New data and computing capabilities – along with the introduction on the factory floor of innovations such as artificial intelligence, automation and robotics, additive technologies and human-machine interaction – are set to change the nature of manufacturing itself.
According to a McKinsey study, “digital-manufacturing technologies will transform every link in the manufacturing value chain.” This includes everything from R&D, supply chain and production all the way to marketing, sales and aftermarket services.
Digital connectivity among industrial assets and various departments within organizations as well as between a company and its customers has the potential to unlock great value for all actors involved. Yet while it is well known that manufacturing generates more data than most sectors of the economy, few companies are truly harnessing it.
The same McKinsey study reports that “one oil-and-gas company, for example, discards 99 percent of its data before decision makers have a chance to use it.” For those familiar with Industrial IoT (IIoT), this is nothing new: The internet of things remains a continuously advancing horizon.
In a recent study of aftermarket service leaders conducted by The Service Council (TSC), 30 percent of respondents strongly agreed that it was important to become a digital business while 100 percent of them agree that the digitization of the service industry is something worth exploring in the near future.
Bottom line, these reports show that manufacturers and service organizations for the manufacturing industry are taking a more comprehensive view of what it means to be a digital business. Furthermore, this process seems to go beyond internal operations to incorporate the experience that is being delivered to their customers.
When implemented correctly, digital transformation will allow a business to move past traditional reactive service efforts and launch proactive engagement programs that can help them create customers for life. One thing these leaders have in common is the fact that their organizations are still working on fine tuning their digital strategies and have not yet identified all the resources and tools necessary to ensure a successful transformation.
Identifying a single, generally applicable definition and set of parameters for digital transformation is no easy task. The definitions of digital transformation are wide ranging, including those from service leaders collected by TSC in its report. Comments include:
“Radically change the way we service our clients by creating new business models that utilize the latest technology to transform the customer experience.”
“To us, it means the utilization of digital technology to become more transparent to our clients, to better educate our team and to create analytics that can better operate the systems we maintain and install.”
“It means having the ability to create and deliver more customer value than can be attained without technology. It also means being able to better quantify the real value of services that are often simply implied.”
The end goal
Manufacturers and service organizations that embark on the journey of digitizing their internal practices and processes should have one goal in mind: creating value for their customers. While all the leaders surveyed believe in the importance of a digital innovation strategy, some are reluctant to accept it or do something about it today.
Most of them agree that their organizations simply don’t invest enough time and resources into implementing digital initiatives. The problem seems to be in prioritizing digital transformation initiatives where the goals and success metrics are either not fully understood or poorly communicated within the organization.
Unfortunately for the manufacturing industry, change is coming whether they’re ready for it or not. Customers will soon (if they don’t already) expect, and in certain cases require, consumer-like experiences driven by data and executed digitally. Companies that fail to adapt and innovate will start seeing more drifting customers, reduced recurring revenue from aftermarket efforts, and an overall loss of connectivity and engagement within their installed base.
The AI-driven platform Entytle Insyghts is solving this problem – specifically for the industrial aftermarket services vertical – leveraging the unconnected data sources to provide actionable insights to the manufacturer. But implementing solutions like Insyghts requires service leaders to embrace a certain degree of digital transformation. The question remains: Can a business afford not to embrace it?
Entytle Insyghts is a SaaS application purpose-built for manufacturers and service organizations to help them sell more parts and service while also driving customer engagement and growth from their installed base. Software as a service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the Internet.
Insyghts assembles data from multiple, siloed and disparate enterprise systems and applies sophisticated analytics and machine learning to that data to dramatically improve installed base visibility, identify usage patterns and customer segments, deliver opportunities for parts and services sales, and drive incremental recurring revenue.
Here’s how it works:
- Entytle’s data science team collects, de-dupes and cleanses existing customer data from a variety of sources, including any ERP, CRM, legacy systems and service contracts to provide enhanced visibility into the installed base.
- Insyghts uses proprietary technologies and artificial intelligence to analyze the data and identify customer purchasing patterns and behaviors.
- The machine-learning algorithms that power Insyghts constantly update and refine their findings, generating increasingly targeted services and sales opportunities that yield a greater closure rate and help drive customer retention.
Whether a business is manufacturing parts or providing services to manufacturers and their customers, organizations that put off their digital transformation will be hurt in the long run. As outlined by Entytle’s solution, however, the process is one that doesn’t have to be tackled alone.