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Silos are a challenge for most organisations, with a silo mentality or infrastructure one of the biggest barriers to business success. Where different offices or departments don’t share information with others in the same company, both efficiency and productivity are diminished.
In response, management teams must do more to educate and equip their teams with everything needed to break them down. And, to do this, two things must happen.
A change in attitude
Silos occur when individuals, teams, offices or departments are unwilling to share resources or ideas with the larger organisation. These factions fail to see how cooperation can help them to work smarter and are often reluctant to share data or ideas for fear of negative scrutiny or consequences.
Quite often this culture is passed down from the top, with a lack of inter-departmental meetings, training sessions or information-sharing strategies. But, this attitude can cause damage to the organisation as a whole by wasting resources, stifling productivity and hampering the realisation of goals.
Naturally, different groups within a business often have different priorities. But regular meetings between teams (or at the very least team leaders) is a must if you want to create an open and collaborative culture. Not least because, by ensuring managers know what other departments are working on, opportunities for collaboration and business improvements will develop.
Breaking down silos also helps to stop the build-up of resentment, blame and frustration. Because once everyone knows what everyone else is doing, it is easier to identify solutions that will work.
To help to boost collaboration across your company, you should look to:
- Establish a united vision and set of goals at the heart of your organisation
- Make sure your leadership team is on board with this vision and goals
- Ensure your leadership team understands the damage that can be caused by silos, and the opportunities that exist when they are removed
- Ensure managers communicate these messages and approach to the wider business
- Implement training to help create and support a collaborative culture
- Incentivise managers and individuals who succeed in breaking down barriers
- Establish KPIs to help measure the success of your efforts (and to identify where more work is needed)
- Establish working practices and spaces that foster collaboration rather than hinder it
- Encourage constructive feedback.
A change in technology
Of course, merely being aware of the need for greater collaboration across a business isn’t enough. You also have to put the tools in place to enable this to happen.
In most cases, IT silos (where systems are unable to communicate resulting in an environment of disparate technology and practices) are not deliberate. They have simply evolved. For example, the customer support department within an organisation chose to invest in a specific system, while the sales department opted for another. Because each team had their own priorities, responsibilities and vision, neither thought about whether having two standalone systems would cause issues further down the line.
But as long as different departments continue to use separate databanks, without sharing this info (or even being aware of what the other is doing), the benefits of modern tech will never be fully exploited. So, not tackling historical silos is no longer an option. In 2019, you can’t have your call centre telling people one thing, while your marketing department is sharing opposing information.
Capable of creating a single, integrated infrastructure, the latest cloud-based software encourages the simplification and standardisation of business processes, while helping people across your organisation to work collaboratively with one another.
Even better, real-time collaboration is possible. So, when an employee in one place makes a change, that information is immediately available to others, regardless of where they are.
For example, with everything available via the cloud, mobile employees can fill in electronic forms using smartphones or tablets, and this information automatically and immediately syncs with your back office systems. Indeed, SaaS applications are capable of performing a vast range of business tasks, while opening up unprecedented opportunities for enhanced collaboration.
Historically, if an organisation wanted to make a significant change to their IT, this would be a costly task. But cloud computing breaks this trend by providing access to enterprise-level software at an affordable price. And, because moving to the cloud tends to be a business decision rather than one made by IT departments in isolation, cloud-based field service software is a silo-busting investment from the off.
Dr Christian Kowalkowski, Professor Of Industrial Marketing at Linköping University outlines how two of the biggest trends amongst manufacturers, digitalisation and servitization, are in essence two sides of the same coin and why digitalisation...
Dr Christian Kowalkowski, Professor Of Industrial Marketing at Linköping University outlines how two of the biggest trends amongst manufacturers, digitalisation and servitization, are in essence two sides of the same coin and why digitalisation requires more, not less, service and customer centricity than ever before.
The growing digital disruption is blurring industry boundaries and altering established positions of firms. While manufacturers are investing strategically in data gathering and analytics capabilities and in cloud-based platforms, many firms remain concerned about how to best address digital disruption and enable digitalisation.
Last year, General Electric cut expenses by more than 25% at its digital unit responsible for Predix, its software platform for the collection and analysis of data, which previously has been hailed as a revolutionary driver for Industry 4.0. This move highlights the difficulties involved in adopting digital technology in an industrial business. Having worked with B2B firms in diverse industries on designing and implementing service-growth strategies, I have seen both highly successful and unsuccessful cases of what I call ‘digital servitization.’
Why is it so that even many firms that run a profitable field service organisation struggle to implement digitally-enabled services?
Before looking at some key challenges, let us first define what we mean by digital servitization. As a start, we need to distinguish between digitisation, which means turning analogue into digital, and digitalisation, which refers to the use of digital technology to change the business model. A tech-savvy firm with a product-centric mindset may have little difficulty in implementing digitisation, as when record companies moved from selling LPs to CDs.
However, rather than embracing the new digital opportunities that changed the way we interact with music, most record companies then clung on to a product-centric business logic of selling CDs.
Instead of developing business models based on Internet distribution they promoted new physical media like the Super Audio CD. Ironically, their defensive stance—manifested in such things as copy protected CDs—forced many people to illegal downloading in order to conveniently access MP3 music, thereby undermining their product-centric model even further. Digital servitization, then, refers to the utilisation of digital technologies for the transformation whereby a company shifts from a productcentric to a service-centric business model.
Of course, digitally-enabled services are not new; for example, Rolls-Royce’s archetypal solution TotalCare begun in 1997 and BT Rolatruc (since 2000 part of Toyota Material Handling) created its software system BT Compass in 1993, to help its customers improve their performance. Digital technology can be a double-edged sword however. For example, many manufacturers have been carried away by the technical possibilities of telematics without having a clear service business model in mind.
Rather than crafting a compelling value proposition based on enhanced customer performance, it was tempting to give the service away for free with the hope that customers eventually would discover the value of data access and be willing to pay for it.
