Syncron has introduced the Syncron Service Cloud, including several major updates to its core service parts inventory and price management solutions.
Customers across industries within durable goods manufacturing, including industrial and heavy equipment, automotive and aerospace, are increasingly demanding high levels of product uptime. These pressures, combined with fluctuating revenue and diminishing profits from new product sales, are leading many manufacturers to optimise the margin-rich after-sales service side of their businesses to unlock alternate revenue and profit opportunities.
Recent studies from multiple third-party research organisations suggest that after-sales service is increasingly strategic to manufacturers' long-term financial performance. A McKinsey & Company study suggested upwards of 15 percent of manufacturing companies' total revenue comes from service, while a Bain & Company report suggested service averages a gross margin of 39 percent, which is much higher than margins on most new products (27 percent). The Bain & Company study also revealed manufacturing companies' service business grew by nine percent annually, compared to a five percent growth rate captured on the product side of the business.
The Syncron Service Cloud offers a fully integrated solution stack for the optimisation of the service supply chain. Syncron recognises that after-sales service functions as a key competitive differentiator and revenue driver, and is exclusively focused on delivering solutions that solve some of the world's most complex after-sales service challenges.
"The world is changing at a rapid pace, and a big part of this change includes evolving customer expectations" said Erik Lindholm, Head of Product Strategy at Syncron. "Today's customers expect their equipment to always be up and running. To meet these rising expectations, manufacturers must move from the traditional, transactional, break-fix model of service to a subscription-based model focused on maximising product uptime. This requires moving beyond the status quo and investing in technologies and human capital that enable manufacturers to increase brand loyalty and improve financial performance."
In addition to the launch of the Syncron Service Cloud, the company made several notable enhancements to its Syncron Inventory and Syncron Price solutions, including significant performance improvements that cut processing times in half, while increasing data volume by 3.5x. Other updates include:
- Part Locator uses inventory availability and geographical data across the global supply chain to determine the nearest location of a specific part – removing the manual process of calling individual warehouses to locate parts, while simultaneously improving fill rates without increasing inventory investment. The map is now fully interactive, allowing users to move it around and zoom in and out, in addition to displaying delivery routes. There are also several new search options, including custom criteria, any/all logic and an option to extend the search to include replaced items.
- Replay Simulator allows simulation of how changes to service parts inventory strategy would have impacted outcomes if implemented in history. Users can modify inventory strategies, network design and other logistical parameters to explore multiple scenarios and use the findings to plan future actions.
- Automatic Kit Planning handles the planning and forecasting of items comprised of multiple parts and manages the demand of components to fill the kit, as well as the kit itself.
- Price Break Optimisation optimises the replenishment of a part based on the quantity of a typical purchase. If a manufacturer has stacked pricing, the system automatically recommends how many parts to purchase, removing the chances of too little or excess inventory while optimising cost.
- Collaborative Planning provides parts planning capabilities to multiple teams within an organisation enabling central or regional planners, procurement teams or local warehouse managers to apply their own inventory planning strategies. The system keeps track of authorised users and their permissions, as well as full audit capabilities.
- Syncron Price now incorporates the new Syncron Ignite user interface, which features an enhanced, responsive UI to improve the overall user experience across multiple devices.
- Advanced Competitor Pricing imports competitor's parts price data, and allows users to better price against the competition, either being the price leader or the price follower in different markets.
- Intelligent Matching Logic greatly simplifies the part segmentation process. The system examines parts and their characteristics that are already categorised. When a new part is introduced, it matches the part's characteristics against existing segments and recommends where it should be categorised and how it should be priced.
- Advanced Kits Pricing supports the complexity of pricing kits comprised of multiple parts and components. The system considers the cost of assembling the kit as well as the prices of the individual parts. The pricing analyst has full visibility into the pricing of a kit and can drill down multiple levels.
- Indirect Sales Data allows pricing teams to view the impact indirect sales have had on the overall business of a specific part. This gives the pricing team a better understanding of total sales for parts that are also sold as part of a kit.
Additionally, the Syncron Service Cloud recently received the Skyhigh CloudTrust rating of enterprise-ready cloud services. Skyhigh Enterprise-Ready cloud services fully satisfy the most stringent requirements for data protection, identity verification, service security, business practices and legal protection. The Skyhigh CloudTrust came on the back of a successful ISO27001 certification, further strengthening Syncron as one of the most trustworthy and reliable solutions in the industry.
"It's more important than ever for manufacturers to adopt business practices and technologies that not only positively impact revenue and profit, but also the overall customer experience," added Lindholm. "As the demand for more advanced service business models and product uptime increases, Syncron is well positioned to enable the world's largest manufacturers to capitalise on this massive opportunity."