competitive, filled with more rival OEMs, but also with more independent service providers. By ensuring that your service part supply chain is as efficient as possible, you can drive more value from your field service operations. To remain competitive, make sure that your technicians are equipped with the right tools for the job, so you can provide the best possible customer experience.
Giacomo Squintani is Regional Marketing Manager of Syncron
Follow @ManufacturingGL and @NellWalkerMG
IMF: Variants Can Still Hurt Manufacturing Recovery
After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022.
Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery.
Lingering Concerns Over COVID
Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high.
Yet manufacturers around the world realise that these wins will be short-lived until pandemic supply chain bottlenecks are solved. If we keep the status quo, consumers will pay the price. In April, inflation in Germany reached 2.4%, and across the EU’s 19 member countries, overall prices have increased at an unusual pace. Some ask: Is this true recovery?
IMF: Current Boom Could Falter
Even as Elon Musk tweeted about chip shortages forcing Tesla to raise its prices, UK mining demand skyrocketed; housing markets lifted; and the pound sterling gained value. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, cautioned that manufacturing recovery won’t last long if COVID mutates into forms our vaccinations can’t touch. Kristalina Georgieva, Washington’s IMF director, noted that fewer than 1% of African citizens have been vaccinated: “Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery”.
Across the globe, manufacturing companies are keeping a watchful eye on new developments in the spread of COVID. Though US FDA officials don’t think we’ll have to “start at square one” with new vaccines, the March 2021 World Economic Outlook states that “high uncertainty” surrounds the projected 6% global growth. Continued manufacturing success will in large part depend on “the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support, and the evolution of financial conditions”.
Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.