3 After Sales Service Trends: There is no way around digitalisation

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By digitising processes, companies can increase their efficiency and develop new business models. That much is known. Likewise, it is no longer a secret that the bundling of after-sales services, especially in mechanical engineering, means the potential for a separate business model that can be monetised sustainably. What is interesting here is that digitalisation also plays the main role. This is shown by the current after-sales service trends, three of which we are presenting in more detail today. They are all based on one foundation: digitalisation.

Analogue was yesterday. Anyone who wants to be successful today and in the future cannot avoid the digital transformation. This also applies to traditional sectors such as the machinery manufacturing and distribution industry. The majority of companies have already understood the explosive nature of this:

“The targeted digitalisation of processes is thus becoming even more important for the competitiveness of companies. In 90% of the companies surveyed, managers, project teams or individual employees are already dealing with the digital transformation in a targeted manner.”

Source: Study “How digital is mechanical engineering in Europe in 2021?”/ item Industrietechnik GmbH

Nevertheless, the average level of digitalisation among the approximately 6,000 German mechanical engineering companies is only 35 per cent. And only 15 percent of the companies have a well thought-out digitalisation strategy for their services (source: IMPULS Industry Survey 2020).

That can be fatal. Because when we talk about after-sales services becoming more and more established as a separate business area and margins being significantly higher than with pure sales, that is not enough.

Digitalisation shapes all After Sales Service Trends

When companies in the machinery manufacturing and distribution industry think about monetising their after-sales services, they cannot avoid digitalisation. Because really every trend includes digital components. We have analysed four current after sales service trends for you.

Automation in customer service

Especially in the service centre, many processes can be automated. Communication with customers can be noticeably accelerated, which is much more efficient for both sides. At the same time, digital support ensures better customer loyalty.

Modern platforms such as Makula have an automated ticketing system that bundles all customer enquiries transparently and comprehensibly and documents and archives the processes.

This not only ensures more satisfied customers, but also has a positive effect on all subsequent processes. After all, the history of all tickets is an important advisor when it comes to solving newly arising or recurrent problems. And a digital customer database that collects all information is the most important basis for all subsequent after-sales service trends.

What are the advantages of an automated ticketing system? We have summarised the most important information for you.

Digital spare parts management

When a spare part is needed, it usually has to be replaced at lightning speed. Otherwise, downtimes occur, the costs of which can soar to immense heights. Customers therefore expect the corresponding spare parts to be in stock or at least to be procured and installed within a very short time. Here, too, digitalisation offers significant advantages. It enables the following to be determined in a matter of seconds

  • which spare part it is
  • whether it is in stock
  • where it is in stock or
  • where it is available as quickly as possible

The basis for this is a digital spare parts catalogue that records and lists all articles. Thanks to digital tools, the effort to maintain such a catalogue is also relatively manageable. Ideally, an inventory management system is linked to it, which automatically updates the stocks and informs about reorder points.

Digital spare parts management has another advantage: it facilitates inventory planning and thus also secures liquidity. After all, an extensive warehouse ties up capital. In the digital management of spare parts, it can be automatically determined which parts are in particularly high demand and therefore absolutely have to be in stock – and which are more likely to be in stock at certain intervals. In addition to improved service to customers, digital spare parts management also enables more dynamic, demand-oriented stock management.

Planned maintenance

Regular maintenance is the basis for a functioning machine park. They extend the life cycle of a machine and avoid unplanned downtimes due to sudden malfunctions. As you know from your own car, for example, inspections also serve to detect possible weak points at an early stage, which can be treated preventively before they require more extensive repairs or lead to a breakdown.

The length of the cycles between scheduled maintenance can depend on various factors. For some machines, a specific operating period is appropriate; for others, production volumes or running times.

For machine manufacturers and distributors, scheduled maintenance is an important component of recurring revenue from after-sales services. They facilitate deployment planning as well as the stocking of spare parts, which in turn ensures optimisation of storage capacities and thus more liquidity.

Ideally, maintenance dates are stored in the customer database so that customers and/or the service department are automatically reminded to schedule the inspection and plan associated downtimes in good time.

Digital knowledge management: The digital bundling of all information not only improves customer service, but is also becoming increasingly important as a knowledge database.  Learn more about it.

Platform Models Enable Digital Resource Management

The above After Sales Service Trends show that a digital platform is essential to ensure these services. With Makula, we go one step further and establish the concept of resource management. By collecting all data and bundling it on a single platform, we offer a new kind of transparency that ensures fast, reliable and comprehensive access to all relevant information of both your machines and customers. We distinguish between

Customer Resource Management

Bundle all customer information in one place. Contact persons, contact data, purchase documents, correspondence, maintenance intervals, billing modes – with one click you have all data at your fingertips and maintain an overview of your customers at all times. In this way, you achieve optimal customer care and also attract new customers with your seamless service. In addition, you facilitate the work of your employees and make their processes more efficient.

Machine Resource Management

Digitally access the complete life cycle of a machine. Serial numbers, spare parts, documentation of all maintenance and repairs can be called up on the computer in seconds. In addition, each machine is provided with a QR code, so that access to the data is also possible on site with a smartphone. Your customers can thus also easily contact your service centre directly and report any malfunctions immediately.

Are you ready to comprehensively digitalise your after-sales services? Then let us talk!

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