Read about GE Power Event and download presentations

The Service Community event at GE Power Stafford was marked by the level of participation of the audience in the discussions.

Our hosts, Neil Beardsmore GE Power Stafford Site Director and Mark Wilson Business Development-Service gave us perspectives on how an industrial leader such as GE has evolved its services thinking.  In particular how services are perceived by senior executives as the  key to driving more revenue from the installed base and enabling improved product performance with smaller and smaller factors of safety in the design. They also emphasised that despite all the talk of technology, the biggest challenge they still face is to shift the mindset of the people to incorporate new ways of working and thinking, especially in middle management

Ross Townsend from Ishida then led a discussion about how a successful product company such as Ishida, transforms itself to focus away from products and onto outcomes. The discussion with the audience was wide ranging covering aspects such as:

  • How to create the burning platform for change in a double digit growth environment
  • Changing Mindset of the business from the top to the operational sharp end
  • Gaining a deep understanding into how customer make money so as to make sure they resonate with your offer, and you develop the service offers that will sell.
  • Equipping sales people with the capability to sell propositions that are no longer hardware based, but contain software mixed with service provision
  • Managing change through the organisational and cultural complexity

Ross’s slides can be downloaded here GE Power Services Community Presentation – Ishida abridged

Phil Newton, Innovation Manager from BT talked about the role out of an Augmented Reality solution into the BT service business.  With over 15,000 call centre agents, the scale of the business is huge. We heard how AR is now being successfully used in two use cases:

  • By Call centre agents who are talking to consumers about problems such as with internet routers. By using a AR solution they can see the router location and often can support the customer in solving their own problems. This has reduced engineer call outs by as much as 60% in some cases
  • Supporting Field Service Engineers who are new to the business, or 3rdparty contractors with advisory/training from more experienced personnel on specific issues

Key learnings discussed were:

  • The importance of understanding the application of the technology within the customer journey is critical to gaining customer acceptance
  • Robust technology that can cope with limited bandwidth for which the performance degrades ‘gracefully’ as opposed to ON/OFF.

And Phil gave us some insights into the future such as how AI technologies can be used to analyse video material to support the problem solving process or drones to conduct site surveys.

Leon Sijbers from GE Power led a discussion on how he sells services based on understanding the customer pain points and quantifying the value of the savings/new revenues that can be generated by the services his business can offer.  A good starting point is to look at the CEO’s annual report or the companies stated values, as this will provide clues as to the metrics which are really important to that company.  He then drills down to the operational drivers of the metrics, to figure out the services he can offer that most influence the companies performance.

Leon then illustrated this approach through how his division sells diesel generators to help Dutch farmers maximise their harvests. By collecting data on the engines performance, they are able to predict sparkplugs failures and so plan preventive maintenance programmes that maximise plant growth.

Keith Rushton from the Ministry of Defence gave us a completely different customer perspective. That of a buyer of services. Since the 90’s the MOD has led the world in the purchasing military hardware bundled into availability contracts. For example no longer do they purchase a plane, but a weapons system in the air. Why? Support is big money and has led to Through Life Thinking within the MOD. Support generally makes up 60% of the total cost of operating a military asset. However, as buyers of assets, they recognise that Advanced Services that deliver an outcome are not required or valuable in all use cases. They have developed nine standardised support contracts that cover the product to service continuum. For example the most basic being parts only support contracts.  The type of contract they select depends on the business case they develop. Some real lessons for OEMs who are looking at Servitization business models.  This experience of purchasing services also has led the MOD to develop their own specification as to how they believe ‘Solution Providers’ such as BAE, Babcock and Rolls Royce should organise to deliver through Life Engineering Service value. To this end they have worked with these leading suppliers and other Servitization experts to develop a new British Standards Publication on ‘Through-life engineering services – Adding business value through a common framework’ – PAS280.  This can be down loaded free of charge through the link and is a must read for all those developing service businesses.

Keith’s slides can be downloaded here 20181016-MOD at Service Community

And finally Mark Homer and Dave Hart from GE Digital shared with research from VansonBourne on current asset service data practices and the benefits of automating data collection and analytics. Their research showed  how the vast majority of organisations are actively working towards shifting to more service based business models.  What surprised me was that only 10-15% of leaders feel a urgent need to improve the quality of data collection, aggregation and analytics. The level of trust in the Service Data was also surprisingly low being less than 50% of respondents. Also the level of teamwork between IT and Field Service organisations seems to be pretty low.  It was also interesting to see that respondents perceive that Service data can increase revenues by over 14% and decrease costs by as much as 12%.  And probably the most insightful conclusion the research draws is that “The more asset service data is used, the more value it brings to the organisation” You can down load the presentation here.Asset Data Gravity – UK Service Community Final

Thank you to all the attendees and discussion leaders for an extremely thoughtful event.

Our next event will be at Renishaw near Bristol on the 2ndApril 2019.