Frankie Guynes, Customer Success Manager of FieldAware outlines what field service organisations should consider before making the next move in their field service maturity planning...
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Frankie Guynes, Customer Success Manager of FieldAware outlines what field service organisations should consider before making the next move in their field service maturity planning...
You might think I am biased, but I truly believe that my Customer Success team has the best job. Why? Because that job allows us to participate in our client’s growth and success. Each day, we guide our clients to overcome all types of obstacles, ensuring they are getting everything they need from their field service solution. In fact, identifying these obstacles together, and supporting the client through their own individual maturity model is what ultimately makes the difference in their organisations.
To explain better: we work with clients who are at various stages of field service maturity. We use a well-established model which outlines five stages. By identifying a client’s current stage, we can more succinctly consult with clients on process improvements and activities that will progress them through the stages of maturity.
The stages start at basic, reactive business operations moving to more transformative business operations. The obstacles faced by these businesses are different; varying from lack of standard processes, poor change management, or inadequate technology. We focus on overcoming these obstacles, and the role that can play to advance an organisation to a market leader in their industry.
Wherever an organisation is in their field service maturity, what matters most is for the organisation to: map out a quick-path-to-value in their current stage of maturity, visualise where they want to be in the maturity model, and execute on operational changes that move the organisation to that goal.
The Right Fit Software
My team is greeted by many organisations that are “getting by” with existing technologies and processes. These technologies and processes are typically born from gaps in business processes as their business continues to grow. When technologies are deployed from necessity, organisations find themselves unable to scale; hampered by these disparate processes.
Although there are many factors that are involved in an organisation’s maturity stage, it is without question that the effectiveness of their technology is highly impactful. With technology as a cornerstone to success for an organisation’s maturity, organisations need to evaluate software based on the current state and the goal state for their business.
"The effectiveness of their technology is highly impactful..."
This doesn’t mean to implement technology well beyond the organisation’s current field service maturity, making change management and success difficult to achieve. Rather, find software that stretches beyond the current maturity stage and that allows the organisation to evolve within the technology.
The Path to Success
A fundamental step to success is for field service leaders to invest time to map out the current state of their organisation, along with a clear vision of the goal state. They must ensure that the technology for which they invest can evolve and support the business through their own field service operational maturity.
Mapping out the current state of the organisation consists of three activities. First, carry out a need’s assessment with an honest evaluation of current inefficiencies in organisational processes. Then, evaluate how current technology could evolve to support organisational changes, and finally, take a critical look at the decision-making process of investing in new technology.
This exercise inevitably means greater knowledge of your business; its operations and areas that are preventing the organisation from increased growth or value. It is essential to identify,
document, and “well-circulate” the goal state of the organisation and the measurements that will be used by leaders to identify success in these metrics.
When tackling this, it can help by focusing on the business goal and work backwards from that point. For example, delivering added-value to customers is a priority for many organisations, so it is given that operational changes should support this, and technology developments should enable it. Therefore, starting with this end point will mean a greater understanding of how the business can deliver this customer value successfully and consistently and what that looks like.
Use What you Have
Mapping out your current state will also uncover if you are making the most of your current technology. An important part of my role is to ensure our team is helping clients get everything they need from the solution. This means all software releases are communicated and demonstrated through solutioning sessions. It means new users are fully trained, and advanced solutions on the platform are well implemented.
In the end, I advise organisations to seek guidance from software experts to help with the journey. Transformative technologies can be difficult to navigate and implement into an organisation’s business processes. Find a technology partner that well identifies your organisational maturity path and that will help evolve your field service maturity from concept to reality.
Managed print services (MPS) emerged to help deal with the commoditisation of the supplies business and injected new blood into a struggling industry. Years later, MPS itself has become a commodity and, once again, office print providers are...
Managed print services (MPS) emerged to help deal with the commoditisation of the supplies business and injected new blood into a struggling industry. Years later, MPS itself has become a commodity and, once again, office print providers are looking for new ways of doing things.
This article, from service management software firm Asolvi, looks at the rise of seat-based billing and how it could facilitate a new wave of innovation that will help providers transcend beyond print.
The Commoditisation Issue
These new MPS contracts were a win-win. They secured ongoing revenue for dealers while helping customers reduce their printing costs. MPS gave the office print industry a powerful boost.
Yet here we are again with a commoditised product. Only now it’s MPS itself, the one distinguishing feature between most MPS offerings being the price. Still, if there’s anything that office print providers are used to, it’s rapid change. So now they’re looking for a new way to sell. A new way to package their goods and services to create value for the customer and differentiate themselves from the competition.
