Service, which inspires customers and avoids stagnation
The example of a washing machine is a good example of what the service world of tomorrow will look like: We no longer have to wait for the device to stop pumping, spin or to not even start. Rather: The machine ‘feels’ that it ‘soon call it quits’ and independently creates a service order. Of course, we will be informed as the owner of the washing machine, at the latest when we receive appointment suggestions for the service employee’s visit. He will receive the error code on his smartwatch and will get all the information he needs for repairs via his Google Glass. And if it gets too complicated, the service technician can make a quick call to technical support via Google Glass. In short: No machine downtime, no effort looking up service numbers, working your way through the hotline options, make an appointment; just a quick repair. Because the service engineer knows beforehand what is missing from the machine, he also has the right spare part, which makes a second appointment superfluous.
Predictive Maintenance – Fixing errors before they occur
A dream? No, NTT DATA already provides a complete service process – from the device in need of maintenance, to the enthusiastic customer. In our example, it is private customers, where mechanical failure is ‘annoying’, but the cost does not run into the millions. After all, in the worst case, you would have to visit a laundromat or bother a neighbour. However, if a production plant is involved, very high losses can occur very quickly if the cogs ever stop turning. Therefore, machine failure is to be avoided at all costs. Predictive maintenance makes it possible. In this case, the machine sends a lot of data to the manufacturer, who ideally recognises that a malfunction is imminent with self-learning algorithms, i.e. the use of artificial intelligence, and can then prevent this with the timely deployment of a service technician. In addition, as already pointed out: Errors don’t have to arduously found on-site. On the contrary, the technician arrives knowing where the shoe pinches and can set to correcting the disruption right away with the support of his smartwatch and Google Glass – remember! It’s just the threat of a disruption that hasn’t even occurred!
Hot Topic at the Hannover Messe
Here, a completely new service future is taking place, in which service and maintenance are given a completely new value, becoming the distinguishing feature of product vendors. The product is no longer the focus, but a combination of product and service. In this context, predictive maintenance is currently the topic at the manufacturing companies, as the Hannover Messe has shown. There the VDMA and Roland Berger presented the study Maintenance: Service. in which 150 companies were consulted, ‘including in the fields of drive and fluid technology, electrical automation and robotics, machine tools and manufacturing systems, as well as software and digitisation’. One of the most important findings: ‘The majority of the respondents (81%) are already intensively addressing predictive maintenance, every second company surveyed described predictive maintenance as a ‘distinguishing feature and success factor’ in order to sustain and expand service sales sustainably.’
Integration and Innovation Know-How in Demand
However, the study also shows that implementation is still lagging behind. It is true that about every tenth company already has complete offers, but about one in five companies are not yet active in the field of predictive maintenance. And: ‘40 percent of the respondents are still in the development phase, 30 percent offer a basic range.’ There is still much to do – also for NTT DATA. Because we know how to design the processes required for predictive maintenance – with the use of the latest technologies: from big data to artificial intelligence, to augmented reality and modern devices like smartwatch and Google Glass. But whether it’s on the tablet, smartphone or Google Glass – it’s important that service staff have access to all the data on all the devices – consolidated and always up-to-date. Remember: In an increasingly globalised world, products are becoming increasingly interchangeable. Service makes the difference!
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