October 15, 2020
The advantages of digitalization in machine manufacturing are crystal clear: the ability to handle ever more complex products and processes, making workflows become even more cost-efficient while high quality levels are maintained. At the end of the day, it’s all about surviving in the face of rising global competition and securing the future of the company.
Important untapped potential is also hidden in smart, digital service processes for optimized service ticket processing. Although after-sales is a crucial business area in the machine manufacturing industry, the digitalization of business-critical processes such as commissioning, servicing and maintenance is not usually high on the priority list of machine and plant manufacturers.
In this blog post, we want to explain why integrating a digital solution in remote support is definitely worthwhile for machine manufacturers. In the following, you will learn what added value you can expect and how this will have a positive impact on your competitiveness.
The implementation of digital service processes in mechanical and plant engineering is becoming increasingly important. How to benefit from smart remote support - now in our free guide!
Is machine and plant manufacturing a sustainable industry? A recent study that surveyed 120 German machine manufacturers revealed that they think it is, but that something has to change in this traditional sector.
The machine manufacturing industry is in the middle of a crisis – and not only since exports collapsed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Even before the outbreak of coronavirus and the subsequent restrictions, the machine manufacturing industry was under pressure due to the trade dispute between the USA and China, strong international competition and the shortage of skilled workers.
The only solution is to take the bull by the horns. The economic situation can only ease if machine manufacturers evolve by becoming more digital and thus utilize their full potential. The vast majority of the machine manufacturers surveyed already grasp this, with 97% of the companies already pushing ahead with digitalization. However, more than half of those surveyed also stated that there is still room for improvement in implementing digital transformation in their own companies.
So, most machine manufacturers have started their journey towards becoming more digital – but there is still a lot to do before the transformation is complete. One area that is left out of many companies’ digital strategy is service. However, it is here in particular that you will discover untapped opportunities for improved competitiveness.
Support as a business model has evolved from being a side issue to become an interesting and lucrative business model. Digitalization is enabling an ever wider range of service offerings, and the revenue generated from service provision represents a growing share of the total turnover of machine manufacturers.
Many organizations have already recognized this opportunity: the service champions in machine manufacturing are achieving up to 70% higher service revenues as a share of total sales – a significant sales potential that is missed out on by companies that do not consider having a smart support concept to be a success factor.
According to the VDMA “Fit for Service Check”, enhancing service may be the most effective way to deal with increasing pressure on sales and profits caused by tougher market conditions. A profitable business model in support can compensate for low margins in the new machine business and help companies to better weather economic crises.
To do this, however, it is necessary to make digitalization part and parcel of the support provided by machine and plant manufacturers. The key to exploiting this sales potential is for German machine manufacturers to make their service “4.0 ready”.
Traditional services such as analog maintenance or spare parts supply are experiencing less and less demand. Instead, innovative services such as digital analysis tools, remote diagnostics and consulting services to increase the performance of an already installed machine through digitalization (retrofits) are enjoying an upswing.
So it’s definitely worth expanding your service concept to include the use of innovative applications and investing in a smart tool for digital remote support. You can expect the following tangible benefits for your company:
- Accelerates problem solving, because your employees have access to adequate applications to ensure seamless consultations. For example, smart glasses facilitate collaboration between employees and customers during a service case. The service technician can directly view the user’s field of vision and display recommended actions. This eliminates the need for complicated explanations over the phone, leaving the operator at the machine with two free hands.
- Optimizes communication, because the right solution is exactly suited to the use case. Optimal communication between employees and customers during a service case is essential for successful coordination and rapid problem solving. The right digital remote solution is an ideal alternative to conventional instant messenger services, prevents media disruptions and also ensures data protection.
- Boosts customer loyalty because your customers now know that they can rely on your company not only as experts in machine operation, but also for excellent support. Your customers can be confident that any problems with the machines will be resolved quickly with reduced system downtime.
- Sets the company apart from its competitors, since excellent service is a strong factor in the purchasing decision of potential customers. Your smart solution for remote support helps you stand out from the crowd with an attractive number of additional services combined with high service quality even after you’ve sold the machine.
- Expands sales opportunities by enabling you to offer more relevant services to customers through digital remote support. Improve and accelerate the handling of simple service cases, leaving your staff extra time to deal with more complex service cases. For example, you could benefit from offering your customers retrofits.
- Drives digital transformation because the right remote support solution is integrated into a comprehensive and modular digitalization platform, giving you more opportunities to gradually digitalize additional business processes.
- Lowers expenses by significantly reducing travel costs for field support activities. Problems on the machine can be diagnosed and resolved remotely and on-site interventions are only necessary if the customer is unable to solve the problem having received the guidance of an expert.
- Improves organization, as processes can be documented in an optimal manner. Your employees can bid farewell to endlessly searching for specific information across various communication channels. Seamless recording and easier management of all important information relating to a service case both improves employee performance and reduces response times.
The SERICY Collaboration App helps you to digitalize processes quickly and individually and to align support as a standalone and strong competitive tool for your company. As a future-proof solution, it is integrated into a modular IIoT platform, whose digital applications you can adapt in a precise manner to meet the needs of your business.
Get to know SERICY live.We would be happy to show you in an individual consultation what advantages our IIoT platform offers your company. Arrange an appointment now.