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Increasing Uptime Through a Service Relationship Management Approach

Increasing Uptime Through a Service Relationship Management Approach by Dick Hyatt

Increasing Uptime Through a Service Relationship Management Approach

Dick Hyatt

Although the Internet of Things (IoT) has the ability to provide organizations with an astounding amount of data to help increase uptime, reduce total cost of ownership and improve operational efficiencies, companies are not using this data to its fullest potential. In fact, according to a report by McKinsey & Company, most IoT data remains unused. The small amount of data that is being used is generally applied only to anomaly detection, with little ongoing, sustainable value being achieved.

In reality, companies can successfully use IoT sensor data to accurately track the overall performance and utilization of their assets and tools. This data can be aggregated to identify issues and even predict failures before they happen.

Achieving this long-term sustainable value is only possible when sensor data can be made actionable and easily shared in a timely and efficient manner among the various members of the service supply chain. In this respect, an IoT sensor in and of itself is not an enabler, but really an enhancement to the service event management process.

Effective service management requires a well coordinated effort across the service supply chain. The service supply chain is a complex web of data, people (internal and external), technology and process required to ensure effective, timely and efficient service and repair of commercial assets. Unfortunately, these teams and the required information are often disconnected when an incident occurs. An enormous amount of time is spent tracking down paperwork (e.g., maintenance histories and schedules, warranty information, etc.), sending e-mails and making phone calls, all before any type of repairs take place.

Better Collaboration and Efficiency Through Service Relationship Management

cloudImplementing a closed loop service relationship management (SRM) approach ensures the right people have the right information at the right time. SRM enables the in context collection of sensor data and information from other third-party applications and shares that information in real time with key members of the service supply chain. This eliminates antiquated, complicated and inefficient methods in favor of a system that promotes instant collaboration through the connection of people, processes, information and systems.

SRM systems are cloud-based software platforms that enable the service supply chain to communicate and share in context information to make better, faster and more informed decisions. This approach has proven to reduce problem identification time by more than 70 percent, lower service and repair times by as much as 50 percent and improve the likelihood of the correct repair by more than 90 percent.

How Companies Use SRM to Drive Uptime

While most transportation companies have used telematics to monitor location and driver behavior, these connected assets are also increasingly being used to report on vehicle health and performance. Sensor data on engines and other key components, plus location information, can help kickoff a process to track, manage and measure service events.

Traditionally, capturing vehicle health, engaging the right internal and external personnel, scheduling the best available repair location by hours of operation, proximity, parts availability, services offered, etc., and gaining access to the information required to correctly and efficiently repair a vehicle has been a time-consuming, manual and stressful process.

If the fleet and its service supply chain are using an SRM system, however, this process suddenly becomes a lot less complicated. The manager is notified when a high severity event occurs and receives information regarding the likely cause, plus a suggested repair plan. This information, along with the asset’s location, nearby preferred providers, service history and details about warranties, campaigns and any outstanding recalls, is all aggregated and shared.

The entire service supply chain can now easily access details on the vehicle’s overall performance and maintenance histories, much as a doctor would when seeing a new patient’s medical records. With a better understanding of the issues, the team is more prepared to make the appropriate repairs, decide how to manage the driver and delivery load, and get the necessary technical or warranty-related support from the truck’s original equipment manufacturer. Ultimately, the truck spends less time in the shop and more time on the road.

The same principles can be applied to any commercial, industrial, or manufacturing assets or equipment that rely on continuous operation. Sensors can provide valuable data on temperature, pressure and other factors that may impact the performance of the asset/equipment. This in context data can be captured across the supporting service supply chain through an SRM system to ensure maximum asset availability.

Enhancing Efficiencies Through a Cloud-Based System of Engagement

In the 2012 Forbes article, “The Move from Systems of Records to Systems of Engagement, Josh Bersin writes about the distinction between “systems of record” and “systems of engagement.” He defines systems of record as “ERP-type systems we rely on to run our business…traditionally designed for people who have no choice but to use them.” Meanwhile, systems of engagement are “systems which are used directly by employees…they ‘engage’ employees.”

When Bersin wrote his article, organizations were on the cusp of a transition from systems of record to systems of engagement. Now, organizations have reached the point where data can be used to drive new levels of productivity and efficiency.

The ubiquitous nature of cloud platforms has made it possible for everyone in the service supply chain to get access to the information they need, when and where they need it. They can use this information to make better decisions, work more efficiently and keep things running.

SRM enables members of the service supply chain to engage with each other in real time based on IoT sensor data and other information. SRM makes this data actionable and intelligent and puts the right information into the hands of the right people at the point of service. In doing so, it drives value to the company’s bottom line by enhancing efficiencies and increasing uptime.