There are however at least three problems with such a technology-centric approach. First, as the connected installed base grows and the costs of collecting and managing data increase year by year, it becomes increasingly difficult to defend the model unless service sales start to materialise. Second, giving services away for free always reduce the perceived value of the offering in the eyes of the customer. Why should they pay for something that was previously free of charge and that competitors may still be treating as a commodity and giving away?
Third, customers typically do not have the time nor the skills to interpret and act on the data collected. The real value of Big Data only comes once it is processed. By collecting and analysing data from multiple customers, a supplier may know more about the customers’ equipment and operations then they know themselves, which creates opportunities for new advanced advisory services.
The digital dimension of service growth requires purposeful and coordinated effort. As we know, while manufacturing and conventional R&D activities can be centrally managed to achieve efficiency and standardisation, services require increased local responsiveness and closer customer relationships.
"The real value of Big Data only comes once it is processed..."
During digital servitization, however, the central organisation must take a more proactive leading role to ensure platform consistency and data quality, to provide the requisite data science skills, to support local units, and to address cyber security issues. The 2017 large-scale cyberattack (NotPetya) on Danish shipping giant Møller-Maersk, which shut down offices worldwide, illustrates the dangers of inadequately managing the latter issue.
A service manager at Toyota pointed out over ten years ago that service development “is very much IS/IT. Instead of sitting and discussing how to be able to quickly change oil in the truck, there has become very much focus on data.”
Viewing data as “the new oil” is a claim oftentimes heard. Like oil, data is a source of power. It is a resource used to power transformative technologies such as automation, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics.
However, unlike oil, data also has other properties. We are currently seeing a shift from scarcity of information (data) to abundance of it. Data can be replicated and distributed as marginal cost, and competitive advantage can be achieved by bringing together new datasets, enabling new services. But this also creates new tensions between companies regarding the issues of generation, collection, and utilisation of data. If a customer is generating massive amounts of data that the supplier is collecting, once processed, it can be used for better serving also the customer’s competitors. In other cases, we are seeing completely new companies emerging and collecting data on behalf of their clients.
Digitalisation is beginning to have a profound impact on even the most stable businesses. Customers increasingly expect that a single provider will integrate the system of which the products are part, and that they will do so through one digital interface. Whether the platform provider is one of the established OEMs or a new software entrant might not matter. Competition may come from unexpected sources, as for example when one of the leading international standards organizations in the marine industry recently moved into platform-based services.
Oftentimes, the most formidable threat comes from disruptive innovators outside the traditional industry boundaries. An executive in a leading incumbent firm stressed that her main concern was not the competition from any established player. Instead, what kept her awake at night was the prospect of Amazon entering—and reshaping—the market. While many share the concerns of being overrun by new competitors, the threat is most imminent to those firms that lack service leadership and a clear road map for service growth.
To conclude, no firm can afford not to strategically invest in digitalisation. However, as firms compete in the digital arena, there is a risk that focus shifts too much away from service and customer centricity to new digital initiatives and units. Ten years ago, many executives sang the praises of servitization.
Today, digitalisation is the poster boy for business transformation. Given the rapid pace of innovation, it may be tempting to launch new concepts as soon as the technology is available, rather than waiting until the they have been properly piloted and customer insights gained. To reap the benefits, firms also need to understand the interplay between back end and front end, investing in both back-end development for enhanced efficiency and better-informed decision-making, and front-end initiatives to enable new services and closer customer integration.
Correctly designed and implemented, digital servitization provides benefits for companies, networks, and society at large. Successfully seizing digital opportunities, however, requires more, not less, service and customer centricity than before.
Dr Christian Kowalkowski is professor of industrial marketing at Linköping University, Sweden, and the author of Service Strategy in Action: A Practical Guide for Growing Your B2B Service and Solution Business. Find out more here.
Many manufacturers experience pressure on growth, revenue and margins. Their products and services are being commoditised. Competition from lower cost alternatives are arising. On the other hand, there are huge opportunities with new technologies, value propositions and business models.
One of the important trends is that value propositions and offerings become more data-driven and more service-oriented, which go hand in hand.
Besides predictive maintenance, most of the value from data is related to how clients use the equipment or products and to their operations and processes. Helping clients improve on this by nature is a service.
However, many manufacturers are product-driven businesses which do not fully appreciate the value that (advanced) services have for their customers and their own business.
So, one of the central questions is: How to Monetise Services and Data to Grow in a Disruptive World? The capability to monetising service and data is mission critical for sustainable performance and existence of manufacturers.
In a series of articles, we cover four critical steps that make the difference between success and failure in monetising services and data:
• Solve bigger customer problems;
• Articulate the value;
• Build momentum with clients to adopt;
• Build internal momentum.
Developing new data-driven solutions and services is all about extending the existing business model, which leads to different challenges than many other initiatives and programs in a business. Recognising this in advance will help understand the challenges and best strategies.
In the previous articles of this series, I have described critical success factors for monetising service and data, such as Solve Bigger Problems,Better Articulate Value and Remove Obstacles for Clients to Adopt. In the end, this all has to be done by people and teams in your organization.
In this article I will describe common mistakes that many companies make, which holds them back in having fluid and energising change, and to move beyond business-as-usual in their endeavours to monetise service and data.
Many companies, including manufacturers, do not have a clear picture of where the industry is heading and where their business is heading. It is unclear for their employees what needs to be developed and why.
More specific, for many employees it is not clear why the new service and data-driven solutions are that valuable to clients, how it would fit in the overall core business and why it should be paid for by clients. Often, the indicated direction even suggests the opposite and may give room to the logic that value added services and datadriven solutions are (free) features to support the product sales.
Just imagine how a hypothetical mission statement “… being the world’s leading manufacturer of construction equipment and engines” would help develop and monetise advanced services and data-driven solutions.
