Machine manufacturer Esko is a globally integrated software and hardware solutions provider. Serving over 25,000 customers across over 140 countries, it produces the packaging for about 90% of the world’s major brands. Some of the more common challenges for service companies like Esko are the need for higher profitability, reducing travel times, and making customer response times as quick as possible.
Possibilities for improvement with XMReality visual assistance
As a global company, Esko has a large number of stakeholders; customers, partners and resellers. The goal is to enable those stakeholders to work as efficiently as possible and to reliably deliver packaging equipment. Esko is constantly on the lookout for the best and most efficient ways to do business – and ultimately to make their customers more satisfied.
Joris Van De Walle, who has been with Esko for over 30 years, is currently responsible for the company’s service in the EMEA region. He, along with Geert Uyttendaele reflects on the past year and highlights what has made the remote support a success.
Improved remote problem solving
Esko offers its equipment and support globally. In some regions, they offer support through resellers and partners, and in other regions, they offer support directly to the customers. In the regions supported by resellers and partners, the key relationship is not with Esko’s field engineers themselves, but rather with the partners’ and resellers’ technicians.
Some of the more common challenges for service companies in particular are the need for higher profitability, the need to reduce travel times, and a need to make customer response times as quick as possible. According to Van De Walle, these were the key improvement areas in mind when Esko embarked on a pilot project together with XMReality.
“In January 2021, Esko had 35 on-site visits and 46 remote resolutions. Since then, there has been a trend towards improved remote solving,” says Van De Walle. “This is because XMReality Remote Guidance works so much better than a phone call, for example, because you can literally point with your finger towards an issue.”
When a new support request arrives at Esko, the first task for first-line engineers is to contact the customer to assess the problem. Where this has previously been done over the phone this can now be done with XMReality Remote Guidance. If a cupboard door is improperly shut, or if a component is leaking, Esko’s first-line support can solve those issues instantly and remotely.
“Each person on the first-line team now has a PointPad,” says Uyttendaele. “That means that we have a team of people ready to guide customers to solutions.”
For resellers, spare parts are especially important. Many resellers don’t know which parts they need to order, or how many. While they can commonly identify the rough area where a machine has broken down, it takes expertise to advise on which specific parts are necessary.
“If,” continues Uyttendaele, “we have an issue in a country where we work with resellers, either our first-line or global support team can use XMReality Remote Guidance to guide them towards the solution to their particular problem, maybe installing a very specific part in a more complicated system.”
Improved remote resolution rate
When solving cases remotely, remote resolution rate is a key metric to keep an eye on. Esko measures remote resolution rate in its APAC, EMEA and North America regions. In the pilot, Esko found that XMReality enables quicker problem-solving.
“There have been some really nice actions done with XMReality on our global support team,” says Van De Walle. “For example, they did an installation fully remotely for the first time. This was during the coronavirus pandemic when people couldn’t travel. For several hours each day, they guided the customer step by step, all the way through to the successful implementation.”
This serves as a significant use case for Esko, especially when commissioning new products. The company cannot deploy more resources than what is available, but with increased efficiency, it can make better use of those resources. This allows Esko to, for example, help more resellers with their first installations.
Pre-installations are another area in which remote support has provided huge benefits. There are many checks to be done on the customer side, such as how to install Esko’s product on a particular press.
“Sometimes a lot of measurements are needed,” says Uytten-daele. “In this case, R&D created a drawing and took it to the customer. Then we started producing our product. We did the entire pre-installation phase with XMReality instead of traveling out to the customer. Less traveling is something that we want to see much more of, so that’s a huge benefit that this tool brings.”
Improved customer satisfaction
When it comes to operations, while all KPIs are important, perhaps the most important of all is customer satisfaction rate. This metric relates to how quickly and effectively problems are solved for customers.
“The most important thing for our own customers is that their problems get solved as quickly as possible, and XMReality has helped us to do that better,” says Van De Walle. “We haven’t yet run into a customer who doesn’t want to use it.”
Uyttendaele adds a closing remark: “After almost a year of using XMReality, we hope to see much more usage in the future. One of the keys to making it work is to leverage super-users. Making the transition from working the old way to working the new way is easier when there are advocates. We hope to have continued success so that we can share those stories internally for even more uptake.”
- Increased profit by improving remote resolution rate and reduced travel costs
- Improved customer satisfaction
- Decrease in customer response time
- Decrease faulty spare parts by improving the qualification process
How Esko uses XMReality Remote Guidance solution:
Resolve: troubleshoot and resolve issues for their global support team and first-line support
Qualification: identify spare parts needed before a site visit
Installation: commissioning and installation of a new machine on the customer site