Is Today’s Changing World Changing After-Sales Service?

Syncron has seen the world of after-sales service change immensely over the years. From the way we deliver goods to customers, to the way stocks are maintained, manufacturing and after-sales service is an ever-evolving practice. But, the overarching observation is that the world itself is constantly changing – and it’s changing today at a more alarming rate than ever.

A large part of our changing world is the continuation of emerging technologies that are affecting after-sales services. From drones, to augmented reality, IoT, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, and more, it’s no secret that after-sales service needs to adapt alongside with these changes – both in regards to technology and our customer expectations.

Earlier this year, Tony Abouzolof, Syncron Co-Founder and UK Managing Director, spoke on these worldwide changes at ISLA, the International Service Logistics Association’s Service & Logistics Summit 2017 in Hamburg, Germany. ISLA, an association predominately supported by global OEMs, is always striving for the highest customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.

How Will Technology Accelerate Innovation Across Your Business?

So, the theme of emerging technology in an after-sales service driven world was the name of the game. Tony’s big question: How will after-sales service organizations use technology to accelerate innovation across their businesses? Below are his insights on how some of the most popular emerging tech has impacted after-sales service.

When it comes to the current state of technology, things like experiments in warehouses with drones picking up parts off shelves and delivering them to central packaging points are already affecting manual labor within the field service workforce. Technicians are also testing augmented reality as a new way to access readily-made information – in real-time – to improve first time fix rates.

[bctt tweet=”#Drones are picking up parts off shelves & delivering them to central packaging points” username=”SyncronSCM”]

But, as for the future, the times are already a-changin’. While still in its infancy, IoT is already beginning to mature into “smart parts” that send vital information back to the manufacturer and, ultimately, the consumer. This info impacts activities like setting up service appointments, diagnosing product problems more accurately, forecasting when and where parts should be stocked – all making planning more predictable.

And even though we’re already seeing autonomous vehicles in warehouses and mines (read: controlled environments), just after a shift to the road, the next generations could be using autonomous forklifts, cranes, and other large equipment in the future. Similarly, 3D Printing is already a regular experiment with manufacturers, but this trend seems to be growing more and more popular as the industry evolves.

You Are What You Adopt

The moral of the story? The world is changing in rapid fire, and it’s up to after-sales service organizations to innovate and adopt these new systems. According to Sylvain Jaguelin, Parts Operations Manager at Manitou, and co-presenter with Tony at ISLA, “New systems are only as good as the people that use them. What kind of change management did you have to undertake to implement and execute?” New systems are only as good as the creativity and innovation involved in their implementations, and companies like Manitou are already riding the wave.

[bctt tweet=”New systems are only as good as the people that use them.” username=”tonyabouzolof”]

Being the change agent in an established world is never easy – the adoption of a new after-sales service strategy isn’t changed overnight. You have to start by influencing from within to, in turn, better your customers. The world is changing, and this transformation is all about leveraging your own people to drive a better overall experience for the customer.