Thirty eight

Service

Marcus brought our attention to service. Of course, post-sales service falls in Marcus’ domain and we’ve recognized for several years that the customers’ post-sales experience has to be as consistently good as the pre-sales process, else we endanger life-long customer loyalty. But this isn’t exactly where he led the conversation.

Rather, Marcus took us through his thinking following a recent conversation with BB in our testing facility: Does Attenzi sell dishwashers or a dishwashing service?

I have to admit that I thought Marcus had a screw loose here for a few seconds.

Basically, if we’re connected to our (future) dishwashers, or any product, in the field 24/7, over Wi-Fi or cellular network, then we know how the equipment is used and when its performance is falling short of perfect. Then, rather than having the customer experience an inconvenient breakdown, we can run preventative maintenance just like we do with production machinery in the factory. Imagine scheduling a repair with the customer before they even knew something was wrong. Imagine what we might learn from collecting and analyzing all this data from our own products.

Marcus had researched this field and found for example that similar sensors operate today in supermarket freezers. These call for maintenance before the fault causes the temperature to increase to the point where the contents of the freezer have to be scrapped, expensively.

Such possibilities have been described as product-as-a-service, and product-service system.

I can see this emerging for complex and expensive products first off. Cars for instance. That’s already taking place with these hire-by-the-hour city car schemes. And some car insurance products rely on having a GPS sensor reporting your use of the car to the insurer.

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