In this industry, there’s always a new way. One of them is seat-based billing (SBB), an alternative to the traditional way of billing for managed print, which is cost per page (CPP). A number of our clients in this space have expressed an interest in moving from CPP to SBB. As a result, we are already looking at ways of developing our MPS field service management software to accommodate SBB contracts.
But what exactly is SBB? And how does it differ from CPP?
Cost Per Page (CPP) Versus Seat-Based Billing (SBB)
The popularity and wide adoption of the CPP model is one of the reasons it can be difficult to set your solutions apart from the competition. An even bigger problem is that it puts you and your customer at odds. You want your customer to print more. Your customer wants to print less. Indeed the whole premise of an MPS solution is to reduce unnecessary printing. And since page volumes are shrinking, basing your organisation’s revenue on a linear association with those volumes is unsustainable.
However, seat-based billing (SBB) is now emerging as a more sustainable alternative. Also known as per-user billing or cost per seat, SBB is based on staff numbers rather than pages printed. It is a flat fee billed per end user per month that covers support for all print-enabled devices each person uses.
This could include locally connected printers, desktop printers, multifunction devices (MFDs), fax machines and scanners as well as all consumables, maintenance, parts and software. It plays into the all-you-can-eat mentality that so many customers want and is already popular in other industries, e.g. TV and music subscription services like Netflix and Spotify.
SBB involves a shift in perspective, focusing on users and their needs and behaviours rather than the number of pages printed. This offers an escape from the commoditised world of CPP pricing as well as access to new and more profitable revenue streams. It also ensures perfect alignment between you and your customer. Your customer will spend less but you will make more. This makes for a stronger partnership between you.
How Can You Make More Money With SBB?
For example, you could look to add the following to each seat:
- Hardware (printers, copiers, MFDs, desktop computers, servers etc.)
- Document management software
- Workflow software
- Print governance software
- Managed IT services
- Coffee and water services
- Digital signage and displays
- Telecommunications including IP telephony and VoIP
The Challenges Of Maintaining A Profitable Seat Price
It’s important to note that with SBB comes the risk that users will abuse the system and print too much or, for instance, print everything in colour. Even though SBB feels like all-you-can-print, it cannot literally be so. That’s because toner is still the most expensive part of any MPS contract. Moreover, the whole point of MPS is to control an organisation’s print output.
So, to make SBB profitable, you first need to build a seat price that is based on a deep understanding of an organisation’s historical print behaviour. You can do this by way of a thorough user- and device-based assessment that gets rid of any assumptions and unknowns. You then need to put as many controls in place as possible to ensure that users don’t overprint.
The first of these controls is having the right language in your contracts, stipulating volume, colour and coverage ratio limits. The second is including print governance software with each seat. This enables your customers to assign user permissions, set restrictions on printing, and keep track of volume and colour usage.
The third is having a strong field service management (FSM) system that gives you full and detailed visibility and monitoring of all service costs. That FSM system needs to integrate with your customer’s machines and let you easily track toner consumption and contract/machine profitability. Your FSM system should make it immediately obvious when your customer is printing more than they should. Easy access to this data enables you to bill correctly, adjust your contract price and/or terms where necessary, and advise your customer on modifying their print behaviour.
With the right controls and software in place, print management can improve with SBB because it puts a name to behaviour. And while managing print volumes is necessary for both CPP and SBB programs, it’s easier to pinpoint misuse with SBB.
For MPS providers that haven’t yet branched into new areas, SBB makes it easier to do so. Billing in CPP doesn’t really allow you to look much past the page. With SBB you can say to a customer, “For an extra £5 per seat per month, we can take care of your desktop computers as well.” There is no additional contract, just an addendum to the existing one. Nor are there any difficult ROI discussions or a large capital budget approval process as it happens immediately and everything is under subscription.
Going forwards, the ability to continually layer the seat with new offerings is likely to be the biggest advantage of the SBB model. It means that SBB could become a powerful way for office print providers to grow.
Problem-solving is an essential skill set for all Trusted Advisors, yet many of us take it for granted. We assume our Technicians and Engineers must be great problem solvers because that is what they do. Most have developed ways to solve problems through on the job training and mentoring from experienced colleagues, but very few have been educated in this key professional competence – logical problem solving!
This lack of competence can cost companies considerable money and customer loyalty. You will have all experienced problems that don’t seem to go away, where teams of people seem to solve, resolve and resolve again the same issue. These are the type of problems that are complex, multifaceted and can costs companies thousands and sometimes millions of pounds.
They require a disciplined process and in truth most companies do not sufficiently support their staff in developing this critical skill set. As data analytics becomes increasingly influential in field service processes, so logical problem solving skills will become more important!
