It wasn’t so long ago that field services teams were regarded as the bad people of industry. Not because they swore a lot or threw things but because for the most part, they were a cost to every organization. When stuff broke, an engineer would be sent to take a look and then return to base to order new parts, before making another journey to fix the machine after the new part had arrived. It could be a lengthy process that meant downtime for customers and wasted time for service engineers.
While not all organizations have transformed and adopted digital field service models, there is certainly a widespread willingness to do so. According to the Forrester study, entitled From Grease To Code: What Drives Digital Service Transformation, 85% of firms say servitization is now a high or critical priority, as are outcome-based business models. This means that service teams in the eyes of their organizations are now turning from bad to good, and we haven’t seen a turnaround like that since Darth Vader in Return to the Jedi.
Healthcare—perhaps more than any other industry at present—is at the forefront of this change, thanks to the rapid rise of medtech machines and devices. The demand for technology to drive personalization in health services and meet the needs of patients, from cardiology and oncology through to medical imaging, is forcing organizations to react. Service teams must ensure uptime and while this is undoubtedly a challenge, it is also an opportunity.
As more devices and machines become connected via IoT networks, the risks and potential rewards accelerate. With field service management software, organizations are able to harness this connectivity and provide visibility of all devices, including their status, to service teams. This visibility is essential. If companies don’t know if assets are still in service, they won’t know what kinds of contracts and additional equipment they should be selling to customers. Without this visibility, it is also impossible to create proactive service strategies and servitization business models.
This kind of visibility has a valuable role to play in profitability. It enables service teams to focus on the lifecycle of an asset with actionable data to extend its life, know the right time for service, and improve contract profitability. Through field service management, organizations can create ‘Installed Base’ records to see as-maintained equipment, service history, exact location and entitlements. This lets service teams understand their attach rates, understand the most profitable contracts, and know where to try and upsell additional contracts and equipment in the field.
This knowledge also enables service teams to build out higher value service offerings. These higher value contracts minimize asset failures by maintaining assets at the right time. Enabled by IoT connected devices, these contracts can offer real-time status data and through predictive maintenance, service teams can get to a machine before it breaks and impacts the customer and the patient. And of course, this knowledge also extends beyond service technicians to service management, providing evidence of compliance and a 360-degree view of asset health.
The ultimate goal is zero downtime for the customer and the patients benefitting from the equipment—and for medtech equipment uptime—is critical. This is why medtech and healthcare organizations need to lead the way with outcomes-based services.
It is no longer about service teams reacting to broken machines. This is about offering proactive service or outcome-based service contracts, which is associated with higher contract revenues. Today, service teams are not only helping organizations increase revenue, but field service management has become the key to making this happen.