Increasing customer expectations around the speed and efficiency of service calls places additional stress on businesses that are already facing pressure to produce more revenue with fewer resources.
Customers demand services that exceed contractual obligations. Meeting these demands compels field service teams to resolve issues faster and more efficiently. Supporting greater speed and effectiveness starts with integrating customer centricity into your service supply chain. Here are five steps you must take to achieve this goal:
The first step toward establishing a customer-centric service supply chain is to adjust your organization’s collective mindset. Don’t stock parts in lieu of failures. Organize your inventory to ensure customers can utilize your products with little-to-no disruption. This concept is similar to readiness-based sparing, a strategy which enables defense agencies to ensure their assets are mission-capable at all times.
Devise a strategy for ensuring you have the right part, at the right place, and at the right time. This minimizes the amount of downtime customers experience when failures occur.
The Internet of Things (IoT) can bring much clarity to what are often best guesstimates. Advanced forecast models are powerful, but historical data can only provide these algorithms with so much. Specifically, the IoT delivers three key inputs:
My colleague, Vinod Arekar, conducted a modeling exercise of how applying predictive analytics to IoT data would impact a service parts inventory. He found this method would enable a medical device manufacturer with dozens of stocking locations to reduce its overall inventory by 20%.
Your service parts management strategy doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The consumption of your service parts depends on multiple factors, including pricing, sales, field technician activity, and more. Look for a solution that can integrate with the software (including ERP systems) you use to manage these other aspects of your business.
Each of these requirements focuses on the outcome of revenue growth and better service delivery for your customers. Read how Metso Minerals used its service supply chain to reduce costs while increasing its part availability here:
Ed Wodarski is a Service Parts Planning (SPM) expert for Servigistics with a special focus on the commercial aviation ecosystem. Ed has over 36 years of experience in SPM software design, deployment and sales support. Starting his career at Xerox in 1981 as a part of the design team for the first bespoke global parts planning system, Ed is widely acknowledged as an industry founder. He later then designed the first commercial offering for LPA/Xelus which has since been incorporated into the Servigistics platform. Ed has also been a Senior Executive at Accenture consulting globally on parts planning best practices. At PTC, Ed has worked closely with a number of leading aviation enterprises including Boeing, Aviall, JetBlue, and Southwest.