Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management (SCM) Software, Supply Chain Optimisation, Supply Chain Execution, hardware transport, supply-chain, distribution software, freight software and load planning in manufacturing and supply chain applications.

IBM Partners with SAP on Cognitive Field Services Solution for IM&C Companies

14-Mar-2018
IBM Partners with SAP on Cognitive Field Services Solution for IM&C Companies
IBM and SAP are teaming up to create industry-specific accelerators so clients can digitally transform their businesses. These new solutions will provide a clear roadmap to making systems and processes function more efficiently and improve the customer experience.

Together, we’re offering our second co-designed, industry-specific offering for industrial machinery and components (IM&C) companies to improve their customers’ overall equipment effectiveness. These businesses build machines used everywhere — from agricultural equipment to paper mills.

The IBM Cognitive Field Services (CFS) solution aims to help reduce maintenance and service costs while maximizing field technicians’ performance. This is especially important because a large percentage of total lifetime cost of equipment lies in maintenance and repair.

Traditionally, when there was planned maintenance or an unplanned breakdown of industrial equipment, work orders for the field technician would be reactively entered and prioritized in the service management system. Field technicians would then do a diagnostic, complete the order for the system, and, if needed, replenish available spare parts. This manual and time-consuming process did not include the best recommendations for resolutions, resulting in repeat work orders. The billing and invoicing were also previously disconnected, delaying the businesses’ cash flow.

With the new CFS solution, IM&C businesses can now analyze near-real-time operational data to support optimal planning and scheduling of maintenance services, helping to maximize field technicians’ performance by delivering the right information into their hands. The ability to handle unplanned work orders means higher margins and customer satisfaction for the business, plus a more efficient workforce.

For example, a technician receiving a work order would receive a better recommendation on what they need to specifically repair. After making necessary changes, they can then document how the issue was resolved and close the work order. Over time, the data collected from the technician’s use improves how precise the recommendations are over time, better preparing them to “fix it right the first time.”

CFS is based on innovative solutions from IBM and SAP, including SAP Leonardo, SAP Cloud Platform, and SAP Hybris solutions, as well as IBM Cognitive Advisors and Services, to prescriptively and more accurately prioritize the technicians’ work order based on machine learning. All of this builds on SAP S/4HANA and deep industry insights from IBM Services and the SAP industry business unit.

By offering complementary sets of capabilities and industry-specific solutions, IM&C clients can schedule maintenance accordingly and field technicians can maximize their performance. By optimizing the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), businesses can increase customer satisfaction, and proactive spare part sales based on CFS recommendations means additional revenue growth and more opportunities to upsell and cross sell.

This groundbreaking new tool for IM&C companies will address the entire life cycle of the after-market service process.

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