Service organizations typically receive recurring revenue, less fixed capital, and higher margins than strictly product-centric businesses. Aftermarket services now account for almost 24% of manufacturers’ total revenue and 40% to 80% of their total profits (Pollack, B., PTC Video: Transforming Your Service Organization with SLM (part 3 of 3)). When executed properly, after-sales service and support can provide increased revenue and invaluable customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Customer relationships are both a huge benefit and a huge risk.  Companies without a comprehensive plan to ensure high customer satisfaction often jeopardize customer relationships and risk affecting their company brand. Businesses often suffer when they overlook their role in service performance. Why focus solely on putting your product into the hands of customers? Why not also focus on service, and manage the performance of your products to ensure high customer satisfaction?

Customer Satisfaction Matters

Consumers who are willing to pay a premium for a product are looking for a company that provides the best value. If your company cannot deliver the value that your customer is willing to pay for, then you are going to disappoint that customer.

To build and maintain high customer satisfaction, companies need to look beyond traditional approaches.  It is no longer sufficient to provide good customer service by staffing a call center for customer support.  Customers need more than a call center or email.  They need their product to provide that expected value and perform well.  Businesses need to figure out how to deliver that value, maintain high product performance, and keep a happy customer.

Service as the Main Course

Viewing service as an extension of the product can help companies deliver added value and improve customer satisfaction. So what, then, is the hesitation that executives face when delivering service as a strategy in their organization?

Making strategic decisions can be challenging when confronted with numerous variables. Employing an effective service strategy can be especially challenging when organizations are divided into separate silos, with each department concerned only with its own objectives but missing the main objective: the customer.

To execute a service strategy well, companies must look to transform their current approach to service. They must optimize service performance and service functions across all departments and ensure everyone is working collaboratively to deliver a unified service experience that joins parts, product and service information, remote service, and predictive analytics that maximizes the product value to each customer.

Service Lifecycle Management (SLM) is the solution to a service transformation within an organization. SLM provides a platform to deliver on-demand parts, accurate and relevant product and service information, global remote service, and predictive analytics for maximum product performance.

The Right-Sized Service Lifecycle Management Solutions

Service excellence prepares your organization for years of satisfied customers and service related revenue streams. Don’t miss out on revenue opportunities and the chance to provide your company with a competitive advantage. Apply service as a strategy within your organization.

We have an entire team that is dedicated to helping you manage service life cycle. Check out our services here.

One challenge when working with technical information is that publications can be very large. Several hundred pages is not unusual and in some cases over a thousand pages are necessary to describe complex service procedures and part catalogs.
Authoring and assembling large books can be a painful process as the sheer size can be taxing to software. XML, DITA, and managing content objects do ease the pain, it is what industrial strength publishing software is designed to do. However, there is only so much information the average workstation can process.

Many creative solutions have been implemented to meet unique business requirements for book assembly. The business requirements and data sources vary from company to company, such as selecting lessons individually to create a complete custom course; or selecting individual part list and image pairs to create a complete part catalog. As an application expert, I have personally coded many custom solutions to support cobbling books together over the years and I know that many other equally creative solutions exist.

Word Cloud

PTC’s Service Information Manager adds three advanced capabilities to the XML authoring and content management system:

  1. Translation Management
  2. Part List Generation
  3. Publication Structures

Publication Structures are the least sexy of the three and the one that truly revolutionizes the book assembly process. Publication Structures are used to assemble information objects that are to be published. Essentially each Publication Structure represents a book. You can add a table of contents, a parts list, or any other XML content object or images to the book right in the Windchill SIM web browser user interface.

Without Publication Structures, books are typically assembled manually in Arbortext Editor. Someone would still have to assemble the book manually in a Publication Structure, but the user experience is very different. To get a sense of this, in Arbortext Editor, if a writer wants to move a chapter to a different location, they would edit the document, select content, cut it, move to the new location, and then paste. In a Publication Structure, the user can drag and drop chapter or section objects in the structure without ever opening the book to edit it.

Publication Structures provide an out-of-the-box method of assembling publications for the technical documentation community without customizing. As a result, organizations are able to greatly improve the process of information delivery and are able to leverage dynamic publishing capabilities to bring products to market faster, and keep customers better informed.

Learn More

Refer to PTC’s web site for a complete description of Service Information Manager.

EAC information solution experts have decades of reliable XML solution experience. Explore the EAC website to learn more about our products and services or review the Product Development Information Services Brochure.

Download our PDIS Brochure

EAC Product Development Solutions (EAC), a leading provider of product development technology and services, is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Arbortext Business Unit of TerraXML. This acquisition makes EAC unique in providing a complete end-to-end systematized solution set for managing product information, executing processes within that system, and publishing relevant information both inside and outside the enterprise.

Burnsville, MN, March 19, 2014 — EAC Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 2.46.48 PMProduct Development Solutions (EAC) expands capabilities and services through the acquisition of TerraXML’s Arbortext Business Unit. This acquisition aligns EAC with industry trends toward Service Information Management (SIM), Service Lifecycle Management (SLM), and automated publishing of technical information. The Arbortext Business Unit will operate as the EAC Product Development Information Services group or PDIS, and provide implementation, customization, development, and support for the Arbortext product line.

Thane Hathaway, President and CEO of EAC said: “Small and medium businesses (SMB’s) need to manage and publish accurate product information in real time, across multiple platforms just like the Fortune 500’s, but they’ve never had a world class and affordable solution. With this acquisition, we’ve gained the unique ability to implement and support an end-to-end PLM and publishing system specifically tailored for SMB. We look forward to satisfying this market need while continuing to grow and develop these tools.”

Cory Huey, Vice President of Services at EAC said: “This acquisition opens the doors to many new possibilities. In the future, we will develop integrated dynamic publishing products that small companies can more easily afford and deploy. I’m excited to see where the market takes us from here.”

Acquiring the Arbortext Business Unit of TerraXML enables EAC to enter new markets and provide end-to-end solutions to the product development and manufacturing industries. Arbortext allows product companies to easily create products and technical publications and make that information available to customers, dealers, and service staff.