Reducing operational costs with digital servitisation

Optimising the service chain with digital technologies can significantly reduce the total cost of services. Example service flows that can be made more efficient include pre-sales/sales, marketing, commissioning, after-sales support, repair, …. The cost reduction can come from direct efficiency improvements. But also indirect, and previously unharvested synergies, between units can yield significant results.

In each of these flows, a company can exploit information such as the current and past state of products, their usage and usage patterns, …. Digital servitisation technology can automate parts of the service flows in three different ways:

  • Reactive: use APIs to link service components together, either in-house, across organisations (e.g. a platform to automate interactions with the maintainers network) and especially in the field ('Internet-of-Things').
  • On-demand: query captured and enriched data across organisational and physical boundaries, in order to support sales decisions, execute root-cause analysis, etc. (build a “data-lake” to unify information in ERP, CRM, helpdesk ticketing… and device management)
  • Pro-active: create models of the data to automatically segment, predict and prescribe service data. This allows to proactively prepare and plan for maintenance, avoid failures, etc. 

In large organisations the data to support these functions is, however, often distributed across different units and/or geographical regions, due to historical reasons. In this case, a strategic/organisational decision (e.g. the introduction of a “chief data officer” role) is needed to make sure data is centralised and made available to as many business processes as possible.

But even then, that data might even be outside your organisation (in your distribution/maintenance network, or even at the customer's). But even then there is no need to despair. A number of ‘trojan horse’ strategies can be found, so you would still be able to exploit digital servitisation opportunities.

Would you like to learn more about these opportunities and their impact? Feel free to contact us!

This series has been made possible thanks to the support of VLAIO, Innoviris, Smart Innovator.