The Benefits of Automating Asset and Service Data Collection and Utilisation

Oct 8 • Features, Future of FIeld Service • 756 Views • 1 Comment on The Benefits of Automating Asset and Service Data Collection and Utilisation

ServiceMax, a GE Digital company, has recently commissioned independent market research specialist Vanson Bourne to explore the trends around this topic and have recently published an executive summary on the findings of this research which is available to subscribers.
Last week we looked at an extract from the white paper based on those findings that focus on the shift towards outcome-based business and service strategies to understand what is driving the move to outcome-based business models . In the second excerpt from this important research report, we explored the current asset and service data practices. Now in the final excerpt in this series, we discuss the benefits of automating asset and service data collection and utilisation…
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If you are field service professional you may qualify for a free complimentary industry subscription and by clicking the link here you can access the white paper

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In addition to the smooth transition toward an outcome-based business model, the organisation-wide and bottom line benefits of automating asset and service data collection and utilisation are vast. The benefits are perhaps no clearer than when it comes to achieving minimal unplanned downtime, where over nine in ten (94%) respondents report that the automated collection and utilisation of asset service data will be absolutely fundamental or an important factor in actually achieving this asset specific benefit. A similar proportion (91%) report the same for improved first-time fix rates.

Plugging the Holes – Revenue Leakage

Further to this, 82% believe that automating asset and service data processes will be pivotal when it comes to lower leakages, and contract leakage is something that is causing a great deal of damage to organisations currently.

On average, respondents’ organisations are undertaking 187,470 work orders per year, but an estimated 8.34% (17,542 work orders1 ) of these work orders are left unaccounted for by engineers according to those respondents who know how many are carried out on a yearly basis. This can lead to huge financial deficits and wasted resources and is clearly a problem that organisations should be taking notice of if they want to remain financially viable.

The issue of contract leakage is proving particularly problematic for organisations in the oil and gas, and telecoms sectors – on average, respondents from the oil and gas sector report that their organisation carries out 228,261 work orders on a yearly basis, and those in the telecoms sector are undertaking 213,424 work orders. The level of contract leakage in organisations from these two sectors is staggering. The respondents from the telecoms sector who know the number of work orders being carried out per year, report an average leakage of 9.64% (26,321 work orders), and this is only slightly lower at 9.41% (23,093 work orders) according to those from oil and gas. It seems unthinkable that organisations are unaware of such a gaping hole in their business, and it raises the question of what else could they be missing?

The process of automating asset and service data practices will not only benefit those involved in keeping track of work orders but can have wider reaching benefits as well, exemplified by the 84% of respondents who agree that the successful utilisation of asset data can positively impact all areas of the business. The specific departments that are expected to benefit include, but are not limited to, sales (38%) and marketing (37%) who will be able to better leverage customer usage behaviour, finance (33%) who will be able to provide more accurate billing, and even corporate social responsibility (27%) who will be able to monitor the environmental impacts of assets more effectively.

Bottom Line Benefits: Double-Digit Revenue Growth

While these organisation-wide benefits are impossible to ignore, the truly jaw-dropping potential of automating the collection, aggregation and analysis of asset and service data comes from the bottom line benefits. On average, respondents estimate that this process and using it to drive new marketing, sales and financing models can increase their organisation’s revenue by 14.15% over the next 12 months. In addition, it is thought that operational costs could be reduced by as much as 12.03%, on average.

An increase in revenue and decrease in operational costs can only lead to one thing – increasing profit margins.

An increase in revenue and decrease in operational costs can only lead to one thing – increasing profit margins.

The figures around revenue and operational costs show slight variation by region, with those in the US and MENAT particularly confident about the revenue increases that their organisations will witness – average increases of 15.67% and 15.43% are forecast respectively. Furthermore, those from the MENAT region are almost equally as bullish about the prospects of reducing their operational costs, predicting an average reduction of 14.21%. This is likely to be at least in part down to organisations in the MENAT region starting with a clean slate – the region is currently booming with new business and they are less likely than their counterparts in Europe or the US to have existing legacy technologies in place which would slow down any transition towards the automation of processes. This, in turn, means that they can begin to witness the financial benefits almost immediately – exciting times for the MENAT region providing that any transition is rigorously planned and diligently implemented.

Predicted financial benefits over the next 12 months

Another key way of making money is to improve cash flow and automating the collection and utilisation of asset and service data can also assist in this domain – over eight in ten (83%) respondents believe that the automatic collection, aggregation and analysis of asset service data could have a positive impact on their organisation’s cash flow over the next 12 months.

But what about return on investment?

Ultimately organisations are going to have to spend a fairly significant amount of money on the automation of asset and service data processes which might put some businesses off, but if the reward outweighs the risk then this is surely going to be a worthwhile expenditure.

Strong RoI

When taking into account all of the benefits that their organisation could experience, respondents believe that for every $1 they invest in ensuring that they can automatically collect, aggregate and analyse asset service data they would expect a return of $4.44, on average. Respondents from organisations in the US are even more convinced about the possible returns that they could experience, believing that this figure could soar as high as $5.29. The potential returns dwarf the initial outlay and it is hard to imagine a stronger case for investing in this process in order to guarantee a better future for organisations.

These financial benefits all culminate in enhanced competitiveness within the industry, and 87% of respondents agree that the automatic collection and utilisation of asset service data will have a positive impact on their organisation’s ability to remain competitive in their sector.

This is crucial because the more that organisations across the globe begin to realise the value that this process can bring the more that asset and service data will be used, explaining why the vast majority (86%) of respondents agree that the more asset service data is used, the more value it brings to the organisation.

A success loop will inevitably be created, opening the door for those who are brave enough to take those initial steps to get a jump on the competition and put themselves out there as leaders in their industry.

Want to know more? The full white paper is available to subscribers.

If you are field service professional you may qualify for a free complimentary industry subscription and by clicking the link here you can access the white paper

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One Response to The Benefits of Automating Asset and Service Data Collection and Utilisation

  1. Jen McDade says:

    You have provided a nice article, Thank you very much for this one. And I hope this will be useful for many people and I am waiting for your next post keep on updating these kinds of knowledgeable things.
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