- Industry Trends
Digitization, shortage of skilled workers, home office - the transformation of the working world is in full swing. Significant changes in everyday working life are already apparent. This can be seen, for example, by taking a look at the way employees work together today and how knowledge is transferred within the company. Find out what advantages it brings to the aftersales area of machine and plant manufacturers when they use digital tools for this purpose.
Before companies embraced new work, artificial intelligence, cloud software, digitization and the like, most of them were organized hierarchically. Information and knowledge were passed on from the top down.
Exchanges took place predominantly between colleagues within a department. At least the experience and knowledge gained by employees remained with the company for a long time, because frequent job changes were not the rule.
Today, the dynamics are completely different:
However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to retain and utilize the knowledge of older colleagues in the company. Above all, there is a lack of successors who can learn from the experienced professionals before they retire. And there is a lack of tools to manage the knowledge and use it collaboratively.
In addition, many job descriptions are changing due to demographic change and digitalization. For example, service technicians are now expected not only to solve individual problems, but to take a holistic view of processes and optimize them. This far-reaching transformation presents companies with enormous challenges.
In the first part of our series of articles, we looked at the connection between collaboration and knowledge transfer and established: Networked collaboration and the smart management of knowledge are the basis for resilient companies.
An important tool for achieving this goal is a modern service information system. It allows valuable aftersales knowledge to be bundled and used throughout the company. But what concrete added value does this bring for aftersales employees? We summarize the five most important benefits.
As collaboration in the enterprise becomes more agile and decentralized through home offices and remote services, the networking of employees, processes and information is more important than ever. Digital tools enable this new type of collaboration. They facilitate coordination between departments and the exchange of knowledge.
If aftersales knowledge can be successfully integrated into these new processes, the entire company will benefit: The aftersales department is not only an important link to manufacturers' customers. It also forms an information interface to internal departments such as sales and production, which can use aftersales data to optimize their own processes.
Process optimization requires transparent data. In aftersales, transparency is created when information from other systems such as ERP software is accessible to service employees. Transparency for the company arises when, conversely, aftersales data flows into such systems.
This gives service technicians and all other departments an overview of
In addition to company-wide data utilization, tool-based collaboration also simplifies the planning and coordination of aftersales tasks. Before a service technician devotes himself to a new order, he no longer has to spend hours searching through e-mails and paper catalogs for information - he can find it in the service information system with just a few clicks.
A central knowledge and data platform that all employees can access across departments promotes the flow of information. This enables technicians to perform their tasks more efficiently and save time. As a result, they deliver first-class service.
For service staff, decentralized working has not just been a reality since the home office boom. However, with the help of modern aftersales tools and trends such as augmented reality, they can not only work decentrally, but also more flexibly - as a result, they are now able to provide even better assistance to those customers who operate remote or hard-to-reach plants.
When the internal processes at machine and plant manufacturers run smoothly, this not only pleases the service staff, but also the customers:
For all the advantages that collaboration and the networking of knowledge in the company offer, there are also challenges:
Networked collaboration and communication simplify cooperation between support staff and service technicians and also increase transparency for other departments - thus offering effective levers for optimization.
In the third part of this series of articles, you will learn about important strategies that will also enable your company to benefit from the new type of collaboration.
Basis for networked knowledge
In the digital spare parts catalog, you effortlessly bundle relevant knowledge about spare parts: