Implementing a digital acceleration action plan is critical for your field service organization. Today’s world is increasingly digital, and making the leap into digital acceleration is key for all field service businesses. But, of course, a digital acceleration plan means you already have the prerequisites.
Resources to Digital Acceleration Readiness
If your company generates less than 10% of total revenue from services, ensuring you get the following in place before developing your digital acceleration game plan is key. According to the Technology and Services Industry Association (TSIA)’s The State of Field Services 2022 report, there are three actions you need to take before implementing your digital acceleration plan:
- Create a service culture in your company.
- Differentiate warranty versus value-added, “for fee” services.
- Distinguish service-level agreements (SLAs) based on response and resolution, and application support (beyond initial training).
Getting Ready to Move Forward
When your company generates more than 10% digital revenue, you are ready to focus on wave one and wave two initiatives — foundational, basic, and advanced. Digital transformation initiatives are founded on a knowledge base and an install base with product telemetry. In addition, having customer and field replaceable units is part of any digital transformation initiative. According to field service experts at the TSIA, the main basics include the following:
- DevOps loop with product development of artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot
- Skills-based routing
- Digital customer experience
The advanced to-do list includes:
- Predictive parts usage
- Proactive support
- Install the base with self-healing
- Automated support interventions
- Auto-notification to OEM of technical issues
Embracing the Future
Embracing digital transformation initiatives requires field service organizations to become adept at service capabilities, which means having technology with remote, preventative diagnostics embedded. Within this, all service capabilities must be able to identify and process scheduled maintenance to prevent unplanned downtime. Also, supporting and sustaining effective processes and systems for content management and enterprise knowledge is key. According to the TSIA’s The State of Field Services 2022, effective systems and processes are maintained through “the creation, capture, organization, sharing, distribution, and retrieval of knowledge within the organization, including problem resolution data.”
A Clear Plan That Understands Goals
Clearly understanding the goals of a digital acceleration plan will ensure a smoother, faster journey. Service enablement analytics and intelligent, connected products leverage technology to correct products through machine-to-machine communication. Self-diagnostics deliver a better customer experience and a brighter future where your capabilities thrive. Having intelligent, connected products that use sensor technology improve business and customer outcomes, which is the purpose of implementing a digital acceleration plan. It is a plan worth preparing for because of the deliverables its technologies bring to the table, improving bottom business lines and field service capabilities while avoiding digital hesitation.
The Four Ds of Digital Acceleration: Distribute, Debate, Deliberate, Decide
Using the four Ds of digital acceleration — distribute, debate, deliberate, and decide — will help your business keep its eye on the prize. It is genuinely a shakeup of the old-guard way of doing things. All actions focus on educating, assessing, prescribing, and aligning frameworks toward digital acceleration by bringing team members into the new circle of business models ready for the 21st-century world and ways of doing business.
Finally, debate the trends with each other, share information, decide which capabilities your team will improve, and deliberate on digital customer experience capabilities in the most exacting way possible. Your future is at stake. Digital acceleration will guide you all the way.
Vele Galvoski, The State of Field Services 2022, TSIA.