People in manufacturing are often biased towards products, equipment and technology. They have a narrow view on:
• Customer problems beyond the requirements for the products and equipment;
• How other actors in the industry are developing with advanced data capabilities, which could become competition to the current position of a manufacturer;
• How new technology can be applied to develop new value propositions, solutions and operating models.
This will affect how product managers, marketing and innovation will develop new services and data-driven solutions. Too often, we see that the services and solutions do not always solve a customer problem and hardly differentiate from services and solutions competitors are offering as well.
It will also affect how their colleagues in the operations (sales and delivery) understand and engage, as there is no compelling context to understand the importance of the new services and solutions, let alone be engaged.
Top-down P&L thinking
Too often, we see that developing and launching innovations, such as new advanced services and data-driven solutions, stagnate because of the decision-making habits in an organisation. Typically, we see one or more of the following:
The strategic intent from senior leadership is unclear, hardly based on a well-developed shared concern, not giving a clear path on what services and solutions to develop, nor on what the strategic priorities and objectives are, to be successful. So, employees are not really enticed to take action and therefore no change.
The strategies and plans are more short-term which emphasise short term financial objectives, leading to two different scenarios:
Financial objectives are not articulating the need for services and data-driven solutions, nor specifying which portion of these objectives should come from services and data-driven solutions. Often, employees are actually motivated to stay away from developing and launching the new services and data-driven solutions.
Or, in case the financial objectives also assign financial objectives coming from services and data-driven solutions, there is a lack of description of qualitative objectives and strategic priorities on how to arrive at those financial goals. The result is often a lack of initiatives and progress, or lack of alignment and results.
Top-down strategies from senior leadership are so specific and instructive that these actually dismiss other employees taking ownership of the plans, and/or adjusting plans and local strategies where needed.
Paralysis by control
Top-down control mechanisms from the last few decades are a huge obstacle for fluid and energising change in an organisation and therefore hinder the initiatives like monetising services and data. More specifically, we often see the following patterns;
Internal conflict of interest in the product sales teams, because they are often incentivised on sales volume.
It does not make sense for them to sell complicated service contracts. It hardly affects their commission, consumes a lot of time and may even put their product sales deals at risk. Instead, it is more beneficial to please their clients by offering discounted services.
In case there is a separate service sales team, for the same reason, there are often internal arguments on who owns the client and what is the best plan forward with each client. In the worst case, this even leads to having different faces towards the clients, leaving them confused and with a bad customer experience.
Control mechanisms that are too strict create an unsafe environment in which employees show defensive and risk-avoiding behaviour. Instead of trying, learning and being successful in monetising new services and data-driven solutions, they instead become complacent and resistant.
Typical signs are pointing fingers to other teams to take action, declaring that the new services and solutions are not the core business, that customers don’t want to pay and referring to other companies who have tried and failed.
Many things come into play when increasing momentum for monetizing (new) services and data, and preventing existence of too many obstacles and resistance. In general, the more adaptive and fluid change in a business, the easier a specific innovation on service and data.
We have seen that leading manufacturers have adopted 4 winning habits which sets them apart. These winning habits define how both operation and innovation is lead. In the next paragraphs I will describe the 4 winning habits in relation to monetising services and data.
"People in manufacturing are often biased towards products, equipment and technology..."
Leading companies have a transformative vision and mission on where the business is heading, what needs to change and develop, and why this is important considering the changes in the industry. This is a quite a holistic picture in which all stakeholders and entities in the business can relate and get direction on how to develop themselves, their teams, their department and their business unit.
It provides an outside-in picture on how the business is and will be relevant to a certain industry and customers. It explicitly points out how the business will add value to clients and that this requires certain technology, (data-driven) solutions and services.
Now imagine how the following mission statement will drive the development and implementation of new services and data-driven solutions: “Our purpose is to enable healthcare providers to increase value by empowering them on their journey towards expanding precision medicine, transforming care delivery and improving patient experience, all enabled by digitalizing healthcare.”
Here I want to focus on two phases on innovating your services and datadriven solutions: the development phase (including ideation, selection and design) and the implementation phase
For design purpose
In general, the envisioned services and data-driven solutions differ significantly from current business logic, mindset and operations in your business. Even though anyone in the organisation could raise great ideas, it is crucial that the development of the new services and solutions are done by dedicated teams with the right expertise and focus.
They need to ensure they are open-minded and unbounded by current (and old) business logic and pathways. In terms of discovery, this means they should:
Talk with other stakeholders in client organisations (rather than the ones your organisation normally speaks with) - for example, the CFO, CEO, VP, Innovation, commercial leaders, etc. Build a new expert-network outside the organisation - which is outside the current network of partners, suppliers and clients - including the academic experts and consultants in areas you usually have no relationships with and talk about topics other than current technology, products and service, and more about major trends, visions of the future industry,key challenges and strategies of different actors in your and adjacent industries.
This will not only help to obtain more ideas for future success, it will also help to change perspectives and business logic within the innovation teams and the rest of the organisation, by sharing these insights.
For implementation purpose
Once the new solutions and services have been designed and developed to a scalable offering, it probably needs to be embedded in the existing organisation. Now, the risks of resistance or complacency may come into play.
The more developed the mindsets and habits are on “digital” and change, the more fluid the implementation and change will be. This can be promoted massively by strong Discovery habits: Involving key players in the operating organisation, well in advance of the implementation, into the initiatives for launching new services and datadriven solutions - for example, by having a frequent dialogue on shared concern and discussing the alternatives to solve these concerns. This can be done by frequent conversations or including them in the extended innovation team.
Having everyone involved in discovery activities that do not require too much expertise and dedication, for example, by having colleagues; Have broader conversations in their day-to-day conversations with clients, suppliers and partners. You can provide them with topics and questions to help open the conversations
Joining events with customers where you discuss trends, visions, needs and how they see your added value. Join conferences within your own industry and even other industries and sharing new insights and learning points from the expert teams, painting a picture of what is going on in the outside world, how this may impact your business and how this will/could be addressed.
