You’ve worked diligently to optimize and automate nearly every part of your supply chain. From initial conception of an idea to production of a product, you’ve meticulously planned and perfected every system and tool that goes into manufacturing that good. However, have you taken it one step further, optimizing the area of your business that interacts with your customers most often — your field service organization?
As the overall experiences customers have with durable goods manufacturers become more critical to company success, and customer expectations for quick and reliable service increases, you must take the necessary steps to ensure your aftermarket supply chain is operating as efficiently as possible, including your field service team.
You may be thinking you’ve done your part if you’ve reduced response times while also empowering your customers with the guidance they need to fix many issues on their own. But, what happens when the technician is on time, highly knowledgeable and determined to help, but isn’t stocked with the correct part? Suddenly, your investment in field service management technology is compromised by a missing part — leaving your customers unsatisfied and disgruntled.
Resolving these types of customer issues and experiences is perfectly feasible. Technologies exist for this very purpose — service parts management and scheduling solutions integrate and work together to ensure that when your technician arrives to the right place at the right time, they have the right part to keep your customers happy and encourage repeat business.
Below, I outline three additional benefits of using technology to improve your field service organization, increasing ROI and gaining customer trust.
- Trusted (and valued) technicians. Improvements not only in how and when a maintenance visit will occur, but also in being stocked with the adequate parts to repair an issue in a timely manner will lead to your customers viewing technicians as valued advisors. Remember, technicians are the ‘face’ of your brand — those individuals interacting with your customers most frequently, and in-person. And, when they are able to make a repair quickly — saving the customer time and money — they are left with a positive brand experience.
- Predictive maintenance. Are technicians making visits to multiple customers to repair the same issue on the same piece of equipment? Technology allows manufacturers to quickly see any repeat patterns that may be occurring. And, this allows you to get ahead of any issues a customer may experience in the future. If your technicians make regular visits to certain customers, they are able to get ahead of any problems — leaving your customers satisfied and with minimum chances of downtime.
- More visits. When technicians are stocked with the appropriate parts and are able to repair issues on the first time, quickly and correctly, not only are customers content, but your technicians are able to make more visits to more customers each day — ultimately resulting in more business and ROI for you.
With switching barriers lower than ever, in a competitive landscape where you are not only fighting rival OEMs but also independent service providers, you owe it to your technicians to empower them with the right tools for the job. You owe it to your customers, too. And, with an efficient field service organization, there is far greater scope to drive value and ROI by optimizing your service part supply chain. Enable your techs to drive an awesome customer experience at every interaction by ensuring the right part for the job is at hand when and where they need it.
Gary Brooks is CMO of Syncron.