With LiveWorx 17 behind us, the excitement generated by the thousands of attendees, partners, and of course, cutting-edge technology, is still palpable. PTC’s CEO, Jim Heppelmann, started his keynote by stating that it's become PTC's sole mission to help customers harness the value created by the physical & digital worlds.
The convergence of the physical and digital opens up opportunities for the service lifecycle, streamlining operations, improving customer outcomes, and opening up revenue opportunities that were simply not possible before. Here’s how the physical and digital worlds can come together, with the power of the Internet of Things, and PTC.
When service information from assets, equipment, and technicians can be looped back into the design process, instead of repairing a chronic issue, OEMs and manufacturers can design products avoiding recurring issues. More than that, when feedback is incorporated seamlessly, design can happen for serviceability. For example, if replacing a power source on an asset requires multiple steps and several tools that affect mean time to repair, designing a power supply that’s easier to access improves repair times, the technician experience, and customer outcomes.
A dashboard that pulls data directly from field equipment is useful to engineers, of course, who can offer service and functionality recommendations. For example, when there is an equipment malfunction, an engineer with direct visibility into the asset can see that a software update needs to be performed, or that a component has failed, and can walk a customer through an update, or dispatch a technician with the most accurate information and even the right part in hand. But this information also becomes invaluable for sales when it comes to nurturing customer relationships and selling additional services. How? An account executive can see that a customer might need more on-call service, additional support, or a supply of accessories. By anticipating a need, sales, engineering, and customers are aligned around asset performance.
Dealers, customers, and field technicians all rely on service documentation to troubleshoot and maintain equipment. The ability to quickly and efficiently get an asset back up and running depends on this technical documentation to be accurate to the model, to its particular iteration, and to its parts. Without this fidelity, service is delayed and equipment is unavailable. Using advanced technology like AR, VR, and 3D illustrations, technicians can get easy to understand, just-in-time information, without worrying about whether a document was accurately translated. They can see repair information overlayed on an asset, compare to original operating state, and more. And of course, instead of rifling through a heavy paper manual, technicians can call up documentation on tablets, mobile phones, or AR-enabled glasses.
Customers aren’t very effective sensors. They typically don’t contact you until there is an issue, which puts you into firefighting mode. When your equipment is sending constant feedback back to your service, sales, and account teams, there is an opportunity to be proactive in managing the customer experience.
At LiveWorx, PTC’s Jim Heppelmann tells us that if data is the new oil, you’re going to need a new refinery. Equipment in the field can generate hundreds and thousands of points of data, which can quickly become overwhelming and useless without the strategy behind its collection. By formulating a business case for each point of data collected, and pulling it into a cross-functional, IoT-enabled dashboard, OEMs, manufacturers, and service providers can make sense of information and put it to use.
PTC is at the frontier of innovation in the new industrial revolution, with a vision that has become the industry’s vision. Connecting physical to digital, in service of your customers. Where you go next depends on where you are now, and what your organization’s vision is. Learn more on our LiveWorx Service Hub.