Product in Use opens the door to more sales in industrial equipment
Client retention beyond the warranty period is a big challenge for industrial equipment. In principle, once a facility is successfully up and running, the project has been completed. However, this creates a dilemma – customer contact decreases as customer satisfaction increases.
In keeping with the digital transformation, “Industry 4.0” and communication in terms of the “internet of things”, the manufacturers are now able to find a way out of this dilemma. Smart Services increase a client’s long-term productivity. And since ultimately, every company dreams of such business relationships, this offers a genuine competitive advantage – for both sides.
It is very typical within the field of industrial equipment: The facility is delivered and put into operation. After this, there is still a certain level of demand for training and familiarization until the client is completely confident using their own machines and fully understands their functions and for a certain period of time, the manufacturer’s warranty is still valid.
Once the warranty period has expired and the client has learnt how to use their facility proficiently, there are often not many reasons to continue maintaining close contact. As a result of their daily work, the client often becomes more knowledgeable than the manufacturer’s service staff; he therefore becomes more likely to call on a local service provider rather than extending his service contract with the original supplier.
However, every manufacturer strives to create business relationships with their clients that last for the entire product life cycle. They can succeed in doing so by providing services that increase their client’s productivity.
Thanks to the digital transformation, it is now possible to intelligently interlink communication between people, between people and machinery and from machine to machine, thereby opening up new opportunities in terms of Smart Services.
The American science-fiction author William Gibson is often quoted in this context: “The future is already here – it’s just not very evenly distributed.” Leading global supplier of PLM solutions, TECHNIA hopes to change this and in their specially designed R&D centre, InUse (formerly OptimData), they are working on the development of applications that deal with the analysis of heterogeneous data from connected devices and machine-supported learning.
With the new and innovative application ProductInUse – which the manufacturer can market under their own brand – it is now possible for companies to make a contemporary adjustment to their business model, away from pure product sales and towards services that create added value.
In practice, the application creates an almost real-time overview for both manufacturer and client of the current status and usage of globally networked machines or plants. This communication and the efficiently designed exchange of information give the manufacturer a continuous and direct source of feedback.
They receive advance warning of potential breakdowns and in emergencies they receive precise problem reports, allowing them to act quickly and purposefully. In this way, the manufacturer can learn to better understand their clients and how they use their machines. Services that are proactive and individually tailored to the client’s needs, regular product updates and market-driven further developments help manufacturers to achieve previously unknown levels of customer service.
The client’s efforts to achieve the individual maximization of value creation are thus permanently and proactively supported by the manufacturer. Anyone would gladly be loyal to such a partner.