In line with the mission, vision and direction leadership of leading manufacturers, have a clear strategic intent on:
Result objectives - for example, overall growth aspirations that new services and data-driven solutions are crucial and how much business is expected to come from these new services and solutions. Strategic objectives on which offerings and capabilities need to be developed.
Next, they have a clear (top-down) strategy which articulates crucial choices on how to achieve these objectives in a few phases. This should provide a common roadmap on which offerings to develop, how to sell them, to whom and by whom, how to organise marketing, sales and delivery, and which obstacles to overcome.
This strategy should address all stakeholders (including R&D, marketing, product-sales, service sales and service delivery) who have direct influence on implementation and success.
With this top-down strategy, still, a lot is left open on how to achieve the objectives. Local teams are empowered to develop their local roadmap and strategy, and to take full ownership of the local development, learning, capability development and execution. This will allow them to mitigate local strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats and market circumstances.
With a constructive and forward dialogue between individuals, teams and departments, issues are solved in a fundamental and sustainable manner, hence building capabilities to perform.
For monetising service and data, this means that: Ideally, services and data-driven solutions are being sold at point of sale (when equipment is sold) - maybe not the full package, but the entry level offering which will be the first step to the next level mature offerings. Commission structure of sales people needs to be designed in such a way that it promotes the right focus and behaviour.
I have seen quite a few examples where equipment sales people were quite successful in selling service contracts once the commission they would receive was tied to the sale of a service contract.
Sales people who sell advanced services and data-driven solutions need to have specific skills and background, which are not necessarily the same as skills required for selling the products and maintenance services. Most stateof-the art sales techniques such as Solution Selling, Challenger Selling or Value Selling, assume a fluid and educated dialogue on related business domains.
Often, these conversations should happen with other stakeholders at the client organisation, maybe at higher seniority levels. The different teams need to have the confidence and safe environment to learn and develop these skills and knowledge, and become fluent in these conversations and sales approaches.
Different teams in your organisation need to be “in the same boat” without conflicts of interest. We currently see more and more companies aligning targets and incentive schemes, in which common and shared objectives prevail above individual targets.
Full transparency in key performance indicators on progress and results is required, to have all stakeholders have the necessary insights to be able to take ownership and accountability and intervene when/where needed.
The leading manufacturers, ahead of the game, have built momentum for continuous and easy change from the inside, moving beyond “business-asusual”. Their teams are passionate and eager to perform, learn and pursue opportunities. Instead of resisting new ways of thinking about customer challenges, customer value and their business, they focus on customers and pursue opportunities to increase value.
Monetising services and data has become a logical part of their overall vision and strategy. They are better in solving bigger customer problems, better at articulating the value for customers and in removing obstacles for their clients to adopt the new solutions. As a result, they better differentiate themselves – in the eyes of their customers - from their competitors. They perform better and have more resources to keep innovating their business and hence grow in our disruptive world.
Boost your monetisation If you want to accelerate the monetisation of your (new) services and datadriven solutions, I would like to recommend:
• Review your business alongside common mistakes and suggested solutions, and add the discrepancies to your strategy;
• Download the scorecard How to Monetise Services and Data here;
• Book a Discovery Call with Jan van Veen;
• Join our upcoming Impulse Sessions on How to Monetise Service and Data. These are full day interactive meetings with like-minded peers during which we will exchange experience, insights and challenges.
Essence It’s not about making money from new services and data-driven solutions; it’s about being highly relevant and valuable to clients in a sustainable manner and empowering your people to do the same.
It goes without saying that if you deliver value for money, you also get money for value.
Jan Van Veen is Managing Director at MoreMomentum.
When a supplier decides to provide more than just product-related services it has to consider risk over the whole product life-cycle because the risk is no longer just a “warranty”.
Traditional manufacturing companies are often strong with risk-management process on the product side, however they fail to grasp the complexity associated with managing risk on the service side. Based on the interviews with fourteen companies operating globally and domestically in different fields: from power generation to food industry, this paper introduces their insights on risk awareness and evaluation in services.
Some companies produce high capital goods and services constitute the part of the product-service portfolio; others offer purely services; their annual revenues vary from millions to billions. Another aspect is that some of those are pioneers in service provision rather than others already have long experience in the service business. So, we can classify them by the percentage of service sales: three companies with service sales up to 25%, five companies indicate service sales between 25 and 40%, and four firms provide purely services (100%); also, two respondents present opinion on risk from the customer perspective.
Industrial feedback on risk in services revealed that service providers neither recognise risk as a competitive advantage nor actively implement risk management practices into service offer creation. This white paper provides guidance on how to understand and manage risk to create competitive advantage in a product service system environment.
Risks From An Asset Life-Cycle Perspective
Risk should be initially considered on an asset life-cycle perspective. (See Figure 1.)
Today a well-documented example is the Rolls-Royce Trent engine, the turbines of which fail to meet the operational performance due to poor design. The deterioration of turbine blades inside Rolls-Royce jet engines has required constant monitoring of the engines, urgent maintenance and repairs through 2022.
The problems have caused serious disruption to airlines — and they are proving costly to the engine-maker. Rolls-Royce reported an accounting charge of $315 million to cover ongoing repairs to two models of its jet engines it has supplied for more than 200 aircraft as well as compensation to airlines for planes taken out of service for the engine retrofits.
Which confirms the fact that issues at early stages cause significant risks and endanger not only product performance but also the reputation and financial stability of the service provider.
Service offering and embedded risks
In order to see what particular services industrial companies offer we analysed 14 firms. The analysis confirmed that in general there was risk transfer from the basic services to the more advanced services. A variety of services can be built-up in product-service portfolios depending on company’s ability and readiness to deliver good service, risk acceptance, as well as the type of relationships service provider wants to establish with a customer.
The analysis also showed that they provided three different levels of service: product services, operations support services, life cycle and asset support services. The typical services in each level are shown in Table 1 (below) and have been categories based on the service level.
