I recently had a conversation with the head of product management of a large complex machinery manufacturer. Each machine has many application variants, sold to hundreds of customers with thousands of installations across the globe and the machines can be operated for decades. He explained that he regularly gets urgent calls from a customer on a specific upgrade to maximize the productivity and efficiency of the installed machine. This means that his team will be very busy for the next few weeks or even months. Just imagine the number of resources and time that would be required if there are multiple customer requests in parallel.
Let’s see, what are the important tasks required to build a comprehensive response plan for the customer, In this case, they have to:
- gauge revenue potential of the upgrade request,
- analyze replicability of the solution across other customers
- check the operational status of the asset,
- evaluate the machine usage pattern,
- validate compatibility of latest engineering product configuration,
- understand the new application requirements,
- perform risk analysis
- analyze supply chain disruptions
- collaborate with suppliers and partners to derive execution plan
and probably much more….
Also it is important to note the number of systems, processes, and stakeholders required to handle to build the response plan.
It’s about holistic Strategy,
We see many customers across Industries especially from Hi-tech, Energy, Industrial Machinery, Healthcare, Aerospace, and Oil &Gas looking for more than 50% of revenue from strategic services, which is a common goal for manufacturers who are looking for higher profit margins, increased customer intimacy with guaranteed value.
Hence, enterprises have to build a holistic strategy, in integrating service engineering with asset operations to bring the Original Equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and Operators’ world together.
In this blog post I will discuss strategic elements of integrating the engineering and asset operational world that would enable OEMs and operators to maximize the collaboration value and formulate a basis for exploring next generation business models like the product as a service.
Strategic Elements of Integrated Service Engineering and Asset Operations Integration
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a pre-defined, ready to use solution package for all the Installed assets based on an anticipated asset life or asset condition?
So how do we do that ?
Let’s see some of the strategic elements that break down the functional silos, to bring up 360 deg view of the product and asset life cycle ecosystem.
- First and foremost, how can an OEM characterize and derive asset configuration from an engineered product. It is the ability to fully track and manage the asset from the time it is installed throughout its life cycle, until it is decommissioned. One of the important aspects is to dynamically compare the asset in operation with the up-to-date engineering configurations to take the right decision for upgrade and maintenance
- The second important element is how we collaborate and share data with stakeholders. By building a next-generation cloud based collaborative ecosystem, OEMs, operators, suppliers, and service partners can work from a common platform. This enables stakeholders to define their partners, share their content, data and even extend the business processes to reach the extended enterprise. This brings agility for OEMs and operators to determine what action need to be taken at what time.
- The third important aspect is how effectively we utilize the upstream product engineering and service engineering data for asset operations. With effective service engineering, we could construct service bill of material, service designs, identify critical systems, define performance characteristics, plan service strategies, build visual aids, and much more. Data from service engineering could be effectively utilized across multiple streams of asset operations like demand planning, field services, warranty management, maintenance plans, and asset strategies. By enabling a digital thread of services, we could connect data right from authoring to consumption across the service value chain.
- Finally, One of the key elements is to enable enterprises to capture and analyze transactional and performance data from operational assets into actionable insight that can drive dynamic service plans as well to identify possible asset design changes and upgrades to maximize the value of an asset. This continuous performance feedback loop from the installed base ecosystem would enable OEMs to introduce better products that have long-lasting operational value.
Based on the evolving business need of Integrated Service Engineering and Asset Operations, SAP and Siemens Digital Industries Software recently announced an expansion of their partnership that will enable both companies to deliver new solutions for the intelligent service and asset lifecycle. It is essential for all these strategic elements, to tie together with supply chain business processes and to be accessible in a single platform for OEMs and operators to realize business capabilities.
Please feel free to contact me or ask any questions in the Q&A area with any of your questions and I will provide more details about the progressive value chain capabilities that would enable business transformation for OEMs and operators to move closer towards adopting the next generation business models like the product as a service.
Looking forward to connecting with you.