The Internet of Things has dramatically impacted manufacturers and service providers all around the world. Companies in the competitive medical device industry are looking at how connectivity and smart devices can be used to generate more value for their customers as well as new sources of revenue. Elekta understands this opportunity and has been using this technology for the past decade to help differentiate their service business and expedite the way their products are being serviced.
Elekta is a Swedish manufacturer of medical technologies for treating cancer and brain disorders. They have assets in operation in over 6,000 medical facilities and 3,800 employees worldwide, with over a quarter of those employees in the Service organization.
Life Saving Service
“Every year over one million patients are treated on our machines,” says Daniel Kingham, Remote Service Program Director. “The importance of not missing a single treatment is absolutely paramount to them on both a physical and emotional level. If a machine is unavailable for multiple treatments, it may result in re-planning the remaining treatment which is not acceptable.”
Elekta has been on the forefront of incorporating emerging technologies into their business so they can better serve their customers and patients. Most recently, Kingham has led a commitment to leverage IoT and smart, connected products to deliver even more value to their customers and patients. These projects are facilitating a transition from a medical device manufacturer to a medical device and services company.
Competitive Advantage Through IoT Partnership
Like many companies, Elekta faces pressure to innovate with new products, improve the performance of existing products, and meet growing customer expectations. In response to this pressure Elekta has undertaken a global project in partnership with PTC and ServiceMax to implement Connected Field Service with remote access. This new initiative represents the next step in Elekta’s connected service strategy, expanding beyond the Elekta IntelliMax™ program for remote service that increased equipment uptime and allowed 20% of service issues to be resolved without dispatching a technician.
“Elekta was looking for a connected service partner. PTC was looking for an ambitious, forward thinking customer to explore the connected service journey. Together, with ServiceMax, we’ve been able to architect technology solutions that demonstrate real business results that focus on customer needs.” Michael Anderson, Sr. Director, SLM Solution Management, PTC.
Kingham was tasked with implementing a solution to standardize and simplify systems, tools, and processes in their service organization. These efficiencies were needed so that Elekta could remain competitive in the global market. Added to the mandate was a clear directive that customer service and response to their needs was to be of paramount importance.
By choosing Connected Field Service with remote access, Elekta can provide faster, more efficient and cost-effective service to their customers and their customers’ patients. This has opened up new possibilities, such as being able to predict service issues and address them proactively. In many cases, repairs can be effected prior to equipment failure, reducing or eliminating unplanned downtime. It also improves Elekta’s ability to respond quickly to service requests and often resolve problems remotely. This level of service distinguishes Elekta and provides a competitive advantage.
Elekta faces competition not only from other equipment makers. As Kingham has shared, distributors and other organizations also compete for the service revenue that has been an integral component of Elekta’s business model. In the first year of this project Elekta has had more than 600 preventative actions carried out. This translates to uninterrupted treatments for more than 14,000 patients. The health of the patient is of utmost importance to Elekta, which is why they commit to uptime availability.
This program is also resulting in some intangible results, by creating greater engagement among the workforce. Field engineers are discovering the value of the data being captured and appreciating the standardization of systems. Using a unified solution from PTC and ServiceMax allows service personnel to be more efficient by fixing problems the first time and anticipating service events. It equips them with the knowledge and service information they need to get their job done. Elekta is seeing an increase in the number of open service cases resolved remotely, improved service response times, and new product and services upsell opportunities are being created based on the data field technicians gather on-site.
“The relationship with ServiceMax and PTC has allowed Elekta to be at the forefront of the new breed of manufacturers becoming more and more service oriented. With the field engineers using Connected Field Service, the convenient access to useful service information results in a more trained, educated, and valuable workforce.” Thurman Keene, Director, Strategic Alliance, ServiceMax.
Looking Toward the Future of Service
These Connected Service projects have delivered results that are just scratching the surface. In addition, new ideas and possibilities are being considered that allow Mr. Kingham to peer into the future and envision how Elekta’s strategy will impact patient care and business performance.
“As we look at new ways to deliver service and support our evolving products we count on the support of PTC and ServiceMax as partners and thought leaders. Together we can deliver unprecedented value and support our customers to improve the lives of millions of patients.” says Daniel Kingham.
Through strategic partnerships and investing in new technologies, Elekta is advancing the treatment of brain disorders and cancer. We can all stand behind that.
To learn more, please visit: PTC.com/slm/connected-field-service
Read the entire Elekta Case Study here (.PDF)