I. Product services – represent services which are closely associated with a product or to help the customer to gain access to it, often mostly associated with the maintenance of the equipment.
II. Operations support services – represent services that support the operation of the equipment provided.
III. Life-cycle/asset support services – support the product over its life; they are designed to ensure good asset performance and to help to improve performance based on new technologies and market requirements. When building a portfolio of products and services, companies should consider risks over the product life no matter whether it is basic or advanced service
The execution risks will continue to repeat unless effective control and improvement measures are put in place. The statistical information on the failure rates will support the understanding of the commercial risks ensuring that they reduce the negative impact.
Finally, if it is not tracked, how do you know where the problem is, the root cause and how to best solve it in future products?
Execution and Commercial risks
This white paper breaks risks into two closely related categories, the first is execution risk and the second is a commercial risk. Execution risk is the additional cost that the firm has due to execution failures and closely associated with service delivery, includes internal and external quality problems, late completion, or post service failures due.
For example, the late delivery of a small consumable item can mean that inspection work on the machine cannot be completed on time. This can then trigger commercial risk to come to play which could be many times larger than the cost of the consumable item.
The commercial risk can be made by the supplier at the contracting stage, such as unsuitable contract decisions, typically firms overpromise performance (delivery, availability etc.), or have unsuitable agreements for services. These are often related to the execution risk (e.g., late delivery) and can be significantly higher in value (e.g., liquidated damages resulting from the late delivery).
This is shown graphically in Figure 2 (below) where the supplier’s liquidated damages never cover the customer’s risk fully, this is because the customer’s business risk is typically orders of magnitude greater than those of the supplier.
Therefore, the customer needs to either self-insure and to buy insurance to cover their full consequential and business interruption costs. The supplier should always consider the full impact it can have on customer’s business because the liquidated damages will likely only cover a part of the customer’s losses.
The use of risk/reward-type performance commitments should incentivise the supplier to achieve the right outcome for their customer, it is not a replacement for insurance.
At each stage from the beginning, different risks may unstable internal processes, increase the time to the market and affect future performance of the product. For example, poor reliability of a part decreases the overall reliability of the product, consequently, the supplier under a basic after-market service holds minimum risk and only responsible for the replacement of the first failing part under warranty.
Under an advanced service agreement (performance/output-base) the supplier is responsible for removing and replacing the part as well as paying the liquidated damages for poor performance due to machine downtime because its customer has a revenue loss.
So, the supplier is not only exposed to execution risk but also to significant commercial risk: it has to pay the liquidated damages meaning customer is partly compensated for the loss of performance. Interviews confirmed that risks rise both at the service contracting stage and at the delivery stage, so they refer to commercial risk and operational (execution) risk.
It is common for manufacturing firms to have well defined contracts for new equipment sales whereas service contracts may be less appropriate for the service environment, being more applicable to the sale of basic rather than advanced services.
It is very challenging for contract or project managers identify and measure potential risks and create sort of standardised approach for risk assessment.
Their role is to determine the risks that customers expect them to take with service contracts as well as evaluate the critical risks that they finally accept. The deep understanding of the customer, awareness of your capabilities can decrease the lack of information and associated counterparty risks.
The supplier can actually create competitive advantage by building an active model for risk management. Understanding the risk implies that service provider can identify and measure the risk it transfers from the customer.
Calculating the Value at Risk
Only knowing the possibility of risk appearance does not solve the problem, more important is to know the frequency of events, its execution and commercial impact. Digitalization can help here in the form of data analysis of performance (e.g., lead times, number of failed starts, output), so the firm should create a database that allows the supplier to model and predict risks. By collecting and analysing data on product design or manufacturing issues, failure rates and time (logistics or maintenance completion), the supplier also knows what must be changed or improved as well as understanding the cost of mitigation. Statistical analysis helps service providers to understand better their capabilities and to control risks.
The Value at Risk (VaR) concept is defined as an expected maximum loss of the risk position and it is widely applied in the finance industry. For example, we take the planned maintenance and the issue would be late delivery of parts which was promised at 26 days.
From the past (data analysis), we have to find out what is our actual lead time and deviation from the ‘expected’ lead time. Form this we can calculate the expected execution cost and predict the commercial impact based on the lead time.
The total risk is the position valued at current prices, in our case is the total execution and commercial, from which we can define the expected maximum loss.
The higher the chosen confidence level is, the higher the potential maximum loss. From these principles and calculations results drawn from the concept, the VaR of individual risk position can be derived.
This analysis will help the supplier to decide on what delivery terms, performance commitments or other KPIs they can provide as well as calculate the commercial value of the contract with particular services.
Answers to these questions also will tell what liquidated damages to expect for availability, reliability, efficiency and late delivery if supplier choses terms that do not correspond to statistical analysis.
Pricing the risk
Now that we understand the value at risk, it is important to price the risk. This is because you are taking risk from the customer and you are therefore providing a valuable service for them. How can this additional service be priced? First, the price should be above the cost otherwise you are not getting a reward for taking the risk! Questions to ask yourself when estimating the ‘fairprice’ to charge:
• What are the customers critical performance measures or outcomes?
• How much would it cost the customer to take the risk themselves?
• How much pain are you really taking from the customer?
• Is the gain/pain sharing balanced?
• What do you think is their ‘willingness-to-pay’?
Do not accept to hold a risk where they cannot control or mitigate the risk, taking market risks is not a sure-fire way to go out of business. Finding a balance with the risks so that you are incentivised to improve performance and outcome for the customer is nevertheless difficult but something worth doing.
Learn from past experiences, the RR example with the Trent engine was predictable as were the costs. Recommendations Firms should consider how they assess risk for product service systems, this is practically important for advanced services. It is recommended to measure execution and commercial risks for every project.
Learning to track the events that cause both execution and commercial risks will help you to better understand the risks and the costs associated with them.
By being more proactive in risk management, industrial firms can turn the risk into commercial advantage.
