Industrial IoT transforms machine maintenance, and relationships

Jun 2, 2015 12:00:00 AM

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From proactive, reliable, affordable machine maintenance that helps companies make productive use of their machinery without unplanned interruptions, to transforming customer and vendor relationships with collaborative innovation and many possible equipment-as-a-service scenarios, the internet of things (IoT) enables an optimal customer experience within systems of engagement. When it comes to the machinery deployed in industrial and enterprise environments, many of the IoT advantages associated with real-time visibility and connectedness make so much sense that they will rapidly become what companies expect to see as a matter of course.

Machine management to enhance the customer experience

Customer-focused machine management requires machine manufacturers to provide IoT-connected machinery, which can provide a wealth of data related to its operating conditions, performance, and wear and tear. With the right reporting and analytical tools, that raw data can become meaningful and actionable for manufacturers and their customers. Once machinery is in the industrial IoT, machine manufacturers gain the ability to improve the customer experience by delivering timely, responsive support to keep machines in the best possible working condition and ensure that customers receive a high return from their investment.

There are many advantages to IoT-powered machine management. To begin with, it offers manufacturers and customers the opportunity to be fully informed about any aspect of a machine’s operation. Machine data can be centrally accessed and managed through companies’ ERP systems or specialized applications that integrate with them. In many cases, this will mean that manufacturers for the first time ever have real-time visibility of machine usage, performance, and behavior.

Increasing uptime, reducing costs

Informedness about actual machine operating conditions can help manufacturers perform more timely and proactive maintenance, addressing potential issues before they become problematic. Notifications from the IoT-connected machines can help avoid unplanned outages and achieve reductions in maintenance costs. As customers and manufacturers learn from the machines’ IoT data, they can also establish more effective schedules for regular maintenance and reduce the need for ad-hoc maintenance to a minimum. Predictive machine maintenance can become significantly less expensive and more reliable.

Customers who use connected machines in the industrial IoT can interact more directly and productively with the manufacturer, receiving targeted machine updates and performance enhancements, and ordering and receiving parts as they require them, without needless delays. Because machine documentation and user guidance can be downloaded and updated through the IoT right at each individual machine, user training and workers’ ability to use the machines properly can also become more effective.

Machine Maintenance

Incorporating collaboration into the customer experience

Much more becomes possible when machines join the industrial IoT. Machine manufacturers and their customers enjoy greater liberty to structure their relationships based on their goals. For example, they can collaborate more closely not just to ensure that a certain type of machine performs well and without interruption, but they can also use findings based on IoT data analysis to improve the next generation of the machines. Or, they can create a design that addresses specific business needs of an enterprise customer or a customer segment, without the exorbitant research and development costs that typically characterize custom improvements to machinery. Innovation can then take place more affordably and incrementally, throughout the life of a machine, not just in design phases in between releases.

Machines within the IoT can become the key components of a service, as opposed to a one-time, high investment. Many companies are already exploring service scenarios that become feasible and manageable with the IoT and the cloud. For instance, ownership of the machinery can remain with the machinery manufacturer while the customer is charged based on usage. For the customer, this reframes the costs associated with the machinery. Instead of capital expenses, they are now operating expenses. This trend is sometimes referred to as “servitization” or “equipment as a service” (EaaS).

In our next posts, we will take a closer look at three IoT-enabled usage scenarios that involve machine users and manufacturers.

Are you interested in extending your business with EaaS offerings? We should talk. If you like, send me a note through the form below or get in touch by contacting To-Increase

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About Author
Luciano Cunha

Luciano Cunha

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) For Luciano, being responsible for To-Increase’s global sales and marketing means unleashing the company’s insight, innovation, and creativity to tell our story and help customers achieve their goals. On the road much of the time, he travels the world to meet with customers, understand their challenges and ambitions, and find the most effective ways to help them advance. Luciano develops and mentors our marketing and sales team, and creates strategies to help the To-Increase worldwide partner channel thrive and grow.
Making Customer Needs the Main Business Driver Luciano and his team have daily conversations with the To-Increase research and development organization to bring customers’ requirements and concerns into the road maps and design of our solutions. Luciano brings his insight to the marketing group to make sure the company’s communications resonate with customers and speak directly to their experience.
“I’m awed by customers’ innovative spirit in taking business management technology past its limits and by their generosity in letting us participate and empower them. I hope to transform our organization to become even more customer-centric than we are today. That means making more resources available to spend productive time with both our customers and partners, so we can ensure that we place into customer businesses effective solutions that fit the evolutionary stage of their operation and the way their people and processes work.”
Empowering a Global Channel
Because To-Increase only sells through partners, readying the channel to be successful in helping customers is a business-critical effort. Luciano aims to meet partners where their interests are. Partners who consider the relationship with To-Increase strategic can rely on our industry specialists to work with them as they plan their growth and serve customers. If partners prefer a less collaborative relationship, they still receive the rich To-Increase expertise and resources to ensure they win the business, perform a successful deployment, and retain a satisfied customer. In working with partners and their customers, Luciano brings to bear his experience of many years of creating successful, customer-focused business development and marketing strategies in many of the world’s countries and regions.
Enabling Customer Success in Challenging Business Environments
Looking into the near future, Luciano expects that customers will continue to expect To-Increase to help them make business sense of unfolding trends and technologies. For example, the internet of things (IoT) will thoroughly revolutionize manufacturing, engineering, and supply chains. Big data will be meaningful and valuable when decision-makers can use technology solutions to transform it into actionable business intelligence that supports key roles and business processes. Mobility will help companies become digital enterprises and move business processes forward from any location, at any time. Team To-Increase harnesses innovation to help customers translate the promise of these technologies into business results.
Before his current role, Luciano for several years was one of To-Increase’s global industry directors, responsible for our industry solutions. His experience also spans more than 17 years in IT and manufacturing management roles. These positions took him into various areas at IBM Brazil, serving as product manager for several software development companies, and included working in senior management at a manufacturing organization in the U.S.
Luciano is married with two young children. Away from work, he enjoys participating in a soccer class together with his son and daughter as well as taking relaxing walks in natural environments with his family.

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