We recently shared insights from Copperberg’s Aftermarket Benchmark Survey Report 2020 in our blog post, Building windmills: Leveling up your manufacturing service model. In the blog, we discuss the different types of service models we’re seeing implemented and executed at manufacturers today, as well as how technology investments can help uplevel those service models. Hopefully, those or other service conversations have you thinking about your own servitization transformation. If you are, I’d like to bring up another acutely critical component to successfully transitioning from service as a necessity to service as a revenue center: organizational-wide acceptance and change.
As you know, technology cannot and will not solve all of your servitization problems in a vacuum. More specifically, for proactive and predictive service models to work you need to have company-wide buy-in and support to shift to a company where everyone is a member of your service team, not just your dedicated service representatives and agents. How can you ensure that your processes and people are harmonized with your new business model? We’ve found that implementing the following five changes have helped other leading manufacturers avoid or prepare for potential obstacles in their service transformation journey
1. Everyone as a service member
2. More evangelism to your customers
3. Reassessing your workforce
4. IT as your #1 partner
5. Servitization KPIs for everyone
Let’s review in more detail.
Everyone as a service member
To succeed in the new normal—an age where down is up and up is down, and a global pandemic has made us all realize that nothing is for certain—we have to band together. We’ve all heard the adage, “the customer is always right.” Well, the customer is always right and is more right than he/she/they have ever been. This means when manufacturers are planning their service transformation, every department from sales, marketing, engineering, operations/supply chain, finance, etc. are first and foremost service members, optimizing the service experience for your B2B and B2C customers. How can you achieve this? By letting your employees lead the change. According to a recent survey report by Gartner, Changing Change Management, in a survey of 6,500 employees and 100 CHROS around the world, organizations that have moved away from top-down management and embraced more inclusive strategies have seen the best results when it comes to organization-wide change.
More evangelism to your customers
With remote service and remote diagnostics taking off, how you present yourself and when you present yourself to your customers is pivotal. With the necessity to provide service in person removed from the equation, manufacturers will need to be more vigilant in evangelizing the value they are providing to their customers. Think about remote equipment monitoring. You can prevent problems before they occur, but unless you inform your customers about diverted failures they will not know. This means you will need to think about and have a strategy for customer communications—how you will communicate the value you are providing through your service operations (i.e. issue avoidance, increased productivity, etc.).
Reassessing your workforce
The way manufacturers are servicing their partners and end customers is changing, this means the people who are servicing them may also need to change. Thinking specifically about field service, technicians are now being put into consultative roles. Are your technicians and service engineers comfortable in that environment? Some of them may be, others might prefer to only work on break/fix-it engagements. Have those conversations. Make sure that as you’re shifting your delivery model that your employees are set up for success; and if they aren’t, pivot as necessary.
NOTE: We know the labor shortage and rising skills gap in manufacturing is real. While Simplus can’t fill positions on your production line floor, we can help by taking on your Salesforce managed services work so you can focus your efforts on finding more of the right people. Learn more about our award-winning managed services team.
IT as your #1 partner
The customer is always right, AND your internal teams are your #1 customer. As you look to scale your business by providing products as a service, data, and IoT connectivity are at the epicenter of success. This means that you need to make sure that IT is involved in your servitization transformation from day one. Partnering with your IT team will make delivering on outcome-based and uptime-based service contracts possible. Your IT team should be working with you to make sure all divisions across the business have the information they need to deliver next-level service at scale. This includes, but is not limited to, integrated data flows from the field to service applications and secure and integrated technologies.
Servitization KPIs for everyone!
Leading from the point of view that all of your employees are members of the service team you’ll want to incentivize them accordingly. This means tying KPIs across the organization back to your service model. In other words, is sales/service keeping the account history up-to-date with customer requests, needs, etc.? Has IT been able to facilitate data integration and communication across platforms and technologies? Are technicians taking opportunities to upsell customers in the field? Likewise, are your customer service reps cross-selling where applicable? As you can see, everyone has a part to play in servitization.
Wherever you are in your service transformation, Simplus is here to help. In addition to leading Salesforce implementations, we have a dedicated change management team with a track record of driving successful organization-wide change for manufacturers like yourself. Connect with us to learn how we can help you further develop and drive your strategy for next-level servitization.