In the latest Field Service Podcast, Paul Joesbury, Commercial Operations Director at Homeserve, suggests the asset will eventually become more important than the engineer in service.
In the latest Field Service Podcast, Paul Joesbury, Commercial Operations Director at Homeserve, suggests the asset will eventually become more important than the engineer in service.
In this special episode, Field Service News' Deputy Editor Mark Glover, speaks to Paul Joesbury ahead of his debate at Field Service Connect next month where he will argue that the use of technology such as machine learning and AI will eventually negate the need for the human intervention.
You can find out more information about Field Service Connect which takes place on 15 and 16 May at Celtic Manor, South Wales here.
Have you ever considered the possibilities and potential of digital twins for your customer service? Don’t worry, we are not talking about virtual figures in cyberspace that are modelled after the user just like avatars.
A digital twin represents a real object in the digital world. Digital twins are composed of data and algorithms and can be coupled with the real world via sensors. They form the basis for a digital customer service and other industry 4.0 related processes. In short, “digital twins” recreate a system in the computer. Ideally, data from the engineering phase – from 3D models to detailed information on installed components – is transferred to the operating phase.
Sensors provide live information on operating conditions, and in addition, all technical innovations on the system, such as the installation of a spare part, are tracked in the “digital twin”. Users benefit from more accurate real-time information and they get a detailed “reference book” with all service information they need.
But how can companies use the advantages of digital twins for their customer service? Digital twins enable the implementation of predictive maintenance since they allow data to be assigned to specific plant conditions. Thus, changing measuring conditions often show in advance that a certain component will fail in the foreseeable future. This allows planned system downtimes to be better coordinated and repair cycles to be adapted to expected failure probabilities.
Requirements For Digital Twins In Service
Sufficient sensors and a systematic evaluation of the data are the essential basis to predict imminent component failures – an approach that is already feasible today. However, technical possibilities are still far from being exhausted right now.
Due to ongoing depreciations or for other economic reasons, companies are only gradually investing in plants equipped with modern IoT technology. IoT, however, will become more affordable in the near future. Sensors will therefore spread continuously while at the same time becoming easier to use, more resistant and cheaper.
"A digital twin represents a real object in the digital world..."
Enabling New Business Models, A Recipe For Digital Success
Industry 4.0 cannot work without a well-planned and technologically underpinned digital service concept, because service is an essential part of digitization. Many companies today already try to stand out with the quality of their service rather than just great products since they are often too similar, even exchangeable.
Customers therefore primarily choose the partner that offers more and faster service. The goal of every company should therefore be to better understand its customers, create better touchpoints and improve service.
This is where new concepts such as “machine-asa-service” become more and more important: companies only purchase the performance of a machine instead of the machine itself – including the service to ensure constant performance. Service Lifecycle Management plays a central role in this concept. In the future, entire ecosystems will emerge from new service providers using concepts like this.
Digital Twins Will Revolutionize Customer Service
Digital twins with their immense data material in both service and business intelligence offer the potential to create entirely new areas of business. Sensors allow to map and control machine statuses and product quality in real time – as well as predicting problems at an early stage. This way, service can intervene before expensive machine failures occur.
Furthermore, companies can dynamically adapt maintenance intervals to actual requirements on the basis of live information. In the future, all of a company’s systems as well as all of its spare parts, tools, containers and products, will be represented by their “digital mirror images”, a complete factory in the computer. The large amount of data that can be collected using digital twins in combination with artificial intelligence evaluation will provide stunning new insights into the interaction of operating processes.
This will lead to fully automated smart factories, which, thanks to artificial intelligence and digital twins, can control themselves practically without human intervention
Manuel Grenacher, is GM at SAP Field Service Management.
Set against a backdrop of rolling Welsh countryside, this invitation only summit will see senior field service executives debate, discuss and divulge their successes and challenges in 2019.
Customer Service and Mindset
There can be no doubt that the traditional interpretation of Field Service is changing: a fundamental shift is being made to focus on service and its incorporation and development into existing, more product-centric, business models. Where once it was enough to rely on a stellar product, now competition is fierce and margins are being squeezed this is no longer the case. Where excellent service is being provided and taken for granted in everyday life, it makes sense that this is now being expected, if not demanded, within business transactions.
A new age is dawning and customers are continuing to ask how a product and company ‘adds value’. Engineers in the field have access to, and interactions with, potentially hundreds of contacts within a specific customer base. So it’s no surprise that those customers will come to associate a product’s ‘worth’ based on the dealings they have had with these field service representatives. As the American poet Maya Angelou is attributed to have said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.
By 2020 customer experience is slated to overtake price and product as a key brand differentiator.
Women in Field Service and Brand
With this shift to customer centricity there must also be a shift in perception. Traditionally seen as male dominated, a career in field service has not attracted women. However, with service coming to the fore this situation is starting to change and the skills that women offer are becoming more vital than ever. The ‘soft skills’ required for customer service roles are often attributed to women, but it’s not a question of gender, the focus must be on what skills can be brought to the table as a whole and how these can be used to improve a company’s field service offering.
"Traditionally seen as male dominated, a career in field service has not attracted women..."
In order to ensure that quality talent is acquired and retained Field Service must also diversify so that the next generation of bright minds can see themselves working in this sector. If a certain demographic is only ever highlighted and portrayed then it is no wonder that it is presumed that this is all there is. As you would market a brand, the same must be done throughout Field Service. Why would you choose this career? What is there to offer? What is the long term career outlook?
In order to keep up with rising expectations it will require a massive change in mindset, starting at board level and moving downwards, to truly transform a company ethos. For some this will mean a transformation in culture that has formed over decades but must now be changed rapidly if they are not to be left behind by the competition. This will be easier said than done; as change is happening so fast it’s fundamentally hard to move quickly enough! However, as the old adage goes, ‘just because something is difficult, it doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing’.