Increasingly the solutioning of known problem sets will be done through self-service, lower skilled technicians or even automated through remote services. Companies will want their skilled technicians to focus on the more complex technical issues as well as fixing the customer relationship.
How can you up the game of your technical teams, save your organisation costs and increase customer loyalty?
Best in class companies with a Trusted Advisor mindset where the goal is to continually create more value for their customers, embed in their culture a logical problem-solving wheel, which starts and finishes with the customer. This gives companies a common language and process to solve problems, which is critical to improving the skill levels of all their employees. When problems are complex, it develops a good discipline, especially around problem definition and data collection.
As the ability of service organisations to leverage advanced analytics to analyse unstructured data found in service reports becomes more widespread, so a common language becomes even more important in identifying and predicting fault patterns. There are also many tools for both analysis and solutioning that help break open the problemsolving process. Some examples from the problem analysis phase are the 5 W’s (Who, What, Why, Where, When) for situational fact finding, the 5 Why Method for root cause analysis and Fishbone diagrams, sometimes known as Ishikawa or FaultFinding Trees.
The importance of statistical skills in the future should not be underestimated, as data becomes an essential resource in the service resolution processes. Many of you will know these tools from your professional experiences and probably take them for granted as part of your work life. However, you will be surprised at how few of your colleagues really understand how to solve problems. Many will often jump to the first solution that fits the symptom’s they are seeing.
They will switch components in & out to see if the symptom goes away without really understanding the root cause. This leads to significantly higher costs in managing spare parts and many more “No fault Found” from returns reports from component suppliers.
Research by Cranfield University ‘A framework to estimate the cost of No-Fault-Found events’ published in 2016 showed examples from the Aerospace industry where NFF cost companies between one to 300 million dollars and in some cases account for up to 80% of failures. Indeed, not solving the root cause of problems has led to industries developing their own problem solving methods.
If you have worked in the automotive industry, no doubt you will have experienced the 8D problem solving process and will probably be familiar with 6 sigma methods. Those of you with the experience of large field organisations will know that service leaders such as Xerox or Vaillant make logical problem solving a core skill in which they train their whole organisations, not just their service technicians. For these organisations, just solving the technical problems is not enough.
They recognise that the art of creating customer loyalty comes from an ability for the organisation to fix the customer. Hence a critical element of any work in logical problem solving is to recognise the role of the problem solver in the process. For example, if a service technician perceives their role as ‘fixing equipment’, this is what they will focus on.
They will miss the fact that the root cause might be a lack of customer training or an external factor such as raw material quality or the operating environment. This wider view of the problem, and an understanding of the problem solvers role in the effectiveness of the process, can save companies huge amounts of cost, and deliver more value to customers.
We often refer to this mindset as being the Trusted Advisor, and it is the reason why excellence in Problem Solving is such a vital and often overlooked capability that needs to be developed. We are all aware that the ability of any organisation to effectively solve problems is critical to its success in terms of costs and customer loyalty. Leading global organisations recognise this and train their teams in logical problem solving, yet for many organisations it is a capability that is taken for granted. And in the context of forming deeper lasting relationships with customers, we also should recognise that problem solving is an essential skill set of being perceived as a Trusted Advisor.
If you would like to know more about developing Trusted Advisor programmes in your business, then you can contact Nick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve written and spoken about the importance of IoT in field service for many years now. In the past I’ve often compared it to the
mobile revolution, outlining my case for why I think IoT will ultimately have a far bigger impact in our sector than mobile. Now this is not to underplay the importance of mobile in field service.
Mobile was undoubtedly a huge leap forwards in terms of how field service companies were able to deliver efficient field service maintenance. The streamlining of workflows that mobile allowed has seen field service companies be able to do more with the same or even less field service technicians than they could have even imagined possible in the days of triplicate paper documentation and the mighty pen.
Equally, the introduction of increasingly intelligent mobile applications has given field service engineers greater insight into each job they undertake, better support options for when they face an unusual fix and the easy processing of job completion and on site customer feedback.
All of which have seen field service companies become able to truly leverage the often untapped potential of the field service technician as a genuine, trusted, brand ambassador. In many respects the introduction of mobile was a true revolution. That is until we compare it to the potential of IoT.
In this context, actually what mobile brought to the table was the ability to do the things that we always knew were important in terms of service efficiency and customer satisfaction, better. We didn’t revolutionise our fundamental approach to field service when we introduced mobile into the mix.
We just did things exponentially more efficiently. However, whilst the advent of IoT will bring even more efficiency gains, as our engineers become forearmed with the knowledge of exactly which parameters of the asset they are about to work upon are falling outside of acceptable norms, there is the opportunity for a much more radical shift in thinking that IoT presents in addition to this. This is of course, the shift away from traditional break-fix, service level agreement-based service contracts and into the brave new world of guarantees of uptime, truly predictive maintenance and advanced services. This is the true revolution.
