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June 25, 2020

Devising an IoT strategy - Where to start with IoT

Business Advice | 4 minute read

The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way we live our lives, with smart tech taking over everything we do. However, have you thought about how IoT can improve the way your field service business maintains customer assets and infrastructure?

Being able to monitor and maintain your customer’s assets remotely, can benefit your field service business in many ways. For example, it will make it easier for you and your team to catch faults and alerts early, reducing the risk of serious damage to products or building infrastructure. It can also help your business transition from a reactive maintenance (break-fix) or planned preventative maintenance (PPM) service model to a condition-based maintenance (CBM) service model.

If you are looking to adopt IoT you should take the time to fully research the effect it will have on your business, workflows and customers. Let’s take a look at the four steps you should take to create an IoT strategy for your business.

1: Review Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to incorporate the specifics of IoT

As you are monitoring customer assets remotely, you will need to look at the SLAs you have in place for each customer. This may mean adding new SLAs or updating the current agreements you have in place. For example, be cautious when nominating response times. If you nominate a one hour response time, will you be able to maintain that if an asset fails at 2am? You may also need to consider if you have enough staff in the field to meet your SLAs. Will you need to change the rate you charge your customers for after hours attendance or do you need estimators on call to quote for any asset failures? Being clear and concise with your customers will prevent any confusion once you start remote monitoring.

2: Help customers understand what and how assets will be monitored

There is such a thing as too much data. Helping your customers understand what they should be monitoring and why, will help alleviate data fatigue. Understanding their needs will help when drawing up your contracts and help to guide your customers when deciding what to measure. Being able to recommend assets or infrastructure to monitor will ensure your customers get the most out of IoT and remote monitoring. Providing key insights that are actionable will allow you and your customers to determine what action needs to be taken when an asset fails or falls outside of performance or safety parameters.

3: Choose your IoT technology wisely

When you start on your IoT journey there are key questions you should consider:

  • Is your IoT technology open architecture?
  • Can it be used by anyone?

When considering the technology you want to use to enable your new IoT-based contracts, it is important to go for a solution that doesn’t lock you into their technology and individual reporting dashboards. Instead, look for something that will allow you to transmit, ingest and allocate third party technology into a single dashboard, such as simPRO IoT. This will help you oversee all assets in one place and provide your customers with a standardized, easy to understand reporting system.

4: Explain the key benefits of condition-based maintenance to your customers

It’s important your customers have a clear vision of what you are trying to achieve and how IoT will benefit their business and enhance your customer service. For example:

  • Increased uptime of assets
  • Reduced business interruption
  • Cost savings as unnecessary visits will no longer be needed
  • Keeping assets running in peak condition for longer

Introducing the simPRO IoT add-on into your field service business will allow you to monitor all sensor data from your customer’s assets remotely within simPRO on one dashboard. When a fault is triggered you can create a job, schedule field service staff and alert them via simPRO Mobile, offering you a full 360 degree cloud solution.

If your customers are still unsure about IoT and condition-based maintenance you can always start with a basic or simPRO IoT Introduction Pack to get them and yourself familiar with the hardware, where to place it and the results you will get. The Introduction Pack is a cost effective way to start your customers on their IoT journey and gives you capacity to later upgrade to other more specific packs.

Want to find out how simPRO IoT can benefit you and your customers? Visit our dedicated IoT page to learn more.

Want to dive deeper into IoT, how it will impact the maintenance industry and the benefits for you and your customers? Download our FREE eBook here.

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