How service organizations are unlocking asset data to boost profits

Joe Kenny Profile picture for user Joe Kenny September 23, 2021
Data is a valuable commodity, yet service leaders are still reluctant to trust asset data when it lies in disparate silos. Joe Kenny of ServiceMax asks, are you getting the most out of asset data?

Business man drilling hole to find source of information. Data asset concept of successful data mining, big data and digitization © a-image - Shutterstock
(© a-image - Shutterstock)

Data is the new oil, or gold, or even water, depending on who’s making the comparison. Just like oil and gold, data needs to be mined from the deepest, darkest corners to ensure nothing is left unknown. Like water, it needs to be processed and cleaned before becoming truly useful.

While everyone can agree that data is now the lifeblood of any organization, it’s often a struggle to make this a reality. Reaching true data nirvana and maximizing value means getting critical insights from all available resources. And one crucial area that has been overlooked for decades is asset and service data.

Understanding the value of asset data

Asset and service data is a unique and valuable data set that lets organizations understand the location, current condition, usage, performance and service history of their customers’ assets, as well as the service contracts, warranties and entitlements attached to the asset.

These insights can help service organizations reduce operational costs and drive new revenue through upsell and cross-sell opportunities. Businesses can shift to proactive maintenance and outcome-based models and make product design improvements and customer experience enhancements.

However, asset data remains under-monetized in most companies. Aggregating and analyzing this type of data remains a huge source of opportunity, but most companies struggle with getting access to accurate information they can fully trust.

The problem is, many companies are still relying on disparate systems and siloed data, making it a challenge for business leaders to rely on the information they’re being presented with – and asked to make critical decisions based on. According to the Asset and Service Data Gravity Report carried out by Vanson Bourne & ServiceMax, only 50% of respondents said that they or other service leaders in their organization completely trust the asset service data that they have access to.

What about the remaining 50%? Why is their trust in the data flowing through their systems so low? Many companies struggle with trusting their data because they don’t have a way to ensure consistent data capture processes are followed throughout the entire service organization. This lack of data governance results in missing data, inconsistent data formats and outdated information – and significant lost revenue opportunities.

Combatting dirty data

These gaps and inconsistencies in data lead to wasted opportunities to make services more efficient and cost-effective. When data is not up to date, companies lack insight into so many aspects that could bring additional income. Examples include: whether a customer is up for renewal; if the asset is being used in harsh conditions that justify additional service; if an asset is nearing end of life; or if a customer is entitled to a certain service.

These are all ideal opportunities for the business to make service more profitable, but too often these possibilities to upsell and cross-sell are being missed because the data is not available when it’s needed. By doing the initial work of getting asset and service data into shape, the information can be automatically served up and acted on so that opportunities like these can be properly monetized.

Getting to a point where organizations have trustworthy, revenue-generating asset and service data isn’t necessarily going to be quick and easy. Collecting, aggregating and analyzing asset and service data in a way that ultimately leads to additional profit requires internal skills, collaboration between departments and the use of tools that can automate the process.

To improve the quality of their data, service organizations need to standardize their processes and provide prescriptive steps for teams to follow that ensure the right data in the right format is captured consistently on every asset.

There’s an even bigger obstacle facing manufacturers that distribute through dealers, as these companies don’t have visibility into asset data to begin with. To understand how their equipment is being used, they need to leverage IoT and coordinate a common service language with dealers that allows for standardized data capture.

Once these obstacles are dealt with, the rewards for organizations that invest in their data and take a standardized approach could see them outdoing their competitors. By leveraging service data across the organization, companies globally are already taking advantage of new levels of growth and service profitability.

Monetizing asset and service data

The Vanson Bourne & ServiceMax report revealed that for every $1 invested in automating the collection and analysis of asset service data, companies are looking forward to an average return of $4.44 – more than four times the initial investment cost. Furthermore, IT and field service leaders estimate they will gain a 14% revenue boost in just 12 months from this more automated approach to service data. Respondents also believe their operational costs will decrease by 12% over the same period.

Case in point: Medtronic is using ServiceMax to gain full visibility into its asset and service data. The technology has enabled the medical device and lab equipment organization to improve equipment performance and automatically price preventive maintenance contracts at the covered product level. These actions have resulted in a healthy 22% increase to service revenue.

In summary, the value of data in business is undisputed. But the value that asset and service data deliver to both the top and bottom-line performance is just starting to be harnessed.

To learn more about the importance of asset data, read 3 reasons why asset-centric digital transformation is good for service organizations.

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