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Field engineering service partnerships explained

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After-sales service is essential for OEMs that manufacture mission-critical equipment fundamental to their customers’ operations.

The longer the life of your equipment assets, the more trust you can build with customers leading to enhanced customer experience, loyalty and repeat business.

After that, from a strategic point of view, after-sales service helps you understand how customers use your equipment. And what demands they place on it. This information can lead to a competitive advantage.

So far, so good.

… But at the same time, you know the realities of setting up an after-sales service organisation. 

You need a significant headcount to resource it, including people located in all of the right places to deliver service to your customers.

Plus, you’ve got to keep them busy to make them economically viable.

Not to mention your need to maintain the correct levels of training and accreditation.

If that’s not enough, you need to consider the infrastructure needed. 

How will you manage the logistics of spare parts, inventory and delivery to meet customer SLAs?

After that, your field technicians need to manage a fleet of vehicles for your field engineers.

Elsewhere, there’s an increasingly complex European trading environment to negotiate.

At this point, you start to consider the opportunity cost of setting up an in-house after-sales operation when you could be using that investment to drive your product forward and gain more customers. 

And you’re not alone in thinking that.

For these reasons, many OEMs choose to outsource their after-sales service operations to give them a better return on investment.

Here’s how it works:

What is a field service engineering partner?

A field service engineering partner provides OEMs with:

  • Onsite services, including installation, pre-planned maintenance, onsite break-fix, equipment moves and upgrades
  • Back office support, including customer services, job logging and management, remote resolution and reporting
  • Parts and logistics management, including warehousing and logistics 
  • Repair centre support, including back to base swap services, bench repairs and refurbishment

Who uses field engineering service partners?

A field engineering service partner gives established OEMs access to a significant footprint of engineers, allowing them to react to peaks in customer demand or address large projects that would otherwise affect underlying service delivery.

For new entrants to OEM markets and OEMs expanding into new geographic segments without in-house capabilities, a service partnership provides the ability to enhance customer experience with after-sales service.

Why should you outsource your field engineering services?

Provide after-sales service without the associated infrastructure costs

A field engineering service partner provides the infrastructure, including a large footprint of engineers, when an OEM has yet to establish a sizeable installed base. Alternatively, it is not economically viable to run an in-house service operation.

Scale service capabilities quickly and easily

Whether you’re planning for supply and demand or expanding your operations geographically, domestically or overseas, a field engineering service partner offers cost advantages because you only need to pay for engineers when you need them.

Increase the visibility of end-user usage data

A field engineering service partner can capture maintenance/repair data that will help you improve your equipment’s durability, lifespan, and customer experience.

The skills and education of an outsourced field service team

Qualified project managers 

Fundamental to the success of a field engineering service partnership is having a project manager with the skills, knowledge and expertise to handle complex customer accounts and manage deliverables.

To illustrate, at Veritek, our Account Managers are Prince2 certified, a widely recognised project management qualification.

Skilled technicians trained by you

Your service partner is responsible for upholding your brand reputation. So you’ll want to use field engineers trained by you.

For this reason, Veritek set up training centres across Europe to give OEMs the facilities they need to provide high-quality training for our technicians and engineers. 

How to choose the right field engineering service partner

First off, you’ll want to work with a partner you can trust to represent your brand. 

Then you want to make sure your partner isn’t in competition with you.

Consider Veritek, for example. It is a company that doesn’t sell products or equipment, so it avoids reseller conflicts of interest. It only provides services. 

For this reason, you can be sure Veritek will safeguard your intellectual property and uphold your brand values.

A partner that is a valued addition to your ethical supply chain

Proving your ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) credentials improves your business reputation.

With this in mind, having a sustainable supply chain is growing in importance across business sectors.

So do your research to find a service partner committed to pursuing sustainable practices and reducing their environmental impact.

A trusted sustainability ratings provider such as EcoVadis will tell you that it awarded Veritek a Silver medal for sustainability management and performance.

To sum up

Suppose you’re considering the opportunity cost of setting up an in-house after-sales operation when you could be using that investment to drive your product forward and gain more customers. 

In that case, a field engineering service partner offers economies of scale by providing you with the infrastructure you need and a large footprint of field engineers domestically and overseas.

A field engineering service partner lets you scale service capabilities when you need them.

At the same time, you’ll get visibility of customer maintenance/repair data, giving you a competitive advantage.

Choose the right partner, and you’ll get access to a team of trained professionals who’ll protect your intellectual property and uphold your reputation.

Furthermore, a partner that will enhance your ESG credentials by forming part of your sustainable supply chain.

What could be more important?

This blog is relevant to the following Veritek industry sector verticals:

 

 

 

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