Many product-centric organizations that manufacture high-quality goods are increasingly offering repair and maintenance services to their customers. They are not only sellers but also service organizations that offer maintenance services or repairs. Think for example of Canon (not only makes and sells cameras and printers, but also offers maintenance and repair services), the NS (not only responsible for transportation, but also for the maintenance of equipment such as train sets) or a telecom provider such as KPN.
Often these companies have some common denominators. For example:
- many customer service employees to schedule appointments and work;
- large and complex assets;
- a strong need to optimize schedules;
- many people and vehicles that are often on the road.
Digital transformation and a high degree of systems integration are crucial for managing and supporting all these tasks, processes, vehicles, and employees. And it is often here where the issue issues arise. In this article, we look at a number of perhaps recognizable challenges to explain why digital transformation and systems integration are still often challenges for tech companies and service providers.
1. an outdated application landscape
Many organizations have been working with the same digital tools and applications for a long time. Because digital technology is evolving faster than ever, they often have an outdated application landscape that is unable to move with current customer and market needs. Even tweaking small functionalities takes an enormous amount of time – or requires a lot of money and expertise. There are a number of ways to solve this problem. You can simply abandon applications that you hardly ever use (retire). Outdated applications that are still essential to your processes or services can be:
- replaced with a SaaS solution (replace)
- moved from on-premises to a cloud environment (relocate)
- rebuild with modern technologies (rebuild)
- or modified by placing a modern, user-friendly layer on top of it (reuse)
2. Difficult to integrate systems and applications
In a modern IT landscape, systems and applications must be able to “speak” to one another. This is still a challenge in many organizations. In the past, companies worked with various business applications that actually functioned as islands, for example, because they were created in different programming languages. Often there is also a gap between old (legacy) applications and new business applications because they have a different technological basis. APIs and effective integration frameworks help you achieve system integration. An integration framework is a tried-and-true solution that prevents an inextricable tangle of links and handles all of the technical details (security, performance, documentation).
3. Inaccurate and unreliable data
Data are the modern building blocks for making informed decisions and efficiently organizing processes. But many companies still use inaccurate and unreliable data. Data is not available in (near) real-time, which means you are constantly chasing the facts causing field employees to arrive ill-prepared. In addition, information is scattered across multiple systems (silos). Looking up the right data takes a lot of time, causing a lot of productive hours to be lost. The solution? Having a single, integrated and unified business application that allows employees to easily and quickly access all relevant information. Such a central data hub acts as a single source of truth and organized digital reference.
4. Loss of valuable time and inefficiency
fact is that many organizations are still operating using manual processes. Think of entering data, forwarding appointments or making and processing work orders. This takes a lot of time and is associated with a high risk of errors. By automating repetitive operations and using digital work orders, for example, you can reduce time loss and inefficiency.
5. Corporate silos
Sometimes there is siloing at the organizational level. Departments do their own thing and communicate little or poorly with each other. For example, one department or location adopts an application or new software package without thinking about compatibility with digital solutions from other departments or locations. Thus, digital transformation becomes a directionless enterprise. Interdisciplinary teams can solve this. By assembling these teams as broadly as possible from members of various departments and areas of expertise, it becomes a lot easier to manage digital transformation and meet organization-wide goals.
6. Lack of scalability
Scalability is an absolute digital requirement today. A non-scalable IT landscape makes it impossible to respond quickly to new IT innovations and changing market conditions or customer needs. A good cloud solution will make your IT landscape a lot more elastic. IFS Field Service Management or IFS Cloud, for example, are excellent solutions that can be easily scaled and adapted to your business needs.
7. No proper security and support
Data and privacy protection are more important than ever, especially since the advent of strict European legislation like the AVG. But many companies are still struggling with their security and support, especially since they still have some way to go on the path to digital maturity. Moreover, it is difficult for a company not specialized in IT to tackle all the security and technical challenges. An experienced IT partner can be extremely helpful. Such a party has security experts and a good support team in place. The great thing about this is that you can acquire specialist expertise for a fixed and predictable monthly or annual fee. This means you don’t have to set up a huge IT department yourself, but you can always count on security updates and good technical advice.
8. Complex and difficult to use business applications
Getting serious about digital transformation also means that employees use business applications en masse and with pleasure. The added value must be clear and directly translate into fine-tuned and more efficient workflows. Sometimes this is still lacking because Applications are mainly designed from a technological tunnel vision, without looking closely at usability. Therefore, when developing new applications or redesigning legacy solutions, always look closely at crucial elements such as the UX (user experience) and UI (user interface).
Here’s how Eqeep can help
Are you a company that makes and/or repairs and maintains complex products? And do you want to get serious about digital transformation and systems integration? Then Eqeep is happy to help you with solutions for:
- Enterprise Asset Management
- Enterprise Resource Planning (IFS Cloud)
- Service Management
- Field Service Management
- Planning & Scheduling Optimization
Curious about the possibilities? Then feel free to browse our website or contact us at +31 (0) 344 767 170, email@example.com or by filling out our contact form.