Tools for many people are obscure and low investment that needs to be made to run their business. While it may not be eye-popping like e-commerce, power tool industry is around 200 Million Euro and expected to reach 250 Million Euros by 2020. Power tool industry includes electric power tools, Portable Power tools, Industrial Power tools, Hydraulic Power tools, Cordless Power tools, just to name few. While Asia is a major producer, European and Japanese Manufacturers hold significant share of high end tools. About 60% of tools are imported and “made to order” tools require higher lead time. Hence, in most cases, end users stock enough safety stocks to manage inventory risks.
Power tool manufacturers in recent years have been hit from commoditization at one end and sagging demand of end user industries at another. While tools sale is what has been the primary focus of revenue generations all these years, of late many of the tool manufacturers are realizing the need to address after sales.
The companies are realizing a need for a 360 degree view on tools utilization, tools movement, availability, maintenance, component life cycle, service history, segment realization, performance across different markets and performance across different applications. Even the end users of tools are realizing the need to manage their tools operations from cost and utilization perspective.
Some of Major Challenges faced are:
A tool manufacturer or an end user like an OEM need real time data of Distribution channel visibility, Tools uptime, Challenges of end users, Warranty Management, Support, Training and Replacement economics.
An OEM may require additional information on,
- Warranty & life time service offerings
- Job site solution
- Online repair submit
- Do it yourself (DIY) projects
- Online service status tracking
- Online parts ordering and stock availability
How System / Process can help to overcome these challenges?
- Resource scheduling feature along with personalized calendar
- Centralized customer center to all types of communication
- Visibility of inventory across different locations and distribution channel
- Population visibility across different locations, applications used and segmentation
- Utilization visibility with regular updates which enables for consumables
- Planning based on life of power tool, application where it was used along with life cycle of component
- Import or exporting possible with different costing features along with configurable tax structure
- Track warranty and renewals
- Option to have AMC with different verticals
- Alerts on preventive, calibration and other types of services based on type of power tools.
- Complete history of service done, parts replaced, complained faced along with first hit rate, repeat complaints, component failure rate etc.
- Judge warranty based on warranty terms
- Track service history
- Publish and control on recalls
- Online access to parts catalogues and parts ordering
- Inventory Management
- Track response and resolution time
- Service schedule planning
- Parts availability to user
Implementing centralized system with features like, Complete Inventory visibility, Logistics features, Import/export, Warranty, AMC, Ticketing system, Resource visibility, Population visibility, History, Planning & forecasting-etc. and along with KM system will have major impact on process and revenue improvement.