4 Bold Steps to Improving Remote Services
Bold steps raise stature, even as they may take OEMs out of their comfort zone.
In medicine, embracing a remote diagnostics strategy for equipment has become a competitive necessity. Why? Well, because system uptime is simply everything to keeping your organization and its reputation for performance in the lead.
Be critical as you rate your service operations, including customer follow ups and parts availability. The resulting score should address both physical repair operations and personal, hands-on quality of service. Are you making it difficult for customers to request help? And is there a standard and intuitive path to diagnose and service equipment? These basic challenges are often overlooked as medical manufacturers appropriately focus attention on their instruments rather than the computers that drive them. Plus, after systems are deployed, there is much less control over service methods.
The move to remote technologies is a big, bold shift for many manufacturers – a modern approach that has management and engineering teams stepping cautiously, and openly seeking service partnerships and strategies that can elevate their standing as service provider. Doing things a little differently can be uncomfortable, but this type of collaboration is crucial to transforming maintenance processes for greater efficiency, ready compliance, and extended longevity. Offering service also provides new opportunities, for example creating new revenue streams beyond delivering a system.
In a complex medical design, replacing a part without investigating the problem more deeply can make things worse. New system performance issues can spike and irritate the customer relationship. Manufacturers should instead observe and evaluate their operations…perhaps smarter services can be integrated based on a better understanding of how component replacements may increase cost, inefficiency, and ultimately damage to an OEM reputation.
In one such scenario, a leading healthcare firm’s flagship surgical platform was approaching 14 years of global deployment. Reports of system sluggishness were quickly deemed temperature related, validated by the OEM’s service partner, the supplier of the device’s industrial compute system. After a decade in the field, the system’s comparatively inexpensive fan was overworked and creating impact on the CPU itself. Fans were subsequently replaced in all systems, a service easily added to every routine service call. Proactive replacement of this low-cost part not only protected the firm’s service reputation, but also averted the risk of larger and more costly future failures.
So, if your team is curious for the impact of a remote services model, consider these 4-bold steps for designing a center of excellence. Consider how your organization defines success. And maybe most important of all, how will you ensure that professional partners and customers are happy and supported. Want to read more? Our stair-stepped approach is outlined in this featured article with Embedded Computing Design magazine. It’s worth a read, and can help alleviate some fear, set expectations, and position your firm for long-term rewards.
Click to read our featured article on EmbeddedComputing.com