Organizations are under immense pressure to provide service excellence and state-of-the-art services to their customers to stay ahead of the competition. Digital transformation around IoT, RPA, augmented reality, predictive analytics, machine learning, and cognitive intelligence is reshaping business operating models and customer experience. The services industry is already experiencing a wave of predictive maintenance and it is going to move toward the prescriptive model of operation.
Organizations that are prepared or have started their journey to move their business operation from being only efficient to truly strategic will certainly get a leg up on the competition. Have you started yours?
Here’s everything you need to know about connected service intelligence and how technology is driving business. We have extended the Microsoft connected field service solution to appreciate the future and map user journeys.
Key business drivers for connected field service/intelligence are:
Let us understand how technology is complementing and enabling front-line employees and organizations to deliver excellence and be productive. They are impacting both organizations/businesses as well as the end consumer, and it would be interesting to observe the relevance of technology adoption in each case.
RefroVolts is a home appliance manufacturing company, which sells home appliance products across the globe. Recently, they have observed that their production is not meeting the demand for a few manufacturing plants. Also, customer satisfaction is diminishing due to frequent service requests for the appliances in the ‘connected appliances’ category.
RefroVolts is trying to resolve the issue for frequent and unscheduled downtime of the production assembly line resulting in not meeting the delivery schedule. RefroVolts was advised to move from condition-based Preventive Maintenance(PM) to intelligence-based Prescriptive Maintenance(RxM) using IoT, analytics on Azure.
Figure 1: Key benefits of connected service intelligence
Based on the advice, RefroVolts quickly added vibration sensors, temperature sensors, pressure sensors and motion sensors to their production assembly line. Now all the ‘things’ in the assembly line become ‘smart’ and they start sending telemetry data to Azure IoT.
Predictive analytics is applied to telemetry data received and it generates actionable insights like Remaining Useful Life (RUL) or Time to Failure (TTF) or if a device is going to fail in a certain timeframe or in a window (next 15 days, 30 days and 45 days). Prescriptions are generated by combining predictions with orders, forecasts and inventory datasets with the help of rules engine defined. Finally, prescriptions are applied to the devices by sending them as commands from IoT hub to device. This preemptive measure ensures to identify issue occurrence and manages assembly lines operation well in advance with no business disruptions or loss.
Figure 2: 'Things' to prescriptive maintenance
Let us consider a scenario where customer Rob Johnson has bought a RefroVolts IoT-enabled digital refrigerator. Now, Rob receives a notification on his mobile about an anomaly detected in his refrigerator with respect to temperature and gas leakage. He is informed that since it is under warranty, his refrigerator thermostat has been adjusted with a remote patch but would need a service engineer to address the issue of gas leakage and is advised to schedule this at the earliest.
This becomes possible due to seamless information flow between IoT-enabled devices, IoT Hub and finally enabling IoT alerts to auto-generate and schedule work orders for the customer. Connected field service helps to register a customer asset in Dynamics 365 and receive an alert when there is an anomaly from a device using Azure IoT. The system is enabled with intelligence and has customer interaction history with purchase history to determine whether to charge for service or parts replacement or not.
In the world of prescriptive maintenance, predictive machine learning is applied to telemetry data to derive the health and predict the failure of a device. It also helps to preempt resolution with some measures to avoid any failures. Resource Scheduling Optimizations (RSO) in Dynamics 365 will take into consideration RUL and other parameters, and auto-schedule a work order for service activity.
Figure 3: Predictive maintenance to prescriptive maintenance with connected field service
The Dynamics 365 platform enables a complete ecosystem, right from the consumer to third-party partners involved, to provide service excellence and achieve operational efficiency. By leveraging the Azure platform and connected field service application, organizations can remotely monitor their customer-enabled devices, preempt failures and provide a resolution well ahead of time, even before the customer notices it.
In an extremely competitive service industry, organizations outsourcing their service businesses to third-party providers or partners is common. However, liaising with these partners becomes imperative to portray a common face to the customer. Dynamics 365 portals provide flexibility to these partners to interface with the organization and customers to provide seamless support. Customers can view IoT alerts, track health and view case details for their appliances using portals or mobile apps.
While we understand the relevance of the connected field industry in the manufacturing world, there are other industries like Healthcare, Energy and Utilities, Government, Automobiles etc. that have a lot of scope to use and extend its capabilities to their business model. Common examples include:
In a nutshell, the industry is moving forward rapidly toward a connected world of things and services. It is up to organizations to hop on to the bandwagon sooner rather than later.
Wipro helps onboard clients on to their respective user journeys and determine their future roadmap. Wipro's Microsoft practice has expertise in delivering these services to many global customers. We are also in the process of delivering Next-gen forward-looking solutions for the connected world.
Solution Architect – Microsoft Practice, Wipro Ltd
Gavaskar has 18+ years of experience in architecting CRM solutions across Manufacturing, Banking and Insurance domains using Microsoft Dynamics 365, .NET and Azure. He is passionate about leveraging Microsoft technologies to solve business problems for our clients. Gavaskar has built point solutions for enhancing time to value, some of which are available on the Microsoft marketplace.
Principal Consultant – Microsoft Practice, Wipro Ltd.
Moneet has 12+ years of experience in helping businesses envision their CRM/ CX goals, harmonizing requirements across groups and leveraging technology to meet those business needs. She is passionate about customer journey mapping and its impact on customer delight. In her current role, Moneet helps clients in realizing the value from their CRM investment in Microsoft Dynamics 365 product suite.