However, IoT alone is not enough for us to harness the disruptive force of such a revolution. Much like Cloud before it, it is perhaps the foundational technology upon which we can build even greater innovations.
Machine Learning Is Crucial For Iot Success
One of the throw away phrases that you will invariably hear at conferences, read in articles and discuss in board rooms in pretty much any industry vertical right now ,is that ‘data is the new oil or gold’. I politely disagree with that assertion. Data, as an entity in it’s own right, is quite frankly almost worthless. It has no use-value.
It is without agency and it is without utility. Insight that can be found from mining such data however, is something of truly massive value. When people comment that data is the new currency, they are generally referring to insight. This is why the data scientist was widely posited to become the ‘rock star’ of the twentieth first century not too long ago.
The ability to not only know how to surface insight from data, but more importantly understand exactly which direction your interrogation of that data should go to discover insights that yields true competitive advantage , is a fairly uncommon skill set that blends the analytical and the creative thought processes into one holistic discipline. Yet, as machine learning matures, I see a world where the role of the data scientist will be much more of an initial consultant, someone to make sure a business understands the methodology of data science.
Someone who outlines to them, the whys and the hows, basically lining up the ducks into a row, before setting the AI to do it’s thing. The technology is improving so rapidly now that the actual implementation of such data interrogation programs is likely to sit with senior business execs, rather than senior IT execs driving it.
The value of the human input will not be within the data analysis itself, but in guiding what areas of the business performance should be being measured. The reality is that the sheer volume of data and the speed at which it is generated means that truly utilising and embracing IoT means simultaneously adopting a machine learning strategy at the same time.
Augmenting Augmented Reality
Another technology I have championed for some time now is Augmented Reality (AR) which offers up in the short term at least, a very realistic solution to both the ageing workforce crisis and also the need for field service organisations to reduce the time and costs of training new field service engineers and get them being productive parts of the field workforce as swiftly as possible.
For a long time I have posited the benefits of being able to hold onto the tribal knowledge of an older engineer by allowing them a more convenient support role where their experience can be ‘dialled into’ by the less experienced, newly qualified engineers. This ability to provide ‘see-what-I-see’ over the shoulder remote support is an obvious solution to the two issues I mention above, and I am somewhat surprised that as yet we haven’t seen as large a take up as I would have anticipated - although I do feel we are pushing at an open door in this regard and such developments will inevitably become common place eventually.
"When people comment that data is the new currency, they are generally referring to insight..."
However, this I feel is just the very tip of the iceberg in terms of AR in field service and it is when we add into the system a feed of real-time data from an asset, that we will see AR truly flourish. Imagine a field service technician being able to simply look at a device and to get a visual overlay of how that device is performing in real time. The engineer would be able to identify fault, pull up asset history, and access a knowledge bank of the most suitable action for maintenance within just a few moments.
Comparative Analysis Across The Fleet
Perhaps one of the most exciting potential applications of IoT with respect to maintenance and service, is the ability to offer additional layers of advanced services, which could yield newly created revenue streams. One such example could be the application of asset data analysis across a fleet of assets to allow your organisation to provide corrective changes to settings either at the individual asset level, the individual component level or even at the macro level across the whole fleet.
Take this a step further and through the anonymisation of key data sets across an entire install base of your assets, and then the analysis of the operational performance of the install base as a whole - you could be in a position to offer your customers a solution update that could improve productivity by X%. Whilst, admittedly we are still getting our heads around the practical regulatory challenges and big questions around who owns what data, with the waters becoming infinitely more muddied by ill thought out and poorly defined legislation such as GDPR or the Californian Consumer Privacy Act, there are already examples of companies leveraging data from across their whole install base to be able to provide just such intelligence to their customers for an additional cost.
Such solutions are dependent on high level operational performance analytics, which have evolved from the world of Big Data. Don’t Forget To Make It Safe Of course, it is always more preferable to talk about opportunity, but it must be remembered that with whilst in every great challenge we can find opportunity, so to does every new opportunity present a new threat - and the biggest threat of all in a world of data-breaches and connected assets is cyber-security.
The shift to the Cloud reinvigorated the discussion of cyber-security hugely. Many were initially reluctant to make such a move despite all the various benefits of doing so, because the Cloud felt just so much more penetrable and vulnerable than an On Premise solution that had the advantage of being visible, tactile and ‘real’.
