A Three-Step Model To Digital Transformation: An IoT And Field Service Story

Lisa James

Last year, Hoerbiger, a leading player in the field of compression technology, drive technology, and hydraulics, shared its digital transformation story for improving field service. Hoerbiger’s compression technology division leases approximately 400 wellhead compressor units (WHC) offsite, which require regular service checkups.

Hoerbiger decided to go digital with its processes and needed more visibility into its units. The company also needed to eliminate manual tasks and reduce wasted time spent by its field service technicians.

Mapping paths: Three-step model to digital transformation

1. Get connected

One big challenge Hoerbiger faced was that its units were located far away from its workshops. The field technicians spent a large amount of wasted time traveling daily to worksites to perform routine checks and ensure the machines were in working order.

The service level agreements between Hoerbiger and its customers were performance-based, so it was critical to reduce any downtime of these compressor units. By collecting data from the units’ IoT sensors, Hoerbiger was able to perform remote monitoring of health scores without requiring technicians to go onsite.

By helping the field technicians stay connected to the units’ performance, the company saved an average of two to three hours of time, allowing them to also resolve any potential issues much quicker, translating into better customer service.

2. Monitor and maintain

Hoerbiger was also challenged by how to get value from the data generated by the remote monitoring of its units. By leveraging a service cloud that integrated maintenance into the cloud, it was able to monitor the maintenance activities of the sensors in its units.

Whenever a unit was failing, a ticket was automatically created in the maintenance platform and assigned to the field service technician responsible for performing repair activities. This transformed a fully manual process that involved maintaining excel sheets into a truly digital process.

3. Integrate to the back end

Hoerbiger realized that going digital not only meant managing the performance of its units in the cloud, it also meant integrating a full end-to-end process with their backend systems. Specifically, this meant assimilating its billing process.

The company leveraged its current ERP system for the full connected process into billing, and are now able to systematically show KPIs that were formerly calculated via multiple spreadsheets. Customers can also able approve monthly billing in an app and transfer the data back into the ERP system.

By going digital and following this three-step model to digital transformation, Hoerbiger has already realized multiple benefits, including workforce and stock optimization, automation of processes through IoT, mobility for field service technicians, faster reaction to machine failures, reduction of manual data entry, and automated billing with direct integration to ERP.

The end result is better operations and better customer service.

To learn more about Hoerbiger’s transformation story, click here.

This article originally appeared on The Future of Customer Engagment and Commerce.


Lisa James

About Lisa James

Lisa James develops suitable strategy, messaging and positioning to support respective business and pipeline objectives for SAP Hybris solutions. She is an expert and recognized thought leader and evangelist inside SAP, influencing internal solution innovations, core marketing strategies, and external company perception.