At GE Digital, we have the privilege of working with customers across virtually all industrial markets. Each customer segment faces its own challenges and disruptive forces.
What these industrial sectors share in common is a confluence of trends - low-cost technology, more demanding customers, rising security concerns, and nimbler competitors - that are setting the stage for an inflection point across the industrial world.
The common ask across all our customers is that they require the operational agility to meet demand in whatever form it takes. Because without operational agility, you have no business model agility. At GE, we call this becoming a digital industrial.
Operational agility and predictability is giving industrial companies the option to pursue business model innovation by offering efficiency, productivity, and virtually everything “as a service.”
Before GE innovated at the business model level, we drove digital transformation of our internal operations using a technology platform that tied asset data to predictive analytics driving millions in productivity savings. That internal focus is where we encourage our customers to start their digital transformation journey.
By focusing on using a platform to deliver tangible ROI you can:
- Drive internal improvements that self-fund the next step in your transformation journey such as new product introductions, x-as-a-service model
- Build out the operational agility needed to innovate at the business model level
- Enlist early internal champions and momentum needed to drive more radical transformation
- Extend those learnings and new capabilities to your existing customers
Success breeds success. Building credible proof points (small wins) is the key to starting any successful transformation. With the data, insights, and improvements from these internal wins, you’re now in a credible position to take those same productivity improvements to your customers in the form of best practice sharing and new products and services.
Once you have proven ability to deliver repeatable outcomes, you’re ready to put your customer first by experimenting with them with greater confidence.
Here’s how one industrial manufacturer leveraged the operational agility that Predix provided them to transform the service model they had built to support their asset:
Increased customer satisfaction:
They were looking for a solution that would provide visibility to their assets at customer sites. The support and services teams operated on a reactive basis–responding to calls once a problem hit. By building their first industrial application using Predix, they were able to use the data coming from their assets, shifting to a proactive stance and thereby avoid outages and downtime, increasing customer satisfaction.
Better customer experience:
Proactively managing uptime and output increased customers’ run-time of their assets–giving them extra capacity to take on new jobs netting new revenues. As an unintended consequence of arming their service technicians with new data and tools, not only were they able to improve the serviceability of the assets on site with better decision making but customers also viewed them differently, more as highly skilled and knowledgeable practitioners rather than break/fix technicians.
Higher service profitability:
With the increased visibility they are now able to trouble-shoot faster, which in turn, increases their technician’s productivity. Customers recognize the value-add that they bring, renewing contracts and by using newly built diagnostic procedures tied to additional sensors in their assets, they can better pinpoint where failures occur–needing only to replace the failing parts and thereby removing the cost of shipping and repair of redundant parts.
Faster innovation beats the competition:
In less than a year they were able to transform their services model by using Predix. By leveraging a pre-built platform, they were able to focus on areas of differentiation to remain relevant to their customers. The alternative of building their own platform would have meant resources focused on the plumbing and seeking the cyber security certifications that their customers demanded.
Customers now view them as a strategic partner to their business, seeking out recommendations for future business opportunities. Based on these interactions, the company will be offering additional applications that can utilize the data already captured from the customer’s assets to increase operator productivity and job scheduling.
For this industrial manufacturer, Predix offered them a new level of operational agility that triggered a business process transformation in their customer support, consultation and services offering. By focusing on using analytics together with their customers’ data, they generated new insights as to how their assets were being operated and were performing.
Building apps using an existing industrial platform like Predix meant that they are now offering their customers a marketplace of innovative new ways to improve their business agility and to disrupt their own markets.