Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego, CA
Here's How to Master Field Service Monetization
Brought to you by WBR Insights
One of the biggest issues with the field service department of a medical device brand is that it's often viewed as an outgoing expense in terms of a company's finances.
Field service provision in this sector is often about fulfilling warranty and other contractual obligations, sending out engineers to repair faults or install important updates to keep products running at optimal efficiency. This means field service provision in the medical device industry will often be subjected to cost-cutting and budgeting measures as companies try to reduce costs and boost their profits.
However, thanks to the influx of new and exciting digital technologies, field service providers are discovering new ways to turn their offering from an outgoing cost to a lucrative revenue stream.
Where to Start with Monetization
As with most things of this nature, the best place to begin is with the customer and work back from there. Gaining a deep understanding of what your customers expect and need from a field service provider should help direct your service offerings and pave the way to more effective monetization.
Detailed buyer personas are a fantastic place to start. However, you already have an advantage over regular consumer-based buyer persona creation in that you can draw from your existing client base. Send out questionnaires - simple to do thanks to online survey platforms - and ask your clients what they think of your service and maintenance offering and what, if anything, would make their experience even better.
"This goes deeper than customer needs," said Founding Partner at Si2, Nick Frank. "It is important to understand what makes customers successful in terms of growth and profit within the industry value chain."
The data you can gather from these questionnaires will give you all the information you need to start building a deep understanding of your customers and how you can boost your field service offering to them.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things should be at the core of your strategy regarding monetizing your field service arm. IoT will provide the foundation on which you can build a more cost-efficient offering and give your profits a welcome boost. IoT technology empowers your brand to automate services, unlock the power of data, and launch new products.
IoT unlocks the ability to perform predictive maintenance and monitor medical devices 24/7 from anywhere in the world. Reports can be generated automatically according to a schedule, and maintenance arranged accordingly. Failing components can be flagged before they break down completely, avoiding the kind of large-scale shutdowns which can halt productivity and - in the case of medical devices - threaten lives.
When it comes to back end operations, IoT collects and processes vast amounts of data on everything from scheduling to inventory. This valuable information can be used to streamline operations and eliminate costly manual processes through automation. The application of this technology will increase the value you offer your customers and help drive increased revenue as a by-product.
Three Steps to Success
Many field service providers are still relying heavily on manual processes which can send costs through the roof and productivity in the opposite direction. When it comes to getting on the road to monetization, there are three essential steps.
The first is to optimize all existing processes so that they are standardized across the organization. This can be achieved by taking core customer and field service systems and consolidating them into a single cloud-based system. From this position, it is easier to implement automation and other technologies in an organization-wide fashion without worrying about them running up against incompatible legacy systems.
Now, you can connect all stakeholders with one another - and the systems they need to perform their roles - in a more efficient and profitable fashion. Mobile technology can help you ensure engineers have access to all the same scheduling and inventory information they might require as the staff back at base.
Finally, once all the groundwork of the first two steps is in place, you have the ability to focus on innovation and how to bring the latest Industry 4.0 technology into the fold. This will allow you to react with agility to the latest developments and stay one step ahead of your competitors.
With IoT and a unified cloud-based system providing the groundwork for your digital transformation, the ability to transform your field service arm from a cost center to a revenue-generating machine becomes a matter of relative simplicity. With the improved service these advances empower, you can provide your customers with a field service experience like no other and see the results in your bottom line.
Field service monetization is set to be a hot topic at Field Service Medical 2020, taking place in February at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego, CA.
Download the agenda today for more information and insights.