Whereas it used to be a laborious process to search for a service history in file folders in an archive, this can now be done with just a few clicks of the mouse. Within a few seconds, a search term throws up suitable results, which helps in the ongoing consultation with the customer. In addition, the service tools can be further developed as required: From the phone center to knowledge management, various everyday processes can be digitized and networked step by step.
Service management in action
How the service benefits in practice was shown by an example from Kolbus GmbH in Rahden and a live demonstration by Innosoft GmbH from Dortmund at a ProduktionNRW event on March 9, 2022. Kolbus, a manufacturer of book cover machines, has already been using software from Innosoft for many years and explained the advantages of using the software. For example, local data silos on personal computers can be avoided by using service management as a central data interface to make customer- and machine-specific information accessible to every employee. New team members can thus also quickly access knowledge and serve customers.
In addition, the search function can take into account not only keywords, but also synonyms and additional contexts, which are automatically highlighted in color. If a customer company reports a malfunction that can be assigned to a specific and already known malfunction number, the system can very quickly provide information on the scope, costs and duration of the service order based on orders that have already been placed.
Mechanical engineering uses digital solutions in service
Digital service management ensures that customer- and machine-specific knowledge is available at all times. High customer satisfaction and loyalty is the strategic goal for its establishment. According to a VDMA survey, more than 75 percent of mechanical engineering companies now have such a solution in place.
Not just software: A cultural change emerges as a result
The exchange of experiences that followed included questions about the introduction of such software. Internally, the integration is a change project in the midst of demographic change: Many employees will retire in the coming years. It is therefore of enormous importance for companies to archive their knowledge. Implementation can take several years – although the software is constantly being developed. For example, it is possible to combine augmented reality in remote service solutions and artificial intelligence in the evaluation of machine data with the service management software.
Benchmarks point to digital trend
The VDMA also presented the current customer service benchmarks: The latest surveys show that service areas are upgrading digitally. Assemblies are being digitally pre-modulated, online commissioning is increasing, and sales are rising with teleservice and digital services. While sales of classic services such as spare parts, assembly, repairs and maintenance fell, there was strong growth in digital services.
The event was offered by ProduktionNRW. ProduktionNRW is the competence network of mechanical engineering and production technology in North Rhine-Westphalia and is implemented by VDMA NRW. ProduktionNRW sees itself as a platform for networking, informing and marketing companies, institutions and networks among themselves and along the value chain. Significant parts of the services provided by ProduktionNRW are funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).