In the industrial equipment industry, studies have shown that long-term service is more profitable than the original sale. Industrial equipment dealers do make good revenue on the sale of equipment to their customers, however, it’s the years-to-decades-long service contracts that generate long-term revenue for the business. That includes replacement parts, preventative maintenance contracts, and replacements and rebuilds.
The original sale is basically a foot in the door to a lucrative service contract. Industrial equipment businesses are growing more aware that margins on original sales aren’t the same as they were before, and the larger issue is that some struggle to capitalize on the potential of service level agreements. Many fail to have processes in place to be able to offer exceptional service to their customers and keep those contracts thriving.
It’s time for industrial equipment businesses to find a better way to manage those processes and turn service into a streamlined revenue center. With emergency field repairs, inspections and preventative maintenance, field service software is being used to capture the aftermarket value of equipment sales. By automating much of the process, industrial equipment businesses are getting the right technicians, with the right tools, parts, and skills, to the right job—all while maintaining revenue levels and exceeding customer service expectations. Here’s how field service software is improving those processes.
Deliver Faster and Valuable Service
Those who buy industrial equipment value the service placed on that equipment, as they should; considering the financial investment they make, they want that equipment to last as long as possible. Generally speaking, if you sell them the equipment, you would be their first choice to fix it and hold the maintenance contract. But that means, you need to offer valuable service, be quick with your response times, and be able to handle any volume of service requests.
To deliver fast service, your service contract should be automated by your field service software. With equipment on a preventative maintenance schedule, work orders will generate automatically. This ensures service calls are never missed for pieces of equipment that are vital to your customer’s operation. With scheduling and dispatch tools, field service software can get the right technician to the job site quickly. Having incredible response times because of the dispatching ability of field service software makes your service valuable. Customers can trust you with their service, which will lead to more contracts and more original sales.
Equipment Asset Tracking
One of the most valuable parts of field service software regarding industrial equipment is the ability to track the asset. This includes asset location, which is knowing exactly where a piece of equipment is located. This is important for machinery that needs to be removed from the job site for repair and replaced with a different machine, so the job doesn’t slow down. As machines move from job site to job site, your service team will know exactly where they are, so they can deliver service without delay.
Field service software also tracks detailed service history, including all repairs and maintenance, as well as service meter readings, mileage, and additional information that is critical to triggering service. Inside the field service software portal, equipment has a detailed history of every repair that was completed on it, helping technicians with future repairs while also giving a detailed service history for that particular machine.
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High First-Time Fix Rates
Getting it right the first time is what customers are expecting. It may seem like a high expectation to have, but for some, it’s the only expectation because removing equipment and machinery from a job site is costly. Operations sometimes need to shut down to accommodate repairs, and any prolonged downtime is revenue your customer is losing. If you’re providing aftermarket field service, your first-time fix rate is one of the most important statistics with which you can concern yourself.
That’s why it’s so important to have the right technician with the right skills and the right parts heading to the job site. If one of those is wrong, the service call can come to a quick stop and require a second visit. Field service software ensures that industrial equipment businesses can find the appropriately skilled technician and ensure the right parts are in stock by the time the service call comes. With work orders generating automatically through contracts, dispatchers have time to check inventory levels and order in parts needed well before the day of the service call.
These features, coupled with the level of service that field service software mobile apps give technicians in the field, first-time fix rates should remain high. If you’re going to be offering service on your original sales, it should be service that you can trust will be completed when scheduled.
Increase Your Field Team and Your Capacity
Depending on how large your operation is, your capacity for service calls has a limit. With field service software, you can lower administration times and travel times with resource routing tools, and, with service history, help with faster repairs. As you make more equipment sales, it’s important to maximize revenue with service contracts. However, that means more service calls, and, eventually, your capacity could be maxed out.
Subcontractors are an efficient way to handle additional service calls over your capacity. With subcontractor management tools inside your field service software, extend your workforce with qualified and skilled technicians that can be dispatched to job sites like any in-house technician. Don’t limit sales opportunities and service contract potential because of your limited workforce. In fact, with subcontractors, you can expand your portfolio to include services you don’t already offer by finding subcontractors with unique skillsets. Grow your workforce and your capacity, improve your first-time fix rates and earn more revenue with skilled subcontractors.
Improve the Service Experience
With field service software, the goal is to improve the service experience for your customers. If they purchase equipment from you and you sign them to maintenance contracts, their experience is valuable. Contracts can be renewed for decades. During that time, equipment needs to be repaired and replaced, so there is a lot of potential for long-term revenue. Utilize a field service software that offers a great experience to your customers, so they know their equipment is in the best hands possible.