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Service lifecycle management (SLM) is a strategic approach to service planning and delivery that helps maximize product uptime for the user and service revenue for the manufacturer. Enabling companies to support products effectively and efficiently after they are delivered to the customer, service lifecycle management includes both service engineering and service planning, which represent critical functions of SLM software.
The primary objective of service lifecycle management is to optimize both product design and service operations in a way that enables both the manufacturer and the user to gain maximum benefits throughout the product’s lifecycle. SLM applies a product’s engineering and manufacturing information to service planning and execution. It then provides feedback to the manufacturer for closed-loop product and process improvement, in particular helping the company to increase product serviceability and reliability.
SLM software incorporates service lifecycle management as an integral part of product lifecycle management (PLM), significantly improving the service readiness of your products. The software manages the complex web of information associated with a product, reducing the cost and time needed to create and deliver critical service documentation while also improving the quality and efficacy of the information.
Service lifecycle management has become a valuable strategy for manufacturers facing increasingly tight profit margins. It enables these companies to increase service revenue, offer add-on services, or product upgrades for their physical assets. It also tends to counterbalance product sales variability: when sales slow down, service activity tends to rise. Undertaking service lifecycle management allows manufacturers to enjoy higher profit margins as they deliver higher quality service at lower costs. The return on investment is substantial for both.
Service engineering starts during product design, implementing a design for service (DFS) strategy that addresses product serviceability attributes: product reliability, serviceable architecture, ergonomics, and more. Service engineering is also supported by service lifecycle management software with data collected from fielded assets and their maintenance histories. Manufacturers use this data to engineer better designs and implement service updates.
Service planning ensures efficient and effective product servicing by providing a well-organized knowledge base of the factors that drive service events and the resource requirements to deliver that service. The service planning feature of a modern SLM system communicates detailed information, curated for each service team member’s needs, to enable each member to track and understand asset health. It also provides technicians with the resources they need to perform reactive, proactive, and upgrade service activities.
Service information is centralized and managed by SLM software as an accessible resource for any support and service operations, helping to maximize service knowledge and maintain requirements management. This interactive information source comprehensively supports all service activities with data about the physical product (asset), its specific configuration, an up-to-date as-built bill of materials (BOM), Service BOM (SBOM), service history, and product status.
Service execution utilizes service information (parts, spare parts, work cards, frequencies, etc.) to support decision making of supervisors and managers as well as better enable the technician while working on assigned tasks by providing the right configuration, parts, and technical data during service execution activities improving performance and reducing costs of executing service work orders.
Integrated asset performance management leverages real-time field data generated through IoT technology to gain insights into fielded assets and their servicing. Manufacturers employ this feedback for design, manufacturing, and service updates. Data analytics enable corrective actions to be taken before an unanticipated asset failure. Real-time data also helps field technicians to accelerate maintenance tasks.
By orchestrating service-related operations throughout a product’s lifecycle, service lifecycle management software generates greater compliance, faster service, and lower costs for a manufacturer and end-users alike.
Lower maintenance costs
Improve asset uptime (increase first-time-fix rates)
Enable greater customer satisfaction
Enable new service business models
Increase revenue through targeted upgrades and retrofits
CIMdata highlights the need for modern Service Lifecycle Management solutions coupled with product lifecycle management (PLM) to successfully address the planning, design, production, and operation of long-life assets.