The truth is the amount of resources cloud providers like AWS, IBM and Microsoft spend on protecting their cloud offerings are so mind blowing that no on premise solution could be as risk free. Microsoft for example spend over a $1Billion dollars a year and operate 3,500 professional security engineers plus a highly sophisticated AI to thwart the incredible 1.5Million attacks they get every day.
For this reason, I’ve always felt comfortable with the Cloud as being as close as we can get to secure - whilst nothing is ever 100% safe, choosing any of the big three Cloud providers gives you as good protection as your likely to get. However, with IoT at the moment I would hesitate to be just so confident in my prediction. A large part of this is down to the technology still being in something of a ‘wild-west-phase’ with protocols still being ironed out and at the same time a huge surge in consumer appetite for IoT products has driven costs of components down, with many coming out of China which adds an additional question around security against the global geopolitical landscape we find ourselves in.
Not only can IoT components be a weak point of entry to gain access to a wider network, but should the unthinkable happen, they also pose a huge risk in terms of cyber terrorism. If a device can be hacked and it plays a role in wider ecosystem of a factory - could it be conceivable that a cyber criminal could hold a business to ransom shutting them down until they pay up? As with anything the pros and cons of a new solution need to be weighed up, and for me the benefits of IoT in field service do still outweigh the cons, but it is certainly worth putting security at the top of a list of priorities when scoping out the potential of any IoT strategy.
Rubbish In, Rubbish Out.
Finally, just a quick point on building such a strategy. As mentioned earlier, it is important to think of IoT not as an IT project and it is too engrained within business to be viewed in such a way. However, it should equally not be seen as solely as a business solution either. Digital transformation is a significant focus for many companies right now, and if done correctly this should be a platform for embracing IoT - so it is important that your IT leaders within the business also play a major part in such endeavours. But the one thought I would put at the top of any strategy planning meeting would be to ask - what is it we are trying to achieve? I would then go one level deeper and ask ‘What is it that our customers are trying to achieve?’ Then ask the most crucial question that any business has in its arsenal - why?
That should give you the right path to tread down and from there the various different layers of technology that are suitable for the goal you are trying to reach will become apparent and you can plan accordingly. Skip this process though and you may as well go right back to the old adage of the computer - put rubbish in, get rubbish out.
The IoT does offer true revolution within field service, but every revolution requires planning.
Field Service Management (FSM), just like any other major business initiative, requires a great deal of thought, time, planning, resources, energy, and money. But it also requires momentum to ensure that it maintains its relevance as the business evolves in an ever-changing marketplace.
That is why so many well-intentioned FSM initiatives tend to “fizzle out” over time, either in terms of commitment, use, or simply because they haven’t grown in functionality at the same pace as the business itself has grown. Whatever the reason, many organizations ultimately find themselves in a position where their FSM program just flat out isn’t as effective as it once was.
Many years ago, Fram oil filters utilized an advertising campaign that stated “You can either pay me now, or you can pay me later!” This referred to the fact that you could either check (and, if required, replace) your car’s oil filter on a routine basis (i.e., before a problem manifests itself), or wait until after a problem occurs, thereby costing you more money for a “fix” after-the-fact than it would have cost had you routinely changed your oil filter as part of a self-administered preventive maintenance program.
The same concept also applies to FSM: fixing (or correcting) your FSM program along the way will undoubtedly save your organisation much more time and money compared to the risk of having it stray off course over time. Experience has shown that once an FSM program strays off course – whether by alot, or a little – it is extremely difficult to easily get it back on track in terms of refocusing direction, reallocating resources, rechanneling team efforts, realigning processes, and in many cases, admitting that the program had gone off track in the first place!
For these reasons, it is critical to monitor the progress of any FSM initiative on an ongoing basis in order to avoid falling into a situation where you will need to make what NASA typically refers to as “a midcourse correction”. Taking the NASA example one step further, when a rocket is aimed at the Moon, sometimes a “mid-course correction” requires nothing more than a 10- or 20-second burst of steam released from the side of the spacecraft to ensure that its recalculated trajectory will send it to the desired landing spot on the surface.
In cases where the problem is identified well enough in advance, it may only take this 10- to 20-second effort to ensure that the rocket does not miss its target by thousands of miles. In relative NASA terms, this is neither a complicated nor expensive procedure to execute, and the return is enormous (i.e., avoiding a potential total failure, and ensuring that the original target will be hit).
However, in cases where a problem is not identified until much later, or other earlier attempts have been ineffectively executed along the way, the rocket may have to be entirely reprogrammed – literally, on the fly – possibly entailing a new trajectory that will require orbiting around the back side of the Moon several times, and selecting a new landing site – or worse – sending it out into space as a failed effort. While the former “correction” would save the entire effort at a relatively low cost, the latter would – at best – require a huge amount of resources (i.e., people, time, and money) for just the chance of being able to avoid failure.
