A smart and sleek revamp of Wärtsilä’s Online Services is set to make asset management everything it should be in the digital age - ultra-fast and super mobile with accurate data displayed according to user types. The best news? This 3rd generation customer platform is rolling out to customers this April.
In the digital age, riding the crest of competitiveness means delivering whatever it is that will make life easier for customers. As such, 2019 kicked off in a buzz of activity for the hard-working Wärtsilä Online Services team. They’ve spent over a year refining the 3rd generation Online Services experience with a keen focus on customers’ needs and usage.
The starting point for development was that the system must be mobile, transparent and accessible, explains Jyri Kulmala, Wärtsilä’s General Manager of Online Development. Especially for the latest generation of the so-called ‘digital natives’, there can be no compromise.
“The generation now entering working life expect data in their pocket any time, any place,” explains Kulmala. “And they expect to be able to access services and insights through the same channel.”
The revamped customer platform responds to the mobile age. Its ultra-lightweight operating system ensures that accurate data is available at a touch. As Kulmala puts it, being thousands of miles out at sea is no excuse for data dark spots.
“The fact that both Wärtsilä and the customer can see the same, accurate data is crucial. It means that at a glance we can see what’s going on with our partners – with the benefit of knowing that the data never lies,” says Kulmala.
Improved self-service capabilities, reduced ticket handling time, and quick and efficient communication and troubleshooting are the outcomes.
An online chat function and push notifications are two more important features that also add value for the customer. As Kulmala points out, it makes it easier than ever to stay on top of your assets, ensuring that maintenance is up-to-date and on schedule – ultimately a huge money and time-saver.
The process of refining the whole offering has involved several rounds of customer feedback, explains Outi Korhonen, Wärtsilä’s Senior Manager, Online Services.
“We rolled out a pilot to a carefully selected cross-section of customers earlier in the year,” she says. “As a result we’ve actually changed the design that we originally thought would be good – especially as it relates to navigation, the way things look and where to find what.”
Specific feedback has been just as formative as general user experience, Korhonen adds.
“For example, now, all data for all assets can be found in one place – you don’t have to jump around if you’re managing multiple assets. There are no long clicking sequences – it is about keeping it simple,” she says.
The Online Services team is perhaps most excited about the platform’s new way of tailoring data displays according to four user types or “personas”. These personas were developed after years of researching the different types of workers using the digital service – from bridge personnel to admin staff – including what kind of data they access and how they view and use it.
“It’s now personalised per customer and per equipment – so only the latest, relevant things are visible,” says Kulmala.
This sort of design initiative was taken in response to a huge surge in the relevance of Wärtsilä’s Online Services as a whole. Online sales revenue has increased 41% year-on-year and the number of frequent users exceeds 2,000 a month.
“This tells us that 2018 really brought a sea change. Before, it was a flat 5% year-on-year increase and now we are seeing a truly exponential increase in online usage, even on our old platform. I only see this trend continuing,” he adds.
On top of this, there’s a vast amount of technical documentation read by Wärtsilä customers online – over 800 documents daily!
Responding to customer needs is a constant process, not just a one-off project. As a result, the team at Wärtsilä Online Services is always on their toes, keeping the customer platform changing and adapting to user needs while always retaining consistency, supporting collaboration and reducing manual work.
Smooth and efficient digitisation of services is essential to adding value for the customer and an absolute must, especially in the new world of smart marine.
“The old world was reactive. We no longer deal simply in what HAS happened. Our data and insights can tell us what is coming. The new world of online services is not just proactive – it’s predictive,” says Kulmala.
Meet us at:
Seatrade Cruise, stand 2061
9 - 11 April 2019, Miami
SeaAsia, stand B2-M09
9 - 11 April 2019, Singapore