PRODUCT PERFORMANCE, NOT PRODUCT POSSESSION THAT MATTERS!

According to Dun & Bradstreet, equipments at Fortune 500 companies experience a downtime of about 1.6 hours per week. The economic loss of the downtime is estimated to be around $46 million per year. When there are millions to be saved by increasing uptime, buyers are looking at manufacturers who can deliver them equipments with greater uptime. Buyers are demanding performance (uptime) commitments than just taking pride for owning products. Let’s understand how few manufacturers are trying to ensure higher uptimes by going an extra mile.

Quest Informatics Uptime

At “UPTIME”, a biennial event conducted by Volvo Trucks, its North American president Gӧran Nyberg said “Even a single day of downtime can affect a trucking company’s reputation and relationship with its customer, so we strive to continue to develop new products and services to keep customers’ trucks on the road.” Volvo uses its global network of 2,200 dealers and workshops in more than 120 countries to ensure higher uptime of its trucks. Since 2010, Volvo’s dealers have invested $435 million in facilities and personnel, resulting in a 37% increase in bay capacity and 89% more technicians.

Volvo Construction Equipment (VCE) division guarantees that machines experiencing unexpected downtime will be up and running within 72 hours, or the customer will be provided with a comparable loaner for up to 2 weeks. Its competitor, Hyundai Construction Equipment is promising an uptime of 98% for its Wheel Loaders, if proper preventive maintenance procedures are followed.

Leading Indian carmaker Maruti Suzuki, which is widely recognised as having great after-sales service, has 3,060 service stations (inclusive of dealer workshops and Maruti Authorised Service Stations) in 1,454 towns and cities throughout India, which is more than double of its nearest competitor. Not be complacent, Maruti has come out with a programme to skill up 2,100 youth annually on car service, repairs and maintenance. This programme will supply a good number of skilled automobile technicians to the market, who across the country will come handy when Maruti’s customers face challenges.

Underscoring the importance of Aftermarket support, Maruti Suzuki’s service division Executive Director Mr. Pankaj Narula said ”Our experience suggests that a key determinant in the car buying decision is the after-sales network, its accessibility, service costs and the availability of spare parts. Our big goal has been to run a robust service network that also supports sales.” One of Maruti’s competitor Tata Motors has plans to double its dealership network to 1000 by 2020 in India, so that it can serve its customers better.

It’s evident that, equipment uptime can only be met with a robust Aftermarket support network, which is not just about comprehensive technology but also about skilled personnel.

Focus on uptime is not just restricted to Heavy equipment & automobile, but also in sectors like, Industrial refrigeration, Wind Turbines, Industrial Print Machines, Medical Devices, Farm Equipments and Water Treatment Equipments, etc. Leading companies from these sectors have employed following practices that are enabling them to deliver higher uptime.

  1. Effective Communication: Ways & means of registering a downtime should be very short & simple. For example, allowing customer to register a complaint through an SMS is a great facility to have & acknowledging the same will give customers the first level of respite. Service technicians should be able to access details like service history, parts replaced, etc on the go. Also, field technicians should be able to update the job status in real-time may be through SMS or Mobile app.
  2. Preventive maintenance: Major downtime issues can be prevented by regularly checking on areas like hydraulic fuel levels, Oil levels, Air & Oil filters, etc. Manufacturers are persuading customers to undergo preventive maintenance activities through awareness campaigns & also by sending reminders.
  3. Proactively identifying issues: Systems use knowledge base to identify the vulnerable areas of equipments. For example, based on HMR reading, system will predict the replacement of oil filters.
  4. Deploying ‘Rapid Service Action’ teams strategically: Even after best efforts, emergencies will continue to come. Preparation is the best way to respond to any emergency. Service technicians are placed close to customers by analysing the equipment density, their working hours, etc.
  5. Leveraging the strength of Dealer Network: Regular training dealer’s personnel on servicing, using electronic tools is an economical & efficient way to increase uptime. Also, share updated electronic catalogues (parts, service etc) across the dealer network swiftly.

Apart from generating more revenue, higher uptimes help your customer in meeting their commitments, which in turn elicits loyalty and repurchase of your equipments. So, time is up to focus on Uptime!

