Security Business

FEB 2019

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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February 2019 / / Security Business 31 mobile app to tie them seamlessly into their field service management software and value chain. A progressive approach to enterprise technology is crucial. Company executives who said their enterprise software does a good job of preparing them for digital service contract administration indicated they were much better prepared than those who indicated their software prepared them poorly. According to DeVroy, digital technologies will replace cumbersome methods of subcontractor communications going forward. “Companies using subcontractors need to manage skills assessment, control the bid process, work authorization, subcontractor performance, invoice approval and not-to-exceed control,” he says. “Ideally, they want subcontractor invoice approval to be checked against subcontractor reimbursement rates, original order authorization, part reimbursements, and returns managed when appropriate.” Warranties and Reverse Logistics Among respondents selling and installing security and fire protection systems, 42 percent faced software gaps when it came to warranty repair work – saying their software supported this type of work “not very well” or that it “was an impediment.” Almost half, 48 percent, said their software performed “not very well” or was an impediment when it came to handling reverse logistics – the return of parts or materials from the field. Service contract administration becomes even more challenging when the terms and requirements of a contract are specific to each customer and subject to negotiation. Across all respondents, 30 percent of those who indicated their software did not adequately prepare them for digital service contract administration were offering customer-specific contracts. These results suggest that a strong digital strategy can enable a company to adapt to new market and customer demands while profitably delivering aftermarket services. Clear communication – beginning with the task of defining processes and ensuring the correct business process is followed, perhaps with configured workflow – is difficult without effective enterprise reverse logistics and repair software. Going Forward: Artificial Intelligence and 3D Printing While companies today work on aftermarket customer satisfaction and revenue, more progressive technology is coming. The study found that 25 percent of respondents predicted they will have IoT sensors that track component-level performance of products at customer sites in the field within the next five years, and that those components will be able to automatically dispatch a technician when needed. Looking 10 years into the future, 44 percent of respondents said they expect to have artificial intelligence in place for predictive maintenance and diagnostics. Perhaps more surprisingly, almost 33 percent said they expect to have 3D printers on technician vehicles to manufacture new parts on-site when needed, expediting the repair and logistics process. Another 30 percent predicted that field technicians will wear augmented reality glasses to give them on-site instructions on repair and service processes. ■ » Charles Rathmann is Senior Marketing Communications Analyst for software provider IFS, a company that develops enterprise software for service-focused operations, as well as manufacturers and distributors. Learn more at

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