Here at the 2018 Smarter Services™ Symposium, hosted by the Service Council in Chicago, Illinois, we’re drawing inspiration out of everything from powerful keynotes to collaboration clad workshops, and here on the blog we’re sharing some of the greatest service takeaways for the remainder of the year.

Monday, we led a breakout roundtable on service parts management and what it means to truly deliver product uptime in a predictive way. And Tuesday we tackled that predictive service, also known as a service event before the point of failure, from a tactical level with “Predictive Service and Its Impact On Parts Management.” But, before diving in, we got to hear from Lance Ley of Sub-Zero on the company’s hands-on experience in predictive service.

“When it comes to predictive service,” says Ley, “we’ve been capturing data for the last 20 years, and we’ve recently connected our products to the consumers homes, collecting information over the last several years. We now want to understand what’s happening in the home and understand how we can fix [issues] prior to something going down.”

Ultimately, when it comes to successful predictive service, there are four main challenge areas to conquer:

  1. Gathering service data.
  2. Analyzing and processing.
  3. Visualizing.
  4. Improving the service offering.

Gathering, Analyzing and Processing Service Data

The challenge? Manpower and parts slippage. It’s not just about gathering service data, it’s making sure the data is accurate and high-quality. When there’s ‘dirty’ data, a lot is dependent on the fact that there are a lot of great software packages that help ‘clean’ data. But, with data quality and data integrity at stake, you have to be careful what service data you actually apply to your process. When you look at the service parts side of things, and you’re using dirty data to plan for the future – you risk sending your techs out with the wrong parts, which is a major gap in service. In order to avoid this, you have to have a proactive feedback loop from the beginning.

Visualization & Improving the Service Offering

Service data visualization and the improvement of service offerings are changing the way we do business. Here’s what some of the workshop attendees are doing to change the game:

Sub-Zero

Equipment downtime means customers are losing groceries, and equipment uptime means customer’s kitchens are working just in time for dinner time. “All this increases customer satisfaction,” said Ley, “allowing us to go into the home when the customer is ready for us versus when they have to take time out of their schedules to be there. And, with smartphones [and smart parts], instead of sending a tech, we want to have the ability to do repairs remotely.” And, from a service parts perspective, this requires assigning parts to failures, making sure techs have the right parts at the right time

KONE

With heatmaps, they’re able to go to focus attention where it’s important. Instead of sitting down and talking about the one malfunctioning unit out of 50, they’re focused on the 49 that are running smoothly, which transforms the conversation. By localizing the pain point to one unit, and producing a plan of action to solve it, they avoid what would usually turn into a potential customer cancellation. Now, when they talk about their service offerings, we’re able to deliver a 24/7 connected offering – a value add to the maintenance agreement. And their customers pay to be smarter and more informed, because it ultimately brings the value full circle.

Ingersoll Rand

In a business heavy in remote monitoring, using instrumentation and control systems are the best way to monitor if unit is performing correctly or if a specific part is failing. To improve this service offering, they have a service level agreement to take care of the maintenance on products and the end of the control. With planned care, they can proactively provide customers the right parts for their teams to fix piece of broken equipment on the spot. And, if the customers’ team can’t fix an issue themselves, they’ll not only send a tech to fix it, but also rent the customer a unit in the interim.

The journey to product uptime requires a fundamental change to how manufacturers should approach customers. Download your complimentary copy of our Orange Paper today, and start incorporating this new strategy in your service organizations now.