Boeing and Whirlpool are on to something. While these two companies are from different industries, make radically different products and have very different customers, they share similar service challenges. These engineering-oriented industry leaders also have something else in common. They both use PLM software from PTC, and are also now looking to adopt PTC's Arbortext Service Information Solution (SIS).
In a recent Perspective, I wrote about the importance of accurate, configuration-specific, on- demand service information for field service technicians. Yet, many product companies have difficulty delivering this information sufficiently to the field, which results in timely and costly trouble-shooting routines, high inventory and warranty costs and, ultimately, a tarnished brand image.
In a similar blog titled, Service Information Delivered as a Service Improves Quality, Reduces Costs, I discussed the potential benefits of SaaS technology for delivering service information. What was not discussed is the necessity to integrate the on-demand service information solution with a PLM backbone to provide the essential connection to the most up-to-date designs and information. Well, now PTC allows its customers to deliver their design data, on demand, straight to the field.
While probably not accompanied by the lower price tag and commitment of a SaaS solution, PTC's Arbortext SIS product would likely still be judged a smart investment with quick returns by PTC's PLM customers in complex discrete industries. The combination of SIS and Windchill provides dynamic and real-time updates of configuration-specific information easily translated to the field in a variety of mediums. Also, with the addition of PTC Relex, customers will have the further capability of allowing field service technicians to annotate and share information throughout the entire product ecosystem, and even recommend design changes. The annotation features, we are told, may eventually be part of the standard SIS product, but for now will remain as a separate module and purchase.
The bottom line is: SaaS or no SaaS, OEMs and software vendors like PTC, Servigistics and Enigma, are finally answering the call of the field technician and providing (or at least beginning to provide) what is essential to perform these important jobs safely, efficiently and effectively. So, hats off to all the providers and early adopters!
IDC Manufacturing Insights will launch a study with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) on March 10 to assess the gaps between what technicians really need and what OEMs think technicians need, so stay tuned as the research unfolds, and follow me on Twitter @ SheilaB_IDC to access the survey and participate.
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