Often companies have immense amounts of information and data from their customers, which are however neither used nor meaningfully linked. However, it is precisely this data that not only offers companies an enormously exciting sales potential but also enables them to intensify customer relationships. It is hard to believe that, in addition, costs can be reduced significantly in most cases at the same time. But how does that work?
Use case: Worldwide machine maintenance
Imagine an industrial company selling machines worldwide. Occasionally, a machine may be affected by a sudden failure. This may result in the machine being out of order for a longer period of time. Although the industrial company immediately calls in a service technician, a lot of time elapses before the machine can resume normal operation. Spare parts must even be ordered from the manufacturer with considerable cost consequences. But with the correct use of existing data, many things could have been avoided and the failure even averted.
The right data for a precise planning of maintenance slots
Based on the data already collected, a precise assessment could have been made as to when the next maintenance should take place in order to avoid a complete breakdown. Even different local conditions such as humidity, climate etc. can - or even must - be considered in such an assessment.
Instead of waiting for a failure, which often forces companies to act in the most adverse situations, proactive maintenance planning - based on experience and combined with factual data - can save the customer a total failure in most cases.
Forecasts in real time
The customer-specific data collected allows a very accurate and, above all, real-time updated forecast of recommended maintenance slots. Based on this, an assumption can be made as to when and for which machine a next maintenance should take place. Suppliers can now proactively inform their customers and offer them the opportunity to book a time window for their maintenance online with just one click.
For an industrial company, this has the great advantage that most maintenance work can be planned and emergency calls by service technicians become less frequent. This also has a major impact on the cost structure of a company.
Focus on customer orientation
The fact that the customer perceives this proactive information as a service and thereby strengthens the relationship of all parties involved, is a not to be underestimated side effect. A study by inContact showed that consumers react extremely positively to a proactive service. Specifically, 87% of respondents said they would even be happy to proactively contact them in terms of customer service requirements. According to inContact, this shows that customer expectations are not only fulfilled but exceeded. Existing customer relationships can be sustainably strengthened and new ones created. Further, customers can become potential advocates of a business if they are inspired by proactive services.
A first, simple step as an industrial enterprise in the digital transformation is to analyze what existing and future potential data can be used for a new, disruptive service. This service must be consistently designed end-to-end digitally.
According to a study by the World Economic Forum and consulting firm Accenture, predictive maintenance can reduce the proportion of unplanned machine failures by up to 70%. The US Department of Energy (DEO) even estimates up to 75% fewer outages.