Quest Informatics is an Aftermarket IT product and services specialist company. Quest has more than two decades of experience in supporting Fortune Global 500 Companies. It was awarded as the Aftermarket Brand of the Year-2014. Quest Aftermarket ERP is a comprehensive, robust, flexible, intelligent product which addresses all the challenges of Aftermarket and will be up and running within 3 months. Many have boosted their Aftermarket revenue up to 35% post implementation of it.

Contact us to know more.

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Focus on Aftermarket to improve Customer & Dealer satisfaction: Study

auto-industry-satisfaction-at-all-time-Quest Informatics

J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2015 India’s Dealer Satisfaction with Automotive Manufacturers Index (DSWAMI) Study released on 28 May 2015 emphasises the fact that manufacturers have to improve their Aftermarket services to improve their dealer satisfaction.

According to the study, overall dealer satisfaction is determined by examining nine factors, out of which 5 factors belong to Aftermarket.

  1. Marketing and sales activities (15%)
  2. Product (12%)
  3. Vehicle ordering and delivery (13%)
  4. Sales team (16%)
  5. Parts (6%)……………………………………………………..
  6. Warranty claims (7%)……………………………………..
  7. After-sales team (7%) …………………………………….Aftermarket (45%)
  8. Training (10%)…………………………………………………
  9. Support from the manufacturer (15%)………………

J D Power Study 2

45% of factors contributing to dealer satisfaction with automotive manufacturers fall in Aftermarket.

India Tractor Customer Service Index (CSI) Study 2015

Another study released by J.D. Power Asia Pacific, titled “India Tractor Customer Service Index (CSI) Study 2015”,release on 18 February 2015, shows a considerable gap in the Aftermarket support offered by Tractor manufacturers to their customers.

The study found that only 8 percent of owners are contacted by their authorised dealer when their tractor requires routine maintenance. Among owners who take their tractor in for maintenance, the average wait time for service is 2.5 hours, with 19 percent of owners waiting more than one day for their tractor to be serviced.

“Dealers should be more proactive in reaching out to farmers to ensure their tractors are correctly maintained. Encouraging customers to conduct regular maintenance on their tractors not only makes financial sense for the dealer, but it also reduces the number of tractor breakdowns and helps improve the overall uptime during busy periods.” said Dr. Gordon Shields, director, J.D. Power Asia Pacific.

Overall customer service satisfaction is based on a combined score of the service satisfaction index and parts operation index. The service satisfaction index examines satisfaction in four key measures (listed in order of importance): service quality; service initiation; service engineer; and service handover. The parts operation index examines satisfaction across five attributes, including availability of parts, speed of parts delivery and parts value for money, amongst others. As it is clear, these attributes and measures fall in Aftermarket.

The take away from these two studies is that manufacturers have to improve their Aftermarket services to improve their customer satisfaction.

Source:

http://india.jdpower.com/press-releases/2015-india-dealer-satisfaction-automotive-manufacturers-index-dswami-study

http://india.jdpower.com/press-releases/2015-india-tractor-product-performance-index-ppi-customer-service-index-csi-studies

Aftermarket service maturity: assess where does your company stands

Aftermarket service maturity: assess where does your company stands

In this paper published in “Indian management”, Dr TR Madan Mohan, Rudresh Basavarajappa and R Ganapathy describe stages of aftermarket maturity and how to traverse from initial stages to more evolved stages. The maturity model is a useful framework for all OEMs and their dealers across industries such as heavy equipment, automotive, construction, medical, industrial equipment and agricultural products industries where post-sale support exists. 

How big is your after market service?: Are you prepared to cash on after sales?

How big is your after market service?: Are you prepared to cash on after sales?

In this paper published in Indian Management, Dr TR Madan Mohan, Rudresh S Basavarajappa and R Ganapathy describe why aftermarket or after sale process is important from revenue and customer engagement perspective. The paper describes a comprehensive aftermarket framework consisting of service operation, service resource, service product and service organization dimensions. OEMs and their dealers across different verticals like automotive, construction equipment, mining and heavy equipment industries can benefit from uncovering the inefficiencies in their aftermarket operations and grow sustainable revenues.