Photo by Ksenia Kudelkina
Photo by Ksenia Kudelkina

Sick of waiting for a technician to repair your company’s equipment?  Relying on connected devices is allowing companies to drastically reduce the wasted cost—in terms of time, productivity, and dollars—of customer callouts by allowing them to monitor their machines remotely.

Before implementing Internet of Things (IoT) technology, customers either had to schedule routine maintenance on a set schedule, or suffer lost productivity while waiting for a technician.

Here are three reasons sensors can improve your bottom line and send routine scheduled maintenance and customer callouts the way of the fax machine:

1. Customers can’t anticipate a breakdown.

More and more customers are leasing machines to keep their costs down, and that means they might not be aware of the warning signs that can alert them that a machine needs maintenance or repair. Utilizing sensors allows you to complete remote diagnostics to detect the status of machine conditions through a cloud-based platform. That provides advance warning and allows you to either troubleshoot remotely, walk a customer through a minor fix without sending a technician, or have the opportunity to provide maintenance before a malfunction occurs. Consider this example of how one company monitors the condition of rotating machinery by tracking vibration levels to avoid damaged machinery and unplanned shutdowns due to equipment failure. By monitoring remotely and fixing machinery proactively, you may be able to avoid a work stoppage altogether, or at the least, ensure the equipment is back in action faster.

2. Scheduled, routine visits are costly and ineffective

Visiting a site to give the “ok” to the machines is a waste of both money and time for the technician and the customer, but without routine maintenance, most manufacturers have no other way to check the status of their equipment. One company had previously averaged four proactive site visits per location per year for a single customer to maintain and fix equipment. That was resulting in over 1200 site visits for one customer! After implementing IoT remotely managed technology, the company has been able to substantially reduce the number of on-site visits required. While routine visits are ineffective, an emergency callout is no better: those variable costs can wreak havoc on a company’s bottom line

3. Downtime costs

Downtime costs are far more involved than just the lost productivity as employees wait for a technician to arrive and repair the equipment. An article by Bright Hub Project Management detailed the unexpected effects of downtime and their related costs, including such elements as:

  • Cost of spares, technician fees and other resources to restore the system;
  • Extra costs to start a machine, such as excessive power consumption during start-up
  • Cost of waste resulting from production line shutdowns
  • Late delivery surcharges for delayed shipments
  • Indirect costs related to loss of customer goodwill owing to inability to fulfill orders or low product availability in market.

Companies utilizing sensor-driven IoT devices can create value by cutting costs and streamlining efficiency.

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Carl Krupitzer

Carl is CEO and co-founder of ThingLogix

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