Today’s technology manufacturers setting out to optimize management and tracking of their service delivery lifecycles are confronted with many challenges. For most, the complex nature of the service delivery ecosystem is the hardest to overcome.  Global supply chain networks, disparate data sources, fragmented systems, and high volume and varieties of contract data each create a barrier to an  otherwise profitable annuity source.

In order to identify a workable solution, manufacturers must first identify where the difficulties lay in their current service delivery and renewal process. More often than not, the barriers to success are not what they initially thought them to be.

Below are the Top 5 Challenges that impair the success of a manufacturers (and channel providers) service delivery and renewal program.

  1. Rudimentary Tools – Rudimentary tools, like Excel sheets or homegrown applications, fail to take into account the data necessary to properly track service and product lifecycles. Lacking integration and automation capabilities, data and processes are reliant on manual intervention which keeps the operational cost of management high and the rate of renewal capture low.
  2. Fragmented Systems – With key service data housed in a variety of systems – not only in a manufacturer’s internal systems, but in its channel partners’ systems – it is nearly impossible to garner a ‘cradle to grave’ view of service and product lifecycles. The result is poor data quality and incomplete views of service renewal opportunity.
  3. Data Volume, Variety and Velocity –  Off the shelf or homegrown applications do not keep up with the challenges of tracking, managing, and automating processes around large amounts of service and product data. With many variables to manage, including varying contract types, service start /end-dates, varying coverage, and billing options, etc. Manufacturers are turning to solutions that can be tailored to accommodate the complex needs of their business and their channel.
  4. Channel-Ready Access – Due to the complexity of a channel sales model and the requirement of extending business processes beyond a manufacturer’s own direct sales team, manufacturers are turning to tools that provide their downline customers with channel-ready access to critical service and product data, and also facilitate processes around quoting, renewals, and ongoing support.
  5. Poor Reporting – Reporting capabilities are critical to accurately manage the performance of the supply chain – including product sales, renewal and attach rates, registration rates, etc. Without an integrated solution to track service delivery lifecycles, manufacturers are left guessing rather than accurately predicting upcoming service revenues performance.

For global Technology Manufacturers and Service Providers with large and complex service ecosystems, the most likely answer will not be in an off-the-shelf solution, but rather in a contract management and quote automation system that is tailored to their unique needs and internal /channel complexities.