Alongside the cultural shift needed to meet customer expectations, Field Service is also being driven by digital. Gartner defines digitalisation as ‘the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business.’ ‘Digitalisation’ and ‘digital transformation’ have become such buzz words in recent years that some have lost sight of not only what it means but what they are actually trying to do.
Digitalisation is a tool by which to achieve an end goal, not the goal itself. Gartner predicts that by 2020 10% of emergency field service work will be both triaged and scheduled by artificial intelligence. With AI assisting with everything from scheduling to predictive maintenance to using past data to make future plans.
The human element within Field Service is still very much relied on and future technologies and solutions will be there to support these interactions - to make life easier and more efficient, not to replace humans altogether.
People still want to do business with people and until the customer becomes more Terminator than terrestrial this will probably always be the case.
You can find out more more information about Field Service Connect UK 2019, including how to register here.
A panel debate on the best digital tools for achieving top-end service, strayed from shortlisting technologies and focused more on the end-user impact. Field Service News’ Deputy Editor Mark Glover attended the session – part of Field Service...
A panel debate on the best digital tools for achieving top-end service, strayed from shortlisting technologies and focused more on the end-user impact. Field Service News’ Deputy Editor Mark Glover attended the session – part of Field Service Europe 2018 – and saw discussion range from strategy to data, but always swinging back to the customer.
Among the many highlights from Field Service Europe, held in Amsterdam before Christmas, was a debate attempting to shortlist digital tools that can contribute to a world-class service process.
Panellists included Miguel Angel Hernanz, VP Head of Global Service Delivery Transformation at Phillips Healthcare; Karen Mehal, VP Field Service Lightning at Salesforce and David Nedohin, President at Scope Augmented Reality.
Chairing the debate, Field Service News’ Editor-in-Chief Kris Oldland began by defining world-class service and more specifically what it means to customers used to high-end service delivery from the likes of Uber and Amazon. “Service is no longer how we compete with our direct competitors,” he told delegates. “We’re now constantly at competition with the best service experiences customers have ever had. We’re now moving into a world where customer satisfaction is perhaps no longer the right phrase anymore.
"It has to be about customer experience and understanding what the experience is to the customer and working back from there. Only then can we really start thinking about what world class service is,” he posed.
Oldland put it to the panel that technology and digitisation in service should be perceived as “one continuous eco-system that compliments and feeds off one-another" rather than separate tools. Hernanz, who recently oversaw a large B2B and B2C contact center service transformation at Phillips Healthcare, was keen to set the focus on strategy and away from the tools. “The different tools are enablers," he said. You should first of all take a look at your strategy and secondly re-define your processes end-to-end, then use the different solutions or tools that are available in the market to make it happen.”
He continued: “The problem with digitisation and the variety of tools in the market is that you get overloaded with information; you find opportunities all over the place and you want it all and you want it now and that is a big mistake. “You should start doing a proof of concept. You try it, you learn, you correct and you scale up; if it is scalable. Or you dismiss it and you try something else” he urged.
Servicecloud’s Karen Mehal agreed: “If you don’t understand what your objective is, how do you know you’re getting there? she asked, going on to question the use of the term digitisation. “We digitised field service technicians with laptops 20 years ago, did we not? We gave them a laptop. That was digitisation."
It's a good point. The industry can be guilty of getting swept up in buzzwords without fully understanding what they mean, and more importantly how they can impact on customer service. “What’s the objective?” Mehal continued, “Is it around your customer? Is digitisation serving your customer? If it isn’t, it really should be. Or are you just taking your ERP and digitising it?
If the customer service is the end goal, then digital tools should be used to empower that process. Putting this theory to David Nedohin, the co-founder and president of an Augmented Reality company, Oldland asked how such a new and innovative technology such as Augmented Reality can cut through the excitement and intrigue to become a genuine ROI. “It’s about identifying what the problems are but to also make sure there are measurements to it,” Nehan explained. “For example, if you are currently sending out your field service team to help support your customer on a certain percentage of problems, what is that costing you right now? And if you could implement a technology that could help reduce a certain percentage of those, then what is the actual cost savings?
“If they don’t have those numbers, we work with them to find out what those numbers are so there’s a business case that can be presented to management,” he says, before adding: “It’s a strategy they need to put together to understand exactly why they’re solving that problem. You have to start with the problem, you have to start with the use-case.”
Concurring, Oldland suggested that technology should underpin a wider business plan of evolution. “Digitisation is not a one-off process,” he said. “In a sense, we’re talking about a continuous improvement journey, it’s just that the tools behind that evolve too.”
“I see a lot of people get lost in that,” offered Mehan, who by her own admission is customer-facing, “They get lost in the shiny object, such as Augmented Reality. But if your strategy is around customer support, better customer service, wouldn’t it be better to use digitisation to look at someone’s asset now and fix it now, rather than scheduling someone to go out there and fix it?
“Our world is no longer traditional. We’re not in a traditional world, we’re not in a traditional software world, we’re not in a traditional field service world. We should not be bound by EAPs or by software. We should by bound by what serves out the customer,” she argued. “My questions are: are you doing that with your digitisation. Are you really taking care of the customer when you’re doing your strategy?” She said.
Philips’ Hernanz admitted working in large organisations ,where many different stakeholders have many ideas can be difficult. However, all these opinions come second to that of the most important stakeholder: the customer. “You need to put the customer at the centre and listen to them,” he said. “This is very important. You must find out what they need and then start building solutions which are suitable for today, but also for the future because the whole process is also an evolution.”
"We're not in a traditional software world, we're not in a traditional field service world..." (Mehal)
One digital tool that has made a significant impression on this process is data and, in particular, big data. Filtering the most useful information remains the challenge, given the reams of information that smart assets churn out. “There’s no point in having data if it’s not providing the right insight,” Oldland said to the panel, all of whom agreed and acknowledged all the customer cares about is fixing what needs fixing.
