We live in times of economic downturn, in a business environment where delivering excellent field service is becoming increasingly complex. Unlike capital equipment, field service is intangible, we cannot store man-hours the way we store parts. Delivering just one hour of field service takes a lot of planning and resources, it involves a process that is often hindered by a lack of clarity and alignment across the organization.
Such complexity in the context of a global pandemic makes it rather difficult to achieve field service excellence. What can field service organizations (FSOs) do to overcome the conundrum and thrive in otherwise adverse circumstances?
Ahmed Gharbaoui—Aftermarket Director and Service Expert—revealed during the Field Service Forum UK of March 2022 that:
- The installed base (IB) is an organism that needs to be kept alive through offerings that increase the product lifecycle and form lifetime connections with the end-user;
- Defining the meaning of the IB for the FSO is essential in extending those offerings by determining ownership, which distributors should be included, or how to treat exported units;
- Segmenting the IB by lifecycle, size, and aftermarket potential helps designated teams to better focus their efforts and pull the relevant data they need to deliver service;
- Based on average lifecycle, historical parts and service consumption, and high-end service agreements, entitlement per organization can be established and used as a baseline for yearly units;
- Measuring units covered by warranty, units under service agreements, or periods of connectivity are simple and efficient ways of measuring progress and investigating new opportunities for growth.
Alongside his recommendations for organizational alignment and planning according to growth expectations, the Service Expert also warns against the pitfalls that need to be avoided when monetizing the installed base, including assumptions based solely on historical transactions, overestimating the potential of frontline and middle management teams to cover most of the work at hand, and underestimating the power of a clear IB ownership matrix in the pursuit of new business opportunities.
One of the most important takeaways FSOs should remember from this keynote session is that monetizing the IB for increased aftermarket revenue means forming lifelong connections not only with equipment but also with the end-user who provides as much valuable data as the machine.