SAG_Twitter_MEME_Differentiate_your_Offering_Jun16.jpgFor anyone that has a child attending school, raising funds for events is a constant activity. Schools around the US (and maybe elsewhere) often have their students sell “coupon books” to raise money for various things. These books are huge, containing hundreds of coupons offering discounts and freebies, and sell for about $20 here.
My six-year-old, after a particularly discouraging assault on the neighborhood with his allotment of coupon books, was not impressed.
“If these coupons are so great, I wouldn’t have to sell them. People would come to me,” he grumbled. “The problem is that it’s the same for everyone. I’m selling the same book that everyone else is selling and I don’t think most people can use everything in here.”
I silently agreed with him, noting that I’ve probably only used three out of the 10,000 coupons in the book, which of course I bought. The problem is that all the books are the same; everyone gets the same 10,000 coupons. And everyone probably finds only a few that are useful. What I’d like to see are customized coupon books that offer me deals from a handful of personally selected vendors.
So how does this relate to field service operations? Providers’ traditional service level agreements offering corrective or planned maintenance are like my son’s coupon books. They are the same for everyone and do not take into consideration what the buyers might actually like to have. They are built for simple replication and what can be offered, not what the customer needs. By having a broad offering, the coupon book manufacturers are generically providing the same services to everyone and hoping to capture a few buyers.
Comparatively, traditional service plans have created promises on what could be delivered, not what customers completely needed. What manufacturers really want is not a partner that corrects a problem after it occurs, or fixes/retires equipment before it fails. They want a supplier that can monitor the IoT (Internet of Things) sensors embedded in its equipment and then use streaming analytics to predict when something might fail – and fix it before it does. By using predictive maintenance, suppliers can offer clients different outcomes based on their needs. It’s not easy but the benefits to a service provider are undeniable.
Predictive maintenance is not just about moving in front of a repair need; it is going to transform the industry – optimizing efficiencies that deliver cost savings and creating new revenue services while increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty. It gives providers the ability to deliver operational excellence to their clients via a differentiated product.
The end result is like a single, customer-specific coupon book being created and sold, not a one-size-fits-all model that encompasses everyone. It will sell itself!

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