Referencing a client who made industrial cooking equipment for fast food restaurants including Burger King and Macdonald’s, Mehner told the audience that when their client's equipment – such as a bun toaster – produced a fault the restaurant would call out a contract worker ill-equipped to isolate and solve the issue. “This piece of equipment,” Nedohin explained, “now has 20 or 30 tickets associated with it because the technician doesn’t know how to diagnose the problem, let alone fix it. The message is clear: we need to find a better way of fixing the assets.”
The restaurant now uses remote support tools to directly contact the manufacturer, who can identify the model, the fault, diagnose the problem and send the right technician with the correct parts and asset knowledge “There is data with this such as preventative maintenance,” Nedohin said. “But the customer doesn’t care, all they care about is getting the equipment working. That data is important to somebody and that somebody is in the manufacturer's office. “The person at the end just needs to know what to do,” he concluded, summing up a key take away from the debate.
Enlightened delegates left the session without a list of digital tools but an idea of what to do before you choose them. Data collection, Augmented reality can all complement a process, but without a strategy that also encompasses your customer’s needs, those tools may as well be blunt.
2018 saw continued merger and acquisition activity in the home healthcare and related markets as firms moved to build out their services footprint, offerings and build economies of scale.
And 2019 appears to be trending in the same direction. However, it is quite possible that many providers that have a mobile team delivering care in the field fail to understand the complexity that comes with size and multiple service offerings, especially as it relates to scheduling ever growing teams in the field.
Many organizations do not understand that as the number of appointments increase, the scheduling complexity does not increase linearly. In fact, it is not even close! The reason complexity does not increase in a linear manner is due to the fact that each scheduling decision has a factorial growth. For example, here are the number of scheduling possibilities for various jobs:
• There are 6 possible schedules for 3 jobs and 3 nurses;
• There are 720 possible schedules for 6 jobs and 6 nurses;
• There are 3,682,800 possible schedules for 10 jobs and 10 nurses.
This is why it is important that healthcare providers utilize scheduling software that can handle such complexities. Scheduling optimization technology, found in Field Service Management (FSM) software, enables organizations to create detailed schedules that can handle the complex scenarios detailed above.
Optimizing the schedule for an organization with hundreds to thousands of nurses and care providers is far beyond the capability of simplistic scheduling products (not to mention manual approaches). The complexity is due to the number of events that must be taken into account when developing a schedule such as travel distance, travel time, overtime costs, labor costs, employee availability and skills, patient or member availability and preferences, contractor availability, regulations and a myriad of other inputs. With FSM schedule optimization, an organization can create an optimal schedule that meets unique business rules that can:
• Minimize associated costs related to care delivery such as travel time, overtime and missed appointments;
• Meet patient and regulatory requirements by assigning only the person with the correct skill set for the visit.
An emerging trend in the home healthcare space is providers offering new services that deliver specialized, hospital-level care. For example, one program provides a 7 day a week offering that promises a 2-hour response to a patient call. While the benefits to the patient are great, the potential strain on the organization that has to schedule these appointments could prove to be difficult.
"As healthcare organizations scale, they need to invest in technologies like FSM software..."
The organization will need to estimate capacity, understand who can make the appointment (taking into account travel time and other business objectives) and who has the correct skill set to deliver care. These variables highlight the need for schedule optimization (and capacity planning) to calculate all of these variables to help deliver cost effective and safe care while delivering on their promise.
Schedule optimization provides real, tangible business results for organizations. The approach organizations take to optimize scheduling and appointment booking often depends on unique business policy and goals. Some healthcare organizations might prioritize on time arrivals or decreasing overtime, while others might prioritize a reduction in travel time. With schedule optimization software, organizations can define business goals and quality metrics, then tune the scheduling policy to comply with these variables. For example, let’s look at an organization that prioritizes on-time arrivals as a key business KPI. You have two customers who live on opposite ends of town and there’s only one nurse available in the area that is certified to deliver care. How can this organization meet the patient and regulatory requirements while maintaining business policy?
If that nurse runs into unexpected traffic, or the previous appointment runs over, he might arrive late to the next visit. With schedule optimization, the scheduler can recognize the possible conflict and assign the appointments with enough buffer to ensure an on-time arrival, meeting that business objective and satisfying a patient need.
FSM software provides advanced schedule optimization that enable a healthcare provider to schedule and manage hundreds to thousands of patient appointments. Not only does this help control costs with better routing and a reduction in overtime, it also helps to deliver a better experience for both the patient and the employee. For example, extended travel times can increase turnover among caregivers. In fact, a study that found that for every 15-mile increment that an employee must travel to a client, that provider becomes two times more likely to leave the organization. In an industry that is struggling to find and keep talent, improving travel time can be a great employee retention tool.
As healthcare organizations scale, they need to invest in technologies like FSM software that will help enable this growth in order to cost effectively improve operations and, most importantly, ensure that patient care does not suffer.
Paul Whitelam is VP Product Marketing at ClickSoftware.
In the latest Field Service Podcast, Cheryl Anne Sanderson, Operations Director at G4S FM UK and Ireland, discusses the struggle in attracting the next generation of technicians and engineers and suggests influence must come from the top of a...
In the latest Field Service Podcast, Cheryl Anne Sanderson, Operations Director at G4S FM UK and Ireland, discusses the struggle in attracting the next generation of technicians and engineers and suggests influence must come from the top of a business to change perceptions of those looking in who are considering a career in service.
In this special episode, Field Service News' Deputy Editor Mark Glover, speaks to the brilliant, forward thinking Cheryl-Anne Sanderson ahead of her keynote address at Field Service Connect next month; enticingly titled, Making Field Service Sexy. How to redefine industry perceptions to attract the next generation of bright minds and propel your field service into the digital era.
Cheryl is passionate about getting young people into the sector and this eye opening podcast goes deep into the issues behind the current workplace disparity and what can be done, if anything, to remedy it.
An essential listen!
You can find out more information about Field Service Connect which takes place on 15 and 16 May at Celtic Manor, South Wales here.