The term “data-driven” is buzzing around a lot these days, and is often an indicator of a forward-thinking, innovative company. But is your organization actually driven by data?

The term “data-driven” refers to what information you collect, how you collect it, and what you do with it post-analysis. It means intentionally and deliberately gathering and utilizing data throughout the organization, and then using this information to guide decision-making. It’s not to be confused with “data-influenced” or “data-informed,” where you merely have data for data’s sake, or where you’re aware of the numbers but aren’t always using them to advise your processes and strategies.

When you realize we’ve already said „data“ eight times.

With such a heavy focus on product uptime as the key to organizational performance, artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics are playing an way bigger role in after-sales service and the supply chain than ever before. And because the shift from ownership to subscription means that initial sales aren’t going to cut it for revenue anymore, that means that proactive maintenance is the new financial lever for manufacturers.

In our latest eBook, “2018 After-sales Service Predictions: Strategies for Empowering Manufacturers to Deliver Game-Changing Value,” we asked some after-sales service industry thought leaders to share their insights on what focus on data and analytics will look like in 2018, and here’s what Carlisle’s Gene Metheny, The Service Council’s Sumair Dutta and Syncron’s Erik Lindholm had to say.

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Gene Metheny on the importance of managing data effectively.

The industry is still in the very early stages of managing and leveraging data effectively. To succeed, manufacturers will need to hire more data scientists that specialize in advanced analytical techniques and combine their knowledge-sets with business experts who understand practical applications for the information. Additionally, predictive signals must be incorporated into the core planning and execution systems to provide near real-time service. New systems also need to be developed throughout the extended supply chain, connecting dealers and servicers to the OEM for seamless execution.

Sumair Dutta on investing in data-driven decision making in 2018.

Organizations are already gathering data, and they are even drawing insights from that data today. What needs to happen next is an evolution around data and uptime with the questions:

1. Do we have the right data?
2. Are we confident in that data?
3. Can we actually deliver a better uptime experience based on our data?

In order to make sense of all of this input and turn it into data-driven decision making, 2018 will have to bring with it more testing, learning, and operational focus and investment from an AI and technology perspective. The development of products built on an uptime model, and the success of ones that actually deliver product uptime, will have to be measured through customer experience and the commercial strategy for how this model should actually be sold.

Erik Lindholm on shifting to intelligent maintenance schedules.

Even though many industries already have uptime service models guaranteed in their contracts and service level agreements, the after-sales service process still has room for growth when it comes to the physical integration of predictive analytics. As manufacturers start to truly factor data into their proactive maintenance schedules, they’ll be able to move away from a rigid, time-based schedule to an intelligent, need-based schedule, structured around the information received from the equipment in need.

Manufacturers are waking up to emerging technology, data analysis, and the importance of uptime and its impact on their organizations, but the key to after-sales success in 2018 lies in the partnership with mature and standardized IT solutions as revenue-building machines.

This shift from a break-fix business model to an uptime-driven, predictive strategy will lean heavily on data, and the digital vessels by which it is attained. And, as manufacturers start to learn what this means for their specific organizations, they’re going to find themselves on the path toward digital transformation.

For an organization like ours that focuses solely on optimizing this after-sales service process for manufacturers, our hope for the future is that companies don’t attempt to piece-meal these processes together on their own, but instead rely on tried and true solutions like Syncron.

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Want more insight into 2018? Download our brand new ebook today to hear more from some of the industry’s thought leaders on the major trends manufacturers will see in 2018 and beyond, and how to implement new business processes and technologies to win.

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After-Sales Service, Product Uptime, Servitization, Technologie