We believe that the same alternatives also apply to FSM initiatives, and that planning in advance for the most likely “mid-course corrections” should also be a critical component of any FSM improvement effort. Hopefully, any required “mid-course corrections” will be “minor” (such as taking added steps to improve communications between internal customer support groups, improving management and process control, upgrading existing software to the latest releases, etc.).
However, some corrections may be more complicated, such as changing platforms or reengineering existing business processes midstream, or having to deal with other major FSM program-altering situations. Regardless of the level of correction that is required, one thing remains clear – an ineffective FSM program will provide – at best – an ineffective FSM solution! Further, while an effective FS≠M program can generally always be expected to provide a measurable return-on-investment (ROI), an ineffective program typically will not – regardless of the cost!
There are essentially six (6) key reasons why FSM programs fail. They are typically:
1. Lack of management vision and commitment – Executive involvement is critical to steer the project so that it is continually in alignment with the company’s strategic business objectives.
2. Lack of a complete business process analysis – Before embarking on an FSM solution program, there must first be a comprehensive analysis of the individual customer-focused business processes used by the organization – otherwise you will find yourself merely automating the existing “mess”, or still doing things incorrectly – only more quickly!
3. Selecting the software before the analysis is completed – Selecting software before the analysis is completed is a common – and oftentimes fatal – mistake. This is why melding the organisation’s workflows into the software’s functionality, in a customer-focused, streamlined (and possibly reengineered) business process is generally required before implementing an FSM solution.
4. Implementing a system without changing the way you do business – Simply applying a new FSM software solution over the organisation’s existing business processes will not get the job done. Many companies that have attempted to use FSM primarily as a tool for automating their historical business processes have seen their efforts lead to nothing more than a means for preserving their status quo while the marketplace evolves in another direction.
5. Not managing expectations – Managing expectations at all levels within the organisation is critical. Cultural considerations and expectations must be continually assessed, addressed and managed.
6. Becoming locked into a system that does not support the FSM initiative (Agile Adaptability) – Any organization’s FSM program must show quick progress and be able to adapt quickly to changing business processes. Only the built-in “agile adaptability” of the system will preclude the chances for failure.
The best way to avoid any of these eventualities is to address them head-on in your FSM program from the outset. All of your organisation’s major business initiatives should already have these types of contingency plans built-in – especially those that directly impact both the customer base and the bottom line (which is certainly the case with FSM)!
The key to ensuring that your FSM initiative has adequately addressed these issues is to create an ongoing process-monitoring and self-assessment mechanism that is well-defined and clearly delineated in the original plan; and to empower the appropriate internal teams to manage and monitor these functions effectively.
Some tips for ensuring that you are able to successfully avoid any of these potential FSM obstacles are:
• Incorporate internal and external communications as integral components of your FSM design, development and implementation plans.
• Develop “real” goals and metrics for evaluating and tracking performance over time.
• Build effective input and feedback processes (i.e., easy to use, properly managed, and responsive) into your FSM communications model that address all internal (i.e., employee), external (i.e., customers, prospects), and channel (i.e., partners, vendors, dealers, etc.) requirements.
• Build an ongoing monitoring, tracking, and assessment function into the plan, and designate an appropriate individual (and team) to manage it. Also, empower that team to conceptualize, articulate, and recommend appropriate corrective actions as needed. • Provide management with performance tracking reports on a regular basis.
• Keep current with the FSM community in terms of what platforms, applications, or functionality may be newly available; take advantage of your existing vendor’s regular upgrades, updates, and patches; and keep up-to-date on what some of the other leading industry practitioners are doing with respect to their own FSM initiatives (e.g., by tracking them on the Internet; networking; attending trade shows, seminars, and users groups; etc.).
• Plan ahead for tomorrow’s upgrades today by keeping a close watch on your present FSM system status; setting (and revising) your goals and targets on a dynamic (rather than static) basis; identifying alternative “what-if” scenarios for addressing changes in your customer base (e.g., growth), infrastructure (e.g., outdated hardware/ software platforms), or other organizational factors (e.g., restructuring, acquisitions/ mergers, etc.).
There are many ways in which an organization can forestall problems relating to their FSM initiative, or – hopefully – avoid them alltogether. However, in order to accomplish this, you must always plan ahead; address the most likely “what-if” scenarios in your contingency planning; monitor, measure, and track performance all along the way; and encourage and empower both your managers and their support staffs to get their jobs done effectively.
