The primary goal of a manufacturer is to enable more revenue, through product sales, and whenever possible, through services and service contracts. With standard quality products, dependable service is always a winner in the manufacturing sector. Selling more products becomes easier when your manufacturing company builds the reputation for reliable, cost-effective services for the products. This is true especially for HVAC products, which need servicing almost every year.
Opportunities in the HVAC sector
The HVAC sector has huge aftermarket opportunities. Service is required frequently. If you supply heating and ventilation products to offices and homes, each time the owners want to keep them in good working condition, you get an opportunity to elevate your brand image by providing efficient service.
Where do you stand now?
Long-term service contracts with business facilities might be fetching you service opportunities already, but are they willing to enter the contract always? Besides that, most domestic HVAC owners prefer to call neighborhood maintenance services, because they are quicker. Have you positioned yourself to address that gap? If so, are you able to see your warranty services through to positive revenue growth? After all, good service requires investments, and they must fetch the returns. You have to bill your customers nominally, but before that, how do you mitigate costs?
Can you feasibly improve your warranty services?
Improving your service reputation with extended warranty usually sounds unfeasible. In fact, new-item warranty itself is a matter of questionable feasibility and estimates tend to discourage manufacturers from taking steps to improve services. In any business, customer experience is the crux of success. It is essential to build your brand into one that people trust, not only for product quality, but aftermarket services they desperately need.
It all depends on the approach you take towards implementing a superior warranty service. Overheads are a natural by-product of delivering good service, but technology can mitigate the very cost required for better aftermarket services.
Solutions that technology can offer
Reduction in service delays and overheads are important to achieve for HVAC manufacturers to ultimately sell better. The total warranty-service cost incurred can be reduced by technology through automation of claims validation and cross-functional integration. Long-term savings can be achieved through continuous improvement with use of system data. Parts replacement and repair turnarounds must shrink to allow better customer experience for HVAC users. Technology helps by introducing mobile communication and geo-centric service capabilities.
Cost-effective service can be provided when you have local service units, seamless connectivity with them, real-time updates, lower travel overheads, and integration with sales, service and management. This also helps in achieving better understanding and evaluation of performance.
An outline of the benefits of warranty technology to the HVAC sector:
- Reduced warranty costs – Automated claims validation mitigates monetary losses incurred through false claims
- Faster cycle time – Auto-processed claims result in reduced processing time
- Inventory management – Reduction in inventory overheads with software-based foresight
- Improved risk control –Improved failure assessment and prevention through detailed data
Cost-effective implementation of technology
The IT implementation itself needs to be easily affordable. Otherwise, the very objective of cost-effectiveness will get hampered. Surround-not-replace implementation and agile development has made affordable IT implementation possible for various sectors. The already-existing software system with HVAC manufacturers needs to be “surrounded” and “not replaced” with features and resources that enable cost-effective and high-quality warranty service. The system, when implemented correctly, will also enable growth in aftermarket service revenues.
The right technology will help you make your services more attractive to HVAC customers. Once that happens and they start preferring you over other service providers, it will become easier to position your brand as a reliable, cost-effective, and customer-friendly one, especially when it comes to maintenance of the HVAC systems you manufacture.
Ashley J. is currently a Senior Business architect with the Service operations practice at a well-known IT Industry. She has worked in several process improvement projects involving multi-national teams for global customers. She has over 8 years of experience in Warranty management system and has successfully executed several projects in Logistics management, Logistics Integration, Reverse logistics