By Vele Galovski, TSIA
Our world is becoming more connected, and the resulting digital transformation is impacting the way traditional healthcare equipment and technology companies operate. Is it time for your company to embrace the digital transformation and incorporate the Internet of Things (IoT) into your day-to-day operations?
In this new world, the data that can be collected from hardware has the potential to deliver more business value than the physical component. To navigate the transition from products to services and enter the age of IoT, a three-step approach can be used as a roadmap for companies that want a better understanding of how to use IoT capabilities to provide more value to their customers.
Step 1: Service Efficiency
Smart, connected products can capture and analyze data from your equipment on a customer site and remotely monitor their performance to spot issues as they arise. Many organizations believe this is the beginning and end to their digital transformation; however it’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Service efficiency capabilities can be part of your basic support tier, which are the traditional product-focused services that have always come with the purchase of your products. Cost savings are realized from dispatch avoidance, reduced first-visit repair times, and increased first-visit repair rates.
Step 2: Process Optimization
Where service efficiency focuses on making the resolution of both on-site and remote incidents quick and effective, process optimization looks to eliminate unplanned incidents altogether. The data collected on performance and actual usage patterns allows your service leaders to spot problem areas before they become serious enough to require a technician. Adding remote support capabilities and self-healing technology can also reduce the frequency of on-site service dispatches per customer.
Capabilities in this step can become part of your premium support tier, which are product- attached, proactive, and tech-supported resolution services that optimize customers’ processes. In addition, a new class of value-added services can be offered to help customers better manage complex technology.
Step 3: Customer Outcomes
The final step involves your service team working directly with your customers to help them improve their business outcomes. This requires a deep understanding of exactly what they want to accomplish and how your offers can help, proving their value.
The rise of the economic buyer and the shift to value-based care are two trends that will change the business model of healthcare technology companies. The shifting of new purchase decisions from clinician to economic buyer is deemphasizing new product feature innovations and creating a sharp focus on value realization from technology solutions. This trend will only be accelerated as reimbursement rates are increasingly tied to patient outcomes.
As you begin to consider how your company will respond to the opportunities posed by services in the age of IoT, it’s worth repeating that the growing capabilities of smart, connected products will deliver more business value than the physical product on customer premise. The fact remains that customers are changing the way they consume their technology, and how you respond to those changing expectations will make all the difference in your future success.
If you haven’t already started down this path, you are already behind. As healthcare technology companies struggle with profitable revenue growth, the time to successfully transition to a profitable new business model can take 8 to 10 years. The company that provides offerings that have the greatest impact on business outcomes will be in the best position to earn customer loyalty. Remember, there will always be someone ready to fill that need. Will it be your competitors, new entrants, or you?
About The Author
Vele Galovski is the vice president of field services research for TSIA. In this role, he works closely with member companies to deliver research and advisory programs focused on helping them optimize field service delivery and engineer profitable customer outcomes.