You regularly replace the oil filters in your car – don’t you? And you can always count on NASA to use numerous “mid-course corrections” to protect any of its space launches. Therefore, it should also make sense – both philosophical and economic – to ensure that your organization’s FSM initiative is always supported by these ongoing planning processes as well.
Bill Pollock is President of Strategies for GrowthSM.
British Safety Council’s report makes the case for urgent action on the impact of air pollution on outdoor workers.
The British Safety Council has launched a report Impact of air pollution on the health of outdoor workers which provides compelling evidence to recognize ambient air pollution as an occupational health hazard in Britain. In the report, the charity presents the demands that spearhead its campaign to limit the dangers of air pollution to the health of outdoor workers.
Air pollution, linked with up to 36,000 early deaths a year in the UK, is considered the biggest environmental risk to public health. Research from King’s College London suggests that more than 9,400 people die prematurely due to poor air quality in London alone. Ambient air pollution is linked to cancer, lung and heart disease, type-2 diabetes, infertility and early dementia.
Several pilot schemes are beginning to monitor and measure the levels of air pollution experienced by people working and living in London. Their findings will be instrumental in developing recommendations for reducing people’s exposure to air pollution in the capital.
However, at the same time, the government and regulatory bodies such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), continue to demonstrate a lack of interest in relation to regulation and guidance on air pollution.
In March 2019, the British Safety Council launched its Time to Breathe campaign, which is focused on the protection of outdoor workers from air pollution. The cornerstone of the campaign is Canairy, the first mobile app that gives outdoor workers and their employers insights into pollution and how to reduce staff exposure to it. It has been created in co-operation with King’s College London. Canairy draws on the London Air Quality Network (LAQN) pollution map at King’s and the worker’s GPS to calculate an individual’s exposure to pollution on an hourly basis.
The British Safety Council’s report Impact of air pollution on the health of outdoor workers is the next step in the campaign. It gathers available evidence about the causes and consequences of air pollution in Britain. It also reviews international examples of initiatives set up to measure air pollution in different locations and their recommendations for risk reduction.
In the report the British Safety Council is calling for:
- The UK to adopt the World Health Organisation’s exposure limits for the main pollutants;
- Government action to ensure ambient air pollution is treated as an occupational health issue and adopt a Workplace Exposure Limit for Diesel Engine Exhaust Emissions (DEEE);
- Improvements to pollution monitoring across the UK, so that all regions can have the same accuracy in emissions data as London;
- Recognition that protection from the dangers of air pollution should be enshrined in law as a human right.
Lawrence Waterman, Chairman of the British Safety Council, said: “The impact of air pollution on people working in large cities is starting to be recognised as a major public health risk. However, we are yet to see any true commitment to addressing this issue by the government and the regulators.
“The Time to Breathe campaign, together with our recent report, is a call to action for policymakers, regulators and industry leaders. The social and economic implications of ambient air pollution are clear. It must be recognised as an occupational health hazard, much like some toxic substances such as asbestos. Breathing clean air is not a privilege but a basic human right for the thousands of people who are undertaking vital work outdoors.”
Customer Experience is the single most important factor in driving customer loyalty and retention. In fact, market research studies show that it costs five times as much to attract as new customer as it does to keep an existing customer satisfied. Repeat customers also spend on average, 67% more than then one-time buyers.
Furthermore, just a 5% increase in retention can yield profit increases in the range of 25% to 95%. Let’s face it, the customer experience does not end once customers make a purchase. It is just beginning. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) not only have a responsibility to keep their customers satisfied through-out their buying journey and ownership lifecycle. They also have an opportunity to strengthen their relationship with customers and create more value for them by providing quality, aftermarket services.
There are many factors that influence Customer Experience when it comes to field service. The two most important factors by far are speed of service resolution and first time fix rate. A service provider can excel in every other area of consideration. For example, courtesy of service personnel, ease of doing business, accuracy of billing, experience and knowledge, etc.
However, if takes too long for the FSE to resolve the problem or if the Field Service Engineer (FSE) needs to return because they didn’t fix the problem right the first time, the customer will be unhappy. If this remains a persistent problem, Customer loyalty and retention will suffer.
To prevent this problem from occurring, Field Service Organizations (FSOs) must be aware the bottlenecks, or, barriers, which prevent their FSEs from providing excellent speed of service and first time fix rates. For example, technicians may have:
• Insufficient knowledge to address the issue at hand: For example, they may lack the skills to solve the problem right the first which can result in either a repeat visit or the need to dispatch a different FSE to the customer site, thus extending the length of the downtime.
• Inaccurate or partial data about customers and/or products: FSEs must spend additional time onsite attempting to understand the customer’s problem when this type of situation occurs. Not only do run the risk of making inaccurate repairs when they rely on inaccurate or partial data, they also run the risk of impacting the quality of future repair if they do capture complete or accurate data.
