Building owners and facility managers have found significant benefits from cloud-enabling their Building Management Solutions (BMS). By connecting the BMS solutions for their equipment to the cloud, they can effectively be aggregated into a single control and management plane, making it easier to monitor, manage, and maintain.
What about the OEMs that manufacture that equipment? All of this data is being generated by the BMS solutions, but they’re not harvesting any of it.
Whether they realize it or not, there are significant benefits that OEMs can realize from harvesting the data of their equipment out in the field, and the cloud could help to bring it to them. By cloud-enabling their equipment and harvesting their equipment data, OEMs can improve multiple aspects of their operations, become more proactive, and have better customer relationships.
Here are three good reasons why OEMs should want to cloud-enable their solutions:
An eye inside
For years, the adage was “no news is good news”. After equipment is installed, hearing from the customer implies a problem or defect. No news = working systems.
Today, equipment with external data ports for communication with local management systems are becoming routine. The data about equipment, how it’s performing, how much use it’s getting, how often it’s being maintained, is available to the OEM, but it’s not getting to them.
The cloud connects the OEM with that data.
Rather than monitoring one piece of equipment, the cloud makes it possible for OEMs to monitor every piece of equipment they sell and install. All of that data is accessible via the browser on a computer or mobile device. This enables them to see inside the field and their products without leaving the office.
Faster service calls and quicker resolution
With cloud-based connectivity to installed equipment, manufacturers can dramatically improve customer service. The ability for a technician or knowledgeable support person to remotely connect to field-installed equipment and assess the state of operations can dramatically shorten time to resolution.
At the end of the day, the customer wants the equipment running properly. Rolling a truck and technician takes time and money for the OEM and their customer. When equipment is down, productivity is lost. If remote access can save a fraction of truck-rolls and get the equipment back online faster, both the OEM and their customer are happier.
Better (more proactive) service calls
While remote access is crucial, the reality is that things break, particularly industrial equipment with heavy workloads. It’s often necessary to send a technician onsite to accomplish repairs or maintenance.
Cloud-connected devices can improve the outcomes of truck-rolls and at the same time improve the customer’s satisfaction with the service they receive.
Connected equipment provides basic “heartbeat” data to the cloud that shows the OEM that it’s functioning and operating optimally. This basic information is enough for the manufacturer to become proactive in its support activities.
If the equipment is shown to be “in alarm,” the OEM can automatically log a support incident and have a support person to track down the issue. That support person can proactively reach out to the on-site contact, or to the reseller or field installation company tasked with providing support, and notify them of a problem.
Should a truck need to be dispatched, the OEM already knows exactly what the problem is and, more importantly, what skills and parts are needed to resolve the issue. By some reports, 1 in 7 truck rolls, an astonishing 15 percent, result in a second visit within 30 days simply because the wrong person or part is sent to the field.
Cloud-enabling equipment is beneficial to the end-user. Although some OEMs may be reluctant to change something that has worked for so long, they will realize significant benefits from the cloud. Better service, proactivity, and insight are all within reach by making equipment network and cloud-enabled.