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Supply Chain & Reverse Logistics

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I have a confession: I don’t write about parts management much because it isn’t exciting to me. I was a Psychology major in college and I just incline for many reasons to the “people” stuff. Leadership effectiveness, change management, sales and service strategy, innovation and transformation? Love it. Parts management? Meh. Why am I telling you this? Because it’s a shortcoming I’m owning up to – and also because it isn’t just me that is…

I’ve been learning recently about some of the unique pressures that utilities, especially in the U.K., face. As most of you know, my coverage of service has always been from a horizontal perspective – and I do believe that the majority of the challenges and opportunities for service-based business are shared from industry to industry. That said, there are of course intricacies to each industry – and I’m learning that for utilities specifically the journey…

As we say so often here, businesses that offer service have been—and will remain—the lifeblood of our economy. Service powers growth around the world, and it is the engine that enables a swift and complete recovery in the face of social, environmental, and economic challenges. It’s safe to assume that many service-oriented organizations are postponing any software purchases until they have a better sense of business continuity in the face of today’s current crisis, and…

It’s been an honor to be at the helm of Future of Field Service in 2019, and a pleasure to watch it grow. Since it’s inception at the very end of 2018, we’ve had immense support and interest from the industry – so thank you for that! I’m very passionate about giving the service community a platform to share, learn, and grow and I’m thankful for the opportunity Future of Field Service gives to do…

Last week I was invited to give a keynote presentation at DHL’s The Future of The Services Supply Chain event at the company’s brand-new Americas Innovation Center in Chicago. The 28,000-square foot facility featuring hands-on displays of cutting-edge technologies such as robotics, 3D printing, augmented and virtual reality, and many more was quite impressive. DHL put together a great lineup of speakers for a day full of learning, networking, and experiencing the interactive displaces the…

Last week at the Service Council Symposium, I had the opportunity to host a roundtable discussion with several service leaders on the topic of the service supply chain and reverse logistics. As we went around the room and each person shared the current state of parts management across their organization, I couldn’t help my surprise at the immaturity of some of their systems. This reinforced a belief that I’ve had for a long time: When…

For businesses competing in the service space, it’s easy to get caught up in managing your workforce, routing, and order management, but just as important is how serviceable assets and parts move both to and from a customer’s site. Organizations have struggled with mapping and managing Reverse Logistics in the past, but new technologies and a thoughtful understanding of your business makes these processes increasingly manageable, leading to a state of relative maturity among reverse…

It’s easy for organizations to think about reverse logistics as parts management in reverse, and because of that, many firms settle on a boilerplate parts management solution and expect it to manage the dense cloud of inventory challenges that reverse logistics represents. Reverse logistics is much more than returns, though. For most service firms, it’s removing an asset or part from a customer, the act of repair or replacement, and getting that part back. It’s…

I wrote an article on day one of PTC’s LiveWorx19 event last week that discussed what I heard during the keynote: an acknowledgement of the complexity of the digital transformation journey. I find it refreshing when executives within the technology community seem to genuinely appreciate how significant of a shift is really taking place in service and own the fact that the transformation isn’t just about the technology, but about really re-engineering the business from…

Amazon has put its hands into a great many cookie jars over the last two and a half decades — from bookseller, to big box store, to technology company, to seller of behavior data. Amazon has long since expanded its brand cachet, its recent acquisitions showing a desire to disseminate itself from the moniker of “Seattle-based monolith” into our local neighborhoods through grocery stores and, improbably, brick-and-mortar bookstores. To further cement that local presence, in…