Breaking Down Silos: How OEMs Can Revolutionize Aftersales Service with a Meta Platform

William Barkawi 3 Mar 2024 6 mins read
How OEMs can revolutionize their aftersales

In the machine manufacturing industry, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and their independent service channels face significant challenges due to fragmented service solutions, preventing aftersales from revolutionizing. 

OEMs offer their dealers a wide range of applications, including order systems, service dispatching, warranty claim systems, and numerous other services. Even though the technology behind might be state-of-the-art, dealers only use them when there is no other choice, as when filing a warranty claim for instance.

Why? It costs more work than it saves.

The complete isolation and incompatibility of these OEM applications with the dealers’ ERP system forces dealers to double-enter a substantial amount of data, creating more work and hassle. It’s not efficient, nor is it practical—a new solution is needed, particularly for the ever more important service operations.

Due to macro and micro-economic changes such as labor shortage, higher resource prices, inflation and especially easy access to global offering for end-customers, competition has shifted from company-to-company rivalry—mainly driven by superior products—to supply-chain-to-supply-chain rivalry—where companies are measured based on price, speed, sustainability, and especially customer experience and service fulfillment. However, planning and executing services is not that easy. Predicting the unpredictable is nearly impossible—at least with the current setups within industries.

Leveraging a meta after-sales platform offers a promising solution to address these obstacles and usher in a new era of efficient service operations. Before we dig deeper into the solution, let’s take a closer look at the problem.

Why can’t OEMs and dealers meet customer needs?

Despite the great variety of functionalities within current software solutions, they aren’t providing the necessary support and data for efficient after-sales service—meaning OEMs and dealers are failing to realize the potential of true aftersales excellence and to offer a top-notch customer experience. Let’s break this down.

1. Siloed data and a lack of collaboration

While manufacturers manage IoT data, technical documentations, initial bill of materials and preventive maintenance schedules, other crucial information is spread across the dealer network. It includes data about past service behavior, asset lifecycles, actual spare part usage and service consumption as well as customers’ data.

Siloed data across the network hinders the aggregation of crucial information, limiting the potential for improving global service operations. Furthermore, the absence of a digitalized layer for collaboration and data exchange exacerbates the problem, leaving OEMs, dealers, and service facilities without a comprehensive view of the network,a lot of manual work in multiple systems and a lot of biased data as foundation to forecast future parts and service needs.

All the aforementioned information remains isolated within individual systems. As a result, no one in the aftersales network possesses the complete picture required to make informed decisions and plan effectively for the future. This reliance on manual handling and outdated practices hampers progress in the digital age and results in unsatisfied customers. This is something that no manufacturer or dealer can afford in a world of ever-more demanding customers and a continuously increasing global offering. If customers are unsatisfied, they will simply get what they need somewhere else—it really is that easy to be replaced nowadays!

2. Multi-brand challenges and outdated software

The complexity of the machinery market is further compounded by multi-brand dealerships that sell machines from various OEMs which all provide their own suite of applications to their dealers. This diversity results in low system adoption for the OEM applications by the dealers and high system complexity for dealers and makes it difficult to develop a single service solution suite.

Additionally, the existing software architecture for service solutions is often outdated and ill-suited to meet the evolving needs of the industry. OEMs often require more than one solution to get decent visibility, but this creates added confusion and hassle for dealerships. They’re required to submit data to more than one platform, slowing down their workload and opening the door to manual errors. As a result, repair times are prolonged, customer fill rates suffer, and collaboration between OEMs and dealers becomes a challenge.

How OEMs can revolutionize their aftersales with a meta platform?

So, what can OEMs and dealers do to overcome these issues?

The task of replacing the current network’s system and service software architecture may seem daunting and is probably not possible.

However a meta after-sales platform that simply amends the existing, fragmented infrastructure of OEM applications, dealer ERP systems, the machine pool, and other data sources offers a feasible solution. Here’s how:

  • Leverage a hyperconnectivity layer that has the capability to connect and integrate with all the different systems in the ecosystem, and aggregate the global aftersales, customer, and machine data on one central platform.
  • Use this central data layer of truth and start harnessing the power of data for service parts forecasting, service scheduling and enriching a centralized global asset repository despite a decentralized network.
  • Plan, Schedule, Execute, repeat. And the system keeps learning – not only from one local service facility, but from global service demand and execution information.

Imagine a connected world where machine makers, their dealers, and all the machines in the field talk to each other seamlessly. Sounds like a dream? It’s not. By centralizing these varied aftersales networks, a meta after-sales platform like ClearOps can tap into a world of efficiency and responsiveness.

