20 Jul 2018 - Digital Strategy // By Productive Edge Team

3 Roadblocks in Launching After-Market Smart Services

Today's cloud-connected products generate data streams that can be captured, combined with other data, analyzed and utilized to create a new generation of responsive and predictive aftermarket "smart services." And it's no mystery why virtually every product organization is looking for ways to grow the aftermarket portion of their business. In verticals as diverse as appliances, home electronics, industrial machines, automobiles, mobile phone technologies and IT hardware, companies are expanding their offerings to include aftermarket services like break-fix repairs, hardware installation and (increasingly) software upgrades, reconditioning existing equipment, day-to-day maintenance (proactive and reactive), and technical support, consulting and training. Smart services can help. Here’s how: Smart services disrupt traditional business models, drive organic growth, generate new revenue, enable the introduction of subscription-based models, and improve both customer experience and customer engagement. But smart services can be difficult to develop and deploy. And there are three challenges that, if not handled properly, can cause the initiative to be unsuccessful:

1: Knowing the Customer

The success of new and re-imagined services depends heavily on having a deep understanding of customers wants and needs, being able to effectively utilize real-time data and insights derived from IoT-engineered products or newly connected ones, having the the capability to develop advanced services that offer real value, and being willing -- or even eager -- to modify an existing, established operating model. The solution is a methodical approach to transformation, one that is informed by research and focused on customer experience. Many organizations help ensure success by creating a Customer Experience (CX) Center of Excellence to support the effort (and benefit the organization) by continually providing insight, innovation and a consistent focus.

2: Working together

Launching new aftermarket services or transforming existing service offerings are efforts that involve the entire enterprise. A multitude of teams need to be taken into consideration, from field service teams to accounting and finance. In our newest ebook, “Re-imagine Smart Services,” we cover all of the potential teams you should look at when launching aftermarket services. To successfully launch smart services, the entire organization must work closely together. It starts with a board-level, top-down commitment to changes that may affect business and operating models. Only then can it flow through the organization.

3: Reducing Risk

Launching smart services requires a high number of specialized skill sets. So, in the interest of cost, time and, most important, risk, it’s critical to balance internal resources and outside partners. One way to reduce risk is to reduce the number of potential partners that must be managed. You may need to engage some key partners, including product designers, UX consultants, and data scientists. Find out all of the potential partners you may need to engage in our full ebook, “Re-imagine Smart Services.”    
3 Roadblocks in Launching After-Market Smart Services