Service operations are expensive and time-consuming for every industry with products that must be maintained and repaired in the field. According to Field Technologies Online, 52 percent of service companies still perform operations manually.
Service is usually scheduled based on routine maintenance windows, not driven by actual need or business prioritization. That means human resources are taxed beyond what’s actually needed—technicians are sent to check products that are functioning normally and operators might not notice malfunctioning machines until they’ve failed.
IoT can optimize service operations by continuously monitoring products in the field and only delivering services if and when they’re needed.
Sensors keep track of use and status, reporting on excessive wear to warn of a possible failure before it happens. The data then generates a service call for preventive maintenance—much better than a repair call when the equipment breaks down. Technicians can access data remotely through an online portal, allowing them to perform analytics and uncover patterns in product performance.
According to recent research by Insight on IoT adoption across the field services industry, 73% of companies surveyed have incorporated IoT or plan to do so in the next 24 months to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
IoT application also reduces maintenance calls and greatly increases efficiency of field service operations, as 41% of those same companies have already implemented IoT to improve service processes and for product optimization.
IoT in Action
From pest control to restaurant cooking oil management to cleaning services, IoT solutions are providing enterprises with cost-effective field service operations. Here are a few examples:
Until now, pest control companies needed to send personnel to check rodent traps at regular intervals. Often, the traps haven’t been sprung and need no attention. Other times, they’ve sprung (with or without a successful catch) long before the scheduled check. To optimize efficiency, a Danish company partnered with Telit to create TrapMe, a cellular connected smart trap that’s connected to a cloud-based software portal.
Pest control personnel can remotely check the status of specific traps via the online portal to see which ones need attention. Gaining access to this data drastically reduces the number of required visits to the traps, saving the company both time and money.
Restaurant Technologies (RT) provides a complete oil management solution to more than 25,000 food service locations in 40 metropolitan markets across the U.S. RT wished to deploy a wireless telemetry system to deliver real-time usage updates from cooking oil tanks on customers’ sites and, as a result, streamline the routing and schedules of its drivers and field technicians. With an advanced cloud-based management portal built on the Telit IoT Platform , RT was able to provide a robust cloud-based access point for internal and customer visibility into oil management data —a capability that’s still unmatched in the industry today.
RT has realized the potential of machine-to-machine communication in field service operations, leveraging IoT technology to not only monitor its own equipment but also fryers and other smart equipment in the kitchen. This added intelligence has enabled new insights for restaurant owners and equipment suppliers that will improve quality control, compliance and, ultimately, drive cost savings.
A leader in the cleaning industry, Tennant provides high quality, sustainable solutions to a wide range of industries. To remain competitive in the marketplace, the company needed to develop a solution to address its customers’ demand to improve fleet management. When in-house IoT technology fell short, Tennant decided to rely on Telit technology and guidance to build an end-to-end IoT solution called the Intelligent Remote Information System (IRIS).
The advanced data collection and delivery capabilities of the IRIS solution are strong competitive differentiators for Tennant. The company increased sales in repair and replenishment service contracts because of its ability to provide comprehensive details on machine status and growing usage among its customers’ fleet managers. Tennant’s decision to build on Telit’s scalable Internet of Things platform enabled it to add more advanced functionality to the solution—such as predictive maintenance—throughout its lifecycle.
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