Better Service Parts Management, Improved Customer Experience

When it comes to service delivery, it’s often times the more visible customer-facing functions that get the glory (and blame). But the service operation is complicated, with numerous functions, often behind the scenes, that work together to deliver a successful end result.

Even though service parts haven’t reached ‘rock star’ status at trade shows and conferences, the importance of parts to service execution cannot be overlooked. And although service parts might not appear to be customer-facing, it really is.

Aberdeen’s Field Service research shows the number one reason an issue cannot be resolved on a first-visit is part unavailability (either incorrect or no part). Furthermore, this research shows that more than half of all visits require a part. That is a lot of unhappy customers.

The impact of efficient parts management on the customer cannot be understated, and top performing organizations understand the important role that parts play in service delivery.

In recent Aberdeen research on service parts management, top performing organizations were 64 percent more likely than others to have a senior executive in place with oversight of service parts.

A senior service executive or CSO (chief service officer) with management responsibilities for parts is integral in leading the strategic vision for the parts operations, monitoring the revenue implications / opportunities of service parts, weighing the costs and benefits of carrying service parts versus new ones, and  ensuring that the parts operations seamlessly works with other functions within service and beyond.

In order to drive the type of gains from parts that these service leaders expect, top performing organizations have implemented a few best practices:

  • Field service organization has access to parts inventories
  • Parts data is captured and analyzed to aid forecasting of service demand
  • Early warning processes have been put in place to alert management of stock-out situations
  • Service quality or continuous improvement programs (i.e., Six Sigma, Lean tools) have been implemented

These are just a few of the best-in-class practices that have helped drive higher part fill rates, improved first-time fix rates, lower inventory costs, and more accurate part inventories.

Learn more about the trends that define best-in-class performance in parts management and see highlights from the first annual PTC Live Service Exchange held on June 11-12.

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