Digital Twin for Performance – Solving for the Last Mile of Service

Digital Twins are one of Gartner’s identified most disruptive technologies for the next decade. However, they have been used for a number of years now. Digital twins have been successful in supporting product design, product manufacturing, and more recently product performance and servicing. The question now is “how do we use digital twins to support the last mile service”? This is the nexus of where navigating complexity, training, and decision support needs create a force-multiplier for businesses who adopt and embrace these technologies. Ultimately it will impact the brand’s position in the marketplace.

There are a multitude of factors that must be considered in supporting today’s workforce.  Everything from a multi-generational and aging workforce, the increase in complexity of tasks and equipment, digital transformation, COVID-19, disparate locations and lack of standardization of decision support to just name a few. To solve the last mile of performance using digital twins, there are four key accommodating attributes that must be addressed and answered by both your technology and processes.

Accessibility

Accessibility is the first area to address.  Is the workforce able to access information and support in their daily work – think connectivity?  An organization may have the great content and support material, but if no one can access it, it does not matter. 

Relevant

As an employee, is the experience personalized for me?  Spending time sorting through information that is not relevant creates frustration in your employees and could lead to lower engagement and job performance.  Today many aspects of our personal lives are personalized.  When we visit Amazon or Netflix, suggested content shows up that has been personalized based on a multitude of data insights that are known about you, your habits, your attitude, and preferences. Why should it be different at the job site?

Context

As an employee, am I able to access content and decision support materials in the context of my current work environment– think in the flow of work?  Today, many people search for support information while carrying on a variety of different activities.  For example, in the process of changing a headlamp on your vehicle, you can search YouTube and find a video that will walk you through the installation.

Accurate

As an employee, do I trust the content and information that I am accessing – think source of truth?  If the information is considered inaccurate, employees will not use a system and revert back to old processes that have the potential to create negative impacts to the brand both financially and from a customer sentiment perspective.

Leveraging Digital Twins for last-mile service has the potential to be very powerful for an organization, but at the same time could be perceived as very complicated to users.  The key to adoption and adherence to using a digital twin is to make it approachable for both the end-user as well as the admins who manage the system. 

Organizations that are able to address these four attributes in their digital twin solutions will experience a more accurate and consistent delivery of their brand.  Their employees tend to be more engaged at a higher level at the same time experiencing a reduced turnover rate.

In our next installation of “Digital Twin for Performance – Solving for the last mile of service,” we will begin to break down the key attributes in order to operationalize the solution.

About the author

Written by Bud Parker, Founding Partner at Ingenium Plus
(Ingenium Plus is a Partner of Siemens Digital Industries Software)

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/energy-utilities/2022/06/23/digital-twin-for-performance-solving-for-the-last-mile-of-service/