Coupling CRM & Asset Management to Support After Sales Service Requirements

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Sajit Kumar C.N. and Ganesh Subramanian, of Infosys.

Globalization is obviously changing the way we do business - rapidly, radically, and in ways that may be profoundly displacing many of the well-accepted models. One such model is Enterprise-centric Asset Management. Organizations can no longer afford to sustain with inward-looking Enterprise Asset Management only. The world is rapidly adopting collaboration across value chain as a competitive differentiator. The same holds well for after sales asset management, which is the last and perhaps the most decoupled "link" in the value chain in asset-intensive industries like industrial tool manufacturing.

Here's why we think this is largely neglected:
In a manufacturing industry, specifically for industrial tool manufacturers, most CRM solutions do not completely cater to the unique asset-centric, after-sales service requirements as calibration and servicing, asset maintenance and workshop repairs, asset usage statistics and performance visibility, etc.

It's not that there are no enterprise applications to take care of these functionalities. As a matter of fact, almost every Fortune 500 manufacturing company has either a CMS or EAM system in place to take care of their assets. At the least, these organizations have a simple maintenance management system loosely coupled with a spare parts management system. But these systems are mostly inward looking – focussed only on assets within the organizational boundaries. Most of them are not designed to handle processes that go beyond the enterprise limits like after-sales service of customer assets.

This is not in line with what current customers are demanding. They want original equipment manufacturers/third-party service providers to take complete ownership of reliability, availability, and effectiveness of equipment, while at the same time providing real time 360-degree visibility to the customer on their assets. This is exactly where the need for a pervasive approach toward asset management becomes relevant

What is Pervasive Asset Management?
Our definition is the optimal management of the physical assets of a customer organization by an original equipment vendor (or third-party MRO service providers, as the case may be). It covers the construction, commissioning, operations, maintenance and decommissioning/replacement of plant, equipment, and facilities. "Pervasive" refers to transcending the organization boundaries to have a universal approach toward asset management. By leveraging this process, customer organizations can improve utilization and performance, reduce capital costs, reduce asset-related operating costs, extend asset life, and consequently improve ROA (return on assets).

Such a solution, as the above figure indicates, will contain all the core asset management functions of any EAM or ERP application. In addition, there would be a seamless integration with the CRM application. In order to ensure real time visibility, this whole suite would be integrated with a visibility solution (preferably in the cloud to make it even more pervasive). We believe that such an application landscape will go a long way in helping organizations that face the challenges in attaining superior after-sales MRO operations, especially in the areas of supply chain processes, supply chain communication, and workforce management.

It's high time enterprise application vendors work toward filling this white space so that it can help to transform the asset management landscape for MRO service industry.

Sajit Kumar C.N. is a Principal Consultant in Consulting & Systems Integration unit at Infosys Limited.

Ganesh Subramanian is a Lead Consultant in Consulting & Systems Integration unit at Infosys Limited.

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First Voice

  1. Senthil:

    I feel that in sectors where it is more Asset intensive, the CAPEX heavy areas are getting converted into "Services" if at all one could get a "Services" partner in an apt sense. In case if I could get a "Service" partner who supplies tools on a pay per use model and charges me accordingly, I could think of going for that model if that would make sense for certain set of tools. I could carry out an internal analysis on investing in tools as a whole or get a "Service" vendor in such cases and accordingly identify tools that need to be bought out or got as a “Service” (Say rented out!)! One of my earlier employers used to sell compressors to the customers as OEMs. After a while customers started demanding “Air” alone with certain laid down specs for the “Air” and were ready to get it on as and when needed basis and were not ready to invest heavily on Air Compressors and maintain it internally!

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