Whether you know it or not, your field service organization is already a technology company. We are all in the midst of technological transformation, where field service focuses on the product of customer processes through sensors and aggregating data. Going strong into 2023 means putting aside our digital hesitation and making digital transformation a strategic imperative.
Digital transformation means understanding the dynamics of your company strategy and using talent and resources to analyze what’s going on in the field. It’s important to understand that transformation happens within the context of service delivery and service revenue growth. Remaining competitive in serviceability through price point and efficiency is key. We also must consider telemetry as a significant part of our transformations. In addition, using technicians to drive expansion and service revenue growth continues to be a trend within the digital narrative.
Understanding Digital Hesitation
Digital acceleration means overcoming digital hesitation. Having a digital acceleration plan is vital. Why are so many companies finding it a challenge as a strategic imperative? There are three key reasons traditional manufacturers experience this hesitation even when it is one of the most important factors of growth:
- Equipment is on-site, and original equipment manufacturers have little rationale to connect or monitor performance since operations are in the customer’s responsibility zone.
- Equipment needs to be adequately connected. Legacy products need to be updated, and access is anemic. Hence, business outcomes still need to be improved.
- The channel sells equipment, and the manufacturer can lose visibility.
As the asset becomes a liability, it’s important to ask questions like:
- Who specifically bought the product?
- Where is it installed?
- Who is using it? Are they still using it?
It’s critical for field service organizations to overcome these pieces of the hesitation puzzle.
Embracing Digital Acceleration
Capturing telemetry is vital in embracing the future and preparing for digital acceleration. A recent report from the Technology & Services Industry Association (TSIA) describes three key data points in championing your company’s position:
- “48% of the install base has diagnostic capabilities embedded in the product.”
- “32% of the install base has diagnostic capabilities embedded in the product AND is connected, so the service organization can access the telemetry.”
- “Only 6% of the install base has self-healing capabilities in the product.”
4 Steps for Embracing Digital Acceleration
Embracing the future is embracing digital acceleration. Decide now which capabilities your organization will improve. The four key steps are to educate, assess, prescribe, and align. Next, ensure your management teams are educated on what is required to optimize needed technologies while assessing performance and capabilities compared to competitors. From this point on, it’s crucial to provide recommendations for enhancing performance through education and assess positives and liabilities. Finally, aligning key stakeholders in critical infrastructure and technology decisions will benefit your company. The alignment will ensure it’s more productive in facing digital hesitation and embracing a new and vigorous future.
Vele Galvoski, The State of Field Services 2022, TSIA.