While some may raise eyebrows about blending competing dealers into one digital space, the benefits far outweigh the concerns. ClearOps is not diving into personal customer details; instead, we’re gathering valuable insights that benefit everyone in the chain, boosting efficiency and growth.

Today, standing still means falling behind. With customers expecting more than ever, having parts and services on hand isn’t just nice—it’s essential. Miss the mark, and customers might look elsewhere to meet their needs.

How do we hit that mark every time?

Through a connected approach: sharing data, managing it wisely, predicting needs, processing orders smoothly, and always knowing where assets are globally. This level of service brilliance is unlocked when we bring disparate networks together, not in old-school ways, but through modern digital magic.

In simpler terms, to achieve the best in aftersales service, we need to connect everyone and everything—digitally.

Platforms like ClearOps have the technical capabilities to integrate with existing OEM applications and ERP systems, without requiring a complete overhaul of the underlying infrastructure. By connecting and integrating all pertinent OEMs and dealerships on a single platform, a meta after-sales platform establishes a unified connectivity & collaboration layer of truth to truly achieve aftersales excellence from end-to.end.

Let’s find out more.

ClearOps: enabling seamless service operations

ClearOps is a leading meta after-sales platform that empowers stakeholders in the machinery market. The platform connects OEMs, dealers, and machines to transform aftermarket service, acting as a data integration hub while also automating and optimizing the after-sales service operation.

ClearOps Service Suite

ClearOps not only captures the entire dealer service cycle, from case creation over requirements planning and delivery, field execution, invoicing and warranty claim automation. It also enriches the system with OEM data such as documentation, telematics data, R&D preventive schedules, bill of materials and master data.

The deep integration between OEM applications and Dealer ERP systems enables fully streamlined end-to-end processes without manual inputs, multiple systems or tiresome new software developments. The result? Services are scheduled, parts will be there, technicians are fully utilized and customers will perceive exceptional service and part availability. 100% Uptime, 0 Blindspots.

With ClearOps, collaborative actions such as automated warranty claim processing, service fulfillment notifications, and revised asset statuses become seamless. The network benefits from enhanced communication and transparency, reducing repair times and improving customer fill rates. By connecting OEMs and dealerships through a meta after-sales platform, the entire network gains access to a powerful global service solution that revolutionizes operations.

  • Streamlined Services Processes: From Request Handling and part & technician requirements planning over scheduling and field service Execution to invoicing and warranty claim automation – we cover the entire end-to-end service process
  • Fully Integrated Service Part Planning: We anticipate future service part demand, match it with our inventory optimization engine and send all demand to the supplier/OEM order systems
  • Global Asset repository: We track every single global service on machine level, meaning we capture a powerful database of all global machines and a virtual service history that is enriched with IoT data for precise predictive maintenance use cases
  • End-to-end data & service collaboration between OEMs and Dealers: Documentation, Case Management, Preventive Service Schedules, etc.
  • OEM-Dealer Workflow Automation: Warranty Claim Management, Invoice Handling, Business Analytics & Reporting

Improving after-sales customer care with ClearOps

To illustrate the challenges faced by multi-brand dealerships, consider a scenario where a dealer collaborates with multiple OEMs in the heavy equipment industry. Due to the lack of a comprehensive service solution software, the dealer experiences difficulties in coordinating repairs and accessing necessary information. Repair times are extended, leading to customer dissatisfaction and low fill rates. However, by adopting a meta after-sales platform like ClearOps, the dealer can seamlessly integrate various OEMs’ systems, streamline operations, and deliver superior service experiences. ClearOps achievements can be made very tangible:

  • -40% Machine Downtime
  • – 2 days of repair time
  • + 43% increase of first time fix and part availability
  • And furthermore, through better predictions, higher customer-fill rates and efficient processes we lowered the working capital throughout the network by 20% whilst increasing parts & service revenue by 15%.

Optimize your after-sales service

The machine manufacturing industry requires a transformative solution to overcome the challenges of fragmented service solutions, siloed data, and outdated software. One thing’s for sure: current solutions just aren’t cutting it.

A meta after-sales platform, such as ClearOps, offers the means to integrate OEMs and dealerships seamlessly, without disrupting existing infrastructure. By harnessing the power of connectivity, collaboration, and data-driven decision-making, ClearOps transforms after-sales service operations, enhancing efficiency, and improving customer satisfaction.

Embracing this technological advancement is vital for manufacturers striving to thrive in the digital age. Get in touch when you’re ready to take your OEM operations management to the next level—we’re ready when you are.