Organizational strategies revolving around an improved customer experience and operational workforce advancements are well underway, and it’s clear that through things like data, automation, and a shift in focus toward service are some of the keys to the castle. After all, some of the biggest opportunities on the horizon for today’s manufacturers lie in the revenue share increase from after-sales service.

But what’s at the heart of these strategic approaches driving toward operational success and customer loyalty? The answer is more simple than you’d think: people.

People are the core of organizations, making up the workforce that keeps engines running and processes improving. And while the aforementioned advancements like data and automation may have initially been introduced as a way to streamline the workforce, it’s more important than ever to empower those left to carry their companies into the future.

In our newest eBook,“2018 After-sales Service Predictions: Strategies for Empowering Manufacturers to Deliver Game-Changing Value,” we asked some after-sales service industry thought leaders how workforce development would play a role in evolving organizations in the coming months, and here’s what Syncron CEO Anders Gruden, The Service Council’s Sumair Dutta and Executive Advisor Friedrich Baumann had to say.

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Anders Gruden on equipping staff for success:

Customer expectations are changing, the manufacturing sector is consolidating and new sales of durable goods are fluctuating. Additionally, disruption from companies like Amazon, millennials in the workforce and new emerging technologies are creating a significant business opportunity for manufacturers, and it’s time for them to capitalize.

Manufacturers need to equip staff, as well as invest in modern technologies, to exceed changing customer expectations. And, seamless integrations between IoT platforms, field service management systems and legacy ERP solutions with advanced after-sales service solutions are key to success.

Sumair Dutta on applying human logic to cognitive AI:

With the shift to a data-driven business model undergoing a digital transformation, the key to success in 2018 is to remember the human aspect of applying these technologies and cognitive AI. The Service Council found that 20% of workforces are actually ready for AI today, but by applying human influence in the adoption process, we can expect that percentage to jump to 60% in the next five years.

Simply put, the workforce and talent side of business is an attainable way for organizations to improve the strategic goals for 2018. From an improved customer experience, to driving operational advancements, someone has to deliver these goals from a human standpoint.

20% of workforces are ready for AI, but by applying human influence in the adoption process, we can expect that to jump to 60% in the next 5 years. Click To Tweet

Friedrich Baumann on forging a new generation of technicians:

The biggest area of opportunity in service in the coming year comes on the people side. Manufacturers may be building the foundation for better service, but their service networks are struggling to find and hire the right technicians for the future. Most high school graduates today want to move onto college, but the OEM networks need more qualified technicians or mechanics in their service networks, hardworking people prepared to utilize digital technologies while getting their hands dirty.

By 2030, millennials will make up 75% of the US workforce, with 60% of the population moving to major cities. And, thanks to medical advancements, 2050 will be the year we see the number of people over the age of 65 double. Simply put, this perfect storm of trends gives organizations the opportunity to succeed, if and only if they embrace data and innovation, digitally transform and develop their workforce appropriately.

Here are five suggestions from Sumair Dutta to guide manufacturers to develop their workforce and maintain organizational health:

  1. Acknowledge your aging workforce and put a strategy in place to keep knowledge from retiring out of your organization.
  2. Embrace the millennial generation for technology and software adoption.
  3. Form a cross-generational workforce and learn to develop multi-perspective processes.
  4. Leverage outsourcing as a part of service and find the right balance to in-house service.
  5. Prioritize training and employee engagement.

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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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