• Inability to communicate effectively with remote experts: This can happen when the remote support expert is not able to understand or visualize the issue described by the FSE and/or when the FSE doesn’t understand the corrective action suggested by the remote experts.
• Inaccurate spare parts inventory - Service visits are closed incomplete or extended when this FSE doesn’t have the right part on hand.
• Non-existent audit trails to track previous service requests or warranty information - This means that FSEs lack the right information to properly troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair the problem. Not only does it increase the chance of a repeat service visits, it results in a situation where the FSO may not be meeting their contractual obligations or providing more service then the customer is entitled to; both have consequences.
Given that FSEs spend almost 1/3rd of their time at the customer site, OEMs must do anything they can to help FSEs avoid these bottlenecks. To ensure FSE optimize the customer experience, companies can turn to several solutions, including:
• Utilizing online forms to capturing critical service information
• Providing FSE with online access to Knowledge resources
• Improving parts availability through catalogs and inventory tracking apps
• Offering remote support to guide technicians to make better diagnostic and repair decisions
• Maximizing customer lifetime value through instant quotes and contracts
All these solutions are currently through commercially available, end-to-end field service management Solutions.
Benchmark research by Field Service Insights indicates that these types of solutions have a measurable impact on improving Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) related to field service. For example, companies who implement these solutions can increase FSE utilization and calls completed per day by 25% and 30% and reduce service resolution time and calls requiring second level support by 56% and 64%, respectively.
These improvements validate the tremendous impact that field service applications, such as those described above, have on enabling FSEs to deliver a better Customer Experience.
Michael Blumberg is Founder and Executive Director of Field Service Insights and CMO of Mize, Inc. Deliver
The growing digital transformation is blurring industry boundaries and altering established positions of firms. While manufacturers are investing strategically in data collection, analytics capabilities, and in cloud-based platforms, many firms remain concerned about how to best address digital disruption and enable digitalization.
Last year, General Electric cut expenses by more than 25% at its digital unit responsible for Predix, its software platform for data collection and analysis, 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 p84 strategies, we have seen both highly successful and unsuccessful cases of what we call ‘digital servitization.’ Why do firms with a proven track record of running successful field service organizations struggle with implementing digitallyenabled 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 digitization, which means turning analog data into digital data, and digitalization, 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 digitization, 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 utilization of digital technologies for shifting altogether from a product-centric to a service-centric business model. Of course, digitally-enabled services are not new; for example, Rolls- Royce’s archetypal solution TotalCare began in 1997 and BT Industries (since 2000 part of Toyota Material Handling) created its software system BT Compass in 1993, to help its customers improve their performance.
Likewise, leading bearings manufacturer SKF started early on remote monitoring bearings usage data flowing 24/7 from industrial customer’s equipment installed around the globe. Digital technology, however, can be a double-edged sword. 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 technologycentric approach. First, as the connected installed base grows and the costs of collecting and managing data increase year over year, it becomes more and more difficult to defend the model unless service sales start to materialize. 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?
"The growing digital transformation is blurring industry boundaries and altering established positions of firms..."
Third, customers typically do not have the time nor the skills to thoroughly analyze data collected and take appropriate corrective actions. The real value of data and analytics lies in a company’s ability to identify and implement adequate changes. By collecting and analyzing data across multiple customers, a supplier may know more about the customers’ equipment and operations then they know themselves.
Benchmarking performance across industry applications and customers thus provides attractive 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 standardization, services require increased local responsiveness and closer customer relationships. During digital servitization, however, the central organization 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. Viewing data as “the new oil” is a frequent claim these days. Like oil, data is a source of power. It is a resource used to fuel 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 utilization of data. If a customer is generating massive amounts of data collected by a supplier, then once processed, it can be used for better serving also the customer’s competitors. In other cases, we are seeing completely new entrants emerging and collecting data on behalf of their clients.
Digitalization is beginning to have a profound impact on even the most stable businesses. Customers increasingly expect a single provider to integrate individual components and products into a system, 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, often does not matter to customers. 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 roadmap for service growth. To conclude, no firm can afford avoid strategically investing in digitalization.
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, digitalization is the poster child 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 back-end and front-end interactions, 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 on www.ServiceStrategyInAction.com.
Dr. h.c. Wolfgang Ulaga is Senior Affiliate Professor of Marketing at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France. He is the author of Service Strategy in Action: A Practical Guide for Growing Your B2B Service and Solution Business. He also authored Data Monetization: A Practical Roadmap for Framing, Pricing, and Selling Your B2B Digital Offers.
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.
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.