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The construction industry has become increasingly reliant upon connected data through the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) has even produced an ISO-certified data schema for exchanging worksite data from connected assets independent of manufacturer.

Industry leaders such as Caterpillar, Volvo Construction, Deere and Komatsu are making significant investments in connected sensors to collect data on engine performance, machine operations, asset tracking, power and fuel usage, idle time and fault codes and other information. However, like many other industries with increasing amounts of connected assets and growing concerns about downtime and total cost of ownership, the construction industry has had limited success in truly leveraging this information to its fullest potential.

Several OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) have built “health portals” where users can see equipment status and operational statistics as well as receive alerts on specific issues. Instead of this resulting in a collaborative service supply chain process, it typically kicks off a series of phones calls and emails and OEMs, dealers, contractors, lessors/renters and fleets all looking for additional information within multiple internal legacy applications. They can spend more time tracking down information, coordinating schedules and approving work orders than they do repairing the equipment.

The participants in the construction service supply chain should consider deploying Service Relationship Management (SRM) to maximize their investments in IIoT and legacy applications. SRM reduces downtime, lowers administrative costs and increases productivity through a closed-loop, collaborative, and highly effective approach to information sharing. SRM minimizes process change by enabling continued use of current legacy and mobile applications by leveraging its extensive integration framework.

Driving uptime, reducing total cost of ownership

Although unscheduled downtime will inevitably occur, SRM can eliminate the typical headaches, stress and productivity challenges associated with these events. Communication between construction teams, machine operators, equipment manufacturers and others can end up becoming an unnecessary fire drill that costs precious time and resources. SRM allows team members to more easily communicate and collaborate on the problem in real time, access and share critical information and streamline data capture at the point of service. The result is proactive, fast decision-making that leads to appropriate, timely and less costly repairs.

Connecting the service supply chain

SRM connects the people, processes, information and systems – at the point of service. Everyone involved in the service supply chain, from equipment operators and manufacturers to construction managers and foremen, can leverage in-context, real-time access to sensor data, equipment service history, maintenance status, warranty status, service bulletins, recalls and more.

SRM allows team members to receive automated alerts pertaining to important maintenance issues that can adversely impact their performance or availability. For example, if a backhoe malfunctions, the related sensors can automatically relay information detailing the component and fault related details. OEM or third party algorithms then assign a severity and suggest a likely cause and a proposed repair plan. SRM helps coordinate the required participants and related content to manage the actual service event. With SRM, manufacturers are immediately available for warranty or policy questions as well as technical support. Mobile technicians can perform inspections and communicate directly with notes and pictures.

Because SRM is cloud-based, this information can be accessed from any device, at any time, from anywhere. This makes SRM equally powerful for a manager on an office laptop or someone on-site using a mobile device. Communication barriers are overcome, as everything can be easily accessed through a single SRM portal.

Running on schedule

Construction companies are investing in IIoT to accumulate data that leads to better decisions and greater efficiency, but connected assets in themselves only scratch the surface. The data must be actionable in order to maximize ROI.

SRM provides that benefit by connecting the service supply chain in a streamlined manner that makes it easier for teams to get things done. Armed with valuable insight into the health, performance, service history and maintenance status of construction equipment, they’re able to reduce total cost of ownership and maximize asset availability to ensure operations remain running on schedule.

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