Nur reagieren ist voll retro: Der Weg zum zukunftsfähigen Service in der Instandhaltung mit vorausschauendem, digitalem Ersatzteilmanagement führt über das IoT.

Bei vielen Unternehmen, die im Automobil- und Maschinenbausektor Kundenservice-Leistungen anbieten, ist das Ersatzteilmanagement sehr reaktiv gestaltet: Kunde meldet Ausfall in der Anlage – erforderliche Ersatzteile werden beschafft – Servicebetrieb führt Reparatur durch.

Dieses Break-Fix-Modell ist jedoch nicht zukunftsfähig. Der Weg zu einem proaktiven Kundenservice in der Instandhaltung mit vorausschauendem, digitalem Ersatzteilmanagement führt über das Internet of Things (IoT).

Shortcuts zum Inhalt:

– B2C-Abomodelle verändern auch die Instandhaltung
– Das IoT als Grundlage für proaktive Instandhaltung
– In vier Schritten zum proaktiven Kundenservice
1. Schritt: Reaktive Instandhaltung
2. Schritt: Präventive Instandhaltung
3. Schritt: Prädiktive Instandhaltung
4. Schritt: Proaktive Instandhaltung

B2C-Abomodelle verändern auch die Instandhaltung

Buzzwords wie „Product-as-a-Service“ (PaaS) oder „Servitization“ tauchen immer häufiger in den Wirtschaftsbereichen Automotive und Maschinenbau auf. Was diese Trendthemen auch im Kundenservice der Unternehmen und in der Instandhaltung forciert, ist das veränderte Kundenverhalten.

Successful subscription models such as Spotify or Netflix mean that consumers are used to not buying a product themselves, but rather taking out a monthly flat rate for a service. Due to the increased interest in such flexible PaaS models, OEMs and manufacturing companies are rethinking. They want to offer even more individual customer service through their employees and their service. To achieve this, digital changes are necessary.

The IoT as the basis for proactive maintenance

The basis of these changes is the Internet of Things. With inexpensive IoT sensors, high-performance controllers and wireless communication, PaaS models can be introduced quickly. Modern IoT networks enable customer service, for example, to combine the remote monitoring of spare parts with data analysis.

The prerequisite for this, however, is that all parts or products must be IoT-capable. There are currently still countless machines in companies in the automotive and mechanical engineering industries that cannot be digitally networked. The result: In the event of a malfunction, repair and maintenance of this system must be carried out in break-fix mode as usual.

This means that the employees of the companies responsible for service only repair the defective parts of the machine when they fail. This approach is very reactive and costly in the long run.

This is why the manufacturers of automobiles and machines deal with the use of IoT-compatible products and spare parts in order to be able to plan maintenance and servicing proactively. In this way, malfunctions, failures and machine downtimes can be drastically reduced. At the same time, productivity and service quality increase.

In four steps to proactive customer service

The evolution from the break-fix model to proactive customer service with predictive, digital spare parts management can be divided into four development steps:

1 – Reactive: The status quo in many companies is the classic breakdown service or repair service. There is a reaction to the failure of a machine or a system, for example. Since there is no digital data transmission between the manufacturers and their parts or products, repairs or other maintenance measures can only be carried out after a standstill. As part of this reactive break-fix service, manufacturers have low inventory costs. They sell service parts to their customers.

2 – Preventive: The time has come to switch to a preventive service. The manufacturers are not yet digitally networked with their product, but service companies try to prevent failures or machine downtimes with regular maintenance. This is already practiced in the automotive sector: manufacturers instruct their customers to have their vehicles serviced every two years or every 30,000 kilometers. If a failure does occur, the service company can provide its customer with a rental car from the manufacturer during the repair.

One thing is certain: there is still downtime in preventive maintenance. However, the goal should be to completely eliminate unplanned downtime. This could sustainably reduce both inventory and maintenance costs. Customers now receive a service that includes spare parts management and maintenance.

3 – Predictive: The way manufacturers and associated service companies work is fundamentally changed by the introduction of a predictive service. They are at least partially digitally networked with the products. IoT-capable products and parts make this possible: Manufacturers receive data on the location, operating hours or use of the customer’s vehicle at regular intervals via sensors.

These findings can be used to predict possible maintenance. Compared to the preventive approach, service forecasts are not created across the board, but are developed individually – based on actual usage data. This information advantage through data analysis makes it possible to set up a personalized maintenance strategy. For example, all-inclusive contracts that contain a service level or operating time guarantee would be conceivable. Instead of traditional product sales, manufacturers now offer access to a product. This includes all parts and services that are required during the term of the contract.

What is new now: With the predictive service approach, the risk of a part failure is transferred from the customer to the manufacturer or his service provider. By providing access to the product, the manufacturer guarantees a certain uptime and reliability. If he cannot comply with this, his contractual obligation to pay the customer a penalty comes into force. Therefore, the service focus should be placed even more on precise forecasts and analyzes.

Future service contracts must cover the cost of consuming parts and services. The goal in the predictive phase is to achieve a minimum contractual risk and maximum information about the product used. Manufacturers are already informed about potential business risks when signing a service contract.

4 – Proactive: The proactive service goes one step further. Here the manufacturers are fully digitally networked with the products. This means that they or the service employees receive real-time data via IoT-capable parts. Integrated IoT sensors deliver, possibly via the cloud, values ​​about location and product usage, but also about temperature, vibrations, pressure and energy consumption of the product.

If manufacturers connect the sensor data with AI technologies, they receive information on potential product or part failures. Service providers are thus able to develop an optimally coordinated, customer-specific maintenance strategy. If customers use a proactive service, they don’t pay for a product, but for a result.

With the amount of helpful data and forecasts that the IoT provides, spare parts management is also raised to a new ‚proactive‘ level. Companies can now greatly minimize their total delivery costs.

Read the original article, here.