Across a wide range of industries, the past decade has ushered in great advances in computer hardware, software, sensors, and control systems. For most equipment and system manufacturers, however, diagnostic and troubleshooting methods have not kept pace with system growth and complexity. The result: longer system outages, costlier and more frequent service calls, and greater numbers of unhappy customers. While the “send someone to figure out what’s wrong” or “truck roll” approach to service might be the norm in many industries, customers and vendors alike are finding this dated approach both inadequate and unsustainable. The drawbacks of this conventional “Dispatch, then Diagnose” method of troubleshooting include:
- Unnecessary and expensive truck rolls, even though many problems could have been solved by the operator with proper guidance
- Long diagnosis time, since field technicians are dispatched without relevant information about the problem and have to start troubleshooting from scratch
- Inconsistent service quality, since success rate is highly dependent on field technician’s experience, familiarity with equipment, and skill level
- Multiple visits per service event, since service parts need to be procured and installed on a subsequent visit, leading to extended downtime
- Poor technician utilization, since travel time often exceeds the onsite time, and limits technicians to only two service calls per work day
The net result is lower quality of service and customer satisfaction with ever increasing cost of service.
An Innovation in Service
QSI has developed a new service methodology that effectively eliminates many, if not most, of the problems encountered with the traditional “Dispatch, then Diagnose” service model. This service methodology, termed “Diagnose Before Dispatch”, reduces the overall downtime and cost of service while significantly improving the Quality of Service and Customer Satisfaction over the conventional “Dispatch, then Diagnose” model.
The magic sauce powering this methodology is QSI’s reasoner technology, TEAMS-RDS that is used by NASA, the US Department of Defense, and, other Fortune 500 companies, for diagnosis and health management of large complex systems.
In many cases, the operator can perform the corrective action,thereby eliminating the need for a “truck roll”. The Call Center can also ship certain user-serviceable parts directly to the customer for them to install, instead of scheduling a technician visit, saving the customer time and money. In situations where a field technician visit is necessary, the list of possible causes is analyzed by TEAMS-RDS to anticipate and dispatch the service parts that may be necessary, along with the right skill, material, knowledge and tools so that the problem can be corrected in a single visit.
At the customer site, there is no need for the field technician to start over from the beginning. TEAMS-RDS picks up where the Call Center left off, and guides the technician with precise step-by-step instructions to ensure that the problem is diagnosed, fixed and service restored in the shortest possible time.
With Diagnose Before Dispatch, many problems are solved over the phone and the equipment is returned to service quickly. In instances where an onsite visit is necessary, the technician comes prepared with the right parts and knowledge, and is able to fix the equipment right the first time. This greatly improves the uptime, while reducing the cost of service.
|Unscheduled Downtime||Down 10 to 50%|
|QoS for New Products||Up 20 to 50%|
|Problems requiring field service||Down 30 to 50%|
|Spares used per service call||Down 50 to 70%|