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Embracing servitization demands in the manufacturing industry

Sep 22, 2020 | Admin, Latest News, Manufacturing, Service Cloud

The shift to servitization. Everyone’s talking about it, but what does it actually entail for manufacturers trying to stay digitally modern and compete strategically? Clearly, what’s been done so far is not enough: 45 percent of field technicians say their current tool stack isn’t fast enough, and 38 percent can’t even access all the information they need to perform at their best. That’s a lot of white space and opportunity to elevate customer service out in the field. But manufacturers first need to understand how servitization works. 

To help manufacturers become high-performing, customer-centric organizations, we want to cover the unique industry positioning manufacturing has in the face of servitization’s demands. We’ll look at what’s been holding back much of the industry from embracing servitization, a phased approach to make implementation more accessible, and some suggestions for measuring success out in the field. 


Unique industry challenges holding back manufacturers

The most pressing challenge confronting the manufacturing industry is its infamously complex ecosystem. Whether it’s distributors and suppliers or product partners and end customers, the network of contacts is vast and complicated. Manufacturers, more so than most industries, have to concern themselves with multiple communication channels that are tailored to the unique relationship they have with each partner, customer, or contractor. All this while also handling the often highly technical process of producing the actual asset they’re known for. Historically, managing all these relationships has been very manual and, consequently, time-consuming. 

Another challenge particular to manufacturers is all that data and all those processes. That’s right—every system, workflow, and spreadsheet that’s not really connected to and working smoothly with each other. Between SLAs, entitlements, telematics, work orders, parts pricing, order status updates, warranty claims, case management, CAPA, triage, scheduling, surveys… should we keep going? Whatever your product, there is always an immense amount of data and processes to manage in manufacturing. But, if all that disparate information is driving divisions between departments, it’s ultimately slowing down and hindering the end customer’s experience. For too long, manufacturing organizations have been intimidated by their own immense piles of data and intricate processes, keeping them from seriously considering new technologies that demand a little data and workflow clean-up. 


A phased approach to implementing servitization

It’s both Salesforce and Simplus’ recommendation that manufacturers view their transformation initiatives as a long-term journey, something to break up into stages. We call this the phased rollout or phased approach for servitization. By taking on just a little bit more automation in each stage, manufacturing practice leaders are more encouraged to embrace the transformation and adopt new technologies with greater ease. 

At each stage of the phased approach, more and more field service automation is introduced, slowly transforming your organization into a wholly modernized and interconnected service leader. Here’s a sample of the processes streamlined in each stage. 

– Crawl: Tiered SLAs, contractual service work agreements, and extended warranty programs. These are low-hanging fruit automation grabs for manufacturers, providing the organization with a comfortable and welcome introduction to digitized processes. 

– Walk: Remote monitoring and troubleshooting, predictive service, telemetry data, and optimization data monetization. Things pick up in the walk stage, introducing slightly more involved areas of automation that depend on greater data and analytics but also yield even greater results for customer service. 

– Run: Pay per use or machine hours, shared economics of equipment install, on-demand rental fleet or resource pool. In this final stage, manufacturers can expand their transformative service initiative to every process, completely modernizing the way business is done. 

Check out Salesforce’s examples of manufacturers at every stage of the phased approach automating various parts of their service operations: Cummins, Koenig & Bauer, and Philips


Measuring success in manufacturing field service

Any transformation initiative is lost without defined goals and measurements. Top of mind for many manufacturers looking to elevate their service operations are field service rep productivity, increased customer loyalty, and a decrease in case resolution time. 

Luckily, the Salesforce Field Service Lightning (FSL) offering is built to address all of these priorities with its top-tier, tried and true functionality. Below is just a small list of some of the FSL package features, proven to help manufacturers reach their most pressing goals:

– Location intelligence provided by the MapAnything integration

– Field service metrics and gamification powered productivity from Einstein

– Field service automation from the Salesforce IoT Cloud

– Guided assistance-based field service 

– MuleSoft’s flexible integration framework for ERP operations


Simplus’ industry-leading team of Salesforce experts is ready to guide your manufacturing organization into the era of servitization. Learn more here in our on-demand webinar. 


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