In today’s highly competitive world, organisations must embrace their data to develop new products and services that enable them to extend their customer relationships, writes Heman Kassan, Chief Commercial Officer of Technodyn. At the same time, these efforts must help grow revenue and enhance the customer experience. This has resulted in more companies turning to a service model as a means of reinventing their approach when it comes to dealing with customers.

Fundamentally, the customer experience is key to success in a post-COVID business landscape. There is, however, a difference between planning for new interventions and acting on them. Moving to action will be critical especially if business and technology leaders have made the financial and time investments to identify them in the first place.

The complexities around improving service delivery often centre on how the entire value chain must be enhanced – from sourcing materials and packaging a product to delivering it to the customer. When all these elements work in unison, customers can enjoy the best a company has to offer.

Unfortunately, many organisations still struggle to address problems within each part of the value chain. This is even more so the case if the business operates in the manufacturing sector. To this end, advanced enterprise asset management (EAM) solutions can deliver the business differentiator essential for a modern, digitally connected enterprise while still enhancing the customer experience.

Going mobile

The cloud is a vital link in this regard. If the EAM system is cloud-based, employees and factory workers can access critical data regardless of where they operate. After all, the most efficient and productive remote workforces are connected and rely on integrated field service management technology and real-time data to optimise how they work and interact in the field.

While the cloud enables mobility, it is the EAM platform that must link everything to the operational environment. If anything, EAM must be integrated into the environment and not simply be bolted on as an ‘extra’ product on top of existing systems.

For example, when centralised, the EAM environment provides technicians with direct access to the most up-to-date information, including customer data, current work orders, access to experts and knowledge, and required activities pre-and post-work. This creates an enabling environment for them to deliver a first-time fix, improving the customer relationship and increasing the organisation’s profitability.

A cloud-based EAM solution provides technicians with the insights and information needed to manage their work at the moment. Furthermore, serving and interacting with customers is streamlined, and schedules are built and adjusted in real-time to deliver the best possible outcome for the customer.

Putting this into practice can include implementing a start-of-shift survey. This is where the technician signs in and verifies they are physically able to do the work, confirming they have the necessary parts and tools for their assigned jobs. Jobs can then be scheduled and assigned in real-time while each element can be reviewed, and potential issues flagged. For instance, if a technician is travelling to service a customer and is stuck in traffic brought on by robots not working due to load shedding. The customer can be informed of the status and automatically be kept in the loop.

The EAM system is also fully integrated with customer-specific protocols. These can range from health and safety elements to other prerequisites before commencing work. Finally, the technician can review the work checklist to ensure all required actions have been carried out, verify captured time reports, generate proof-of-work reports, and obtain customer sign-off. Once the job is complete, the system is updated, and new jobs are assigned.

A remote environment

An additional component that brings value to a cloud-based EAM system is remote assistance. This gives technicians instant access to experts who can help them resolve problems they encounter while working in the field. Invariably, this results in greater efficiencies, reduces costs, and increases first-time fix rates resulting in an improved customer experience.

Some EAM systems also provide the scope to incorporate augmented reality and deliver a shared experience for experts and technicians. This means they can instantly diagnose, solve, and validate issues together. Embedding this remote assistance with the cloud-based EAM system can see technicians in the field using it hands-free with instructive images and information from the expert displayed in their glasses while they work.

Remote assistance can cover a variety of use cases. For instance, call access available via SMS or an email link to individuals, groups, or multiple parties to resolve issues quickly. Any participant can freeze, zoom, pan images, screen capture, and document share during a call. They will also be able to access merged reality using hand gestures and tools, with dynamic video quality adjustment for bandwidth and connection challenges that can occur in remote areas.

Overall, delivering an enhanced customer experience through an integrated, cloud-based, and mobile EAM solution is one of the keys to success for any modern organisation.

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