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Remote Asset Management with Field Service 4.0 – A Game-Changer for SMB

The new dawn of the industrial revolution in the digital era has created an exciting space of products and services for small and medium-sized businesses. Field Service 4.0 has brought a digital transformation from reactive to proactive services. In fact, the field service management service has triggered many equipment manufacturers to reclaim the service relationship from distribution channels. This system is now being fostered by the Internet of Things or IoT, providing the relevant architecture for predictive services and proactive services. Among these many management systems, Remote Asset Management (RAM) has also been part of this IoT transfiguration. The web gateways, cloud applications, and sensors have transformed the entire landscape of such management systems. While such advanced technologies have been initially being used by only the large-scale organizations and financial institutions, today they have been proving beneficial for SMBs as well. This can be an ideal Game – Changer for SMB.

And how? Well, there are plenty of aspects and dimensions to look out for. So, let’s have a deeper look into it and see what exactly has made this possible.  

Remote Asset Management

Remote Asset Management or RAM is a system that lets you remotely monitor the assets, equipment, other work machinery and also looks after their maintenance. Remote Asset Management enables real-time analysis and acts as the communication channel between the several assets of the organization and the central monitoring system. Now with the integration of such a versatile system with the Internet of Things (IoT), it has taken a step ahead in terms of cost-effectiveness, security, and compatibility.

Large-scale organizations have been seen to utilize Remote Asset Management systems for better accessibility, improving the efficiency in operations and in turn driving their business. Not just them, but even for water waste management, smart commercial refrigeration, intelligent fleet management, in-depth network security, and several other complex systems have been seen to be practicing and benefitting from Remote Asset Management.

Did you know that the remote asset management market is projected to grow from USD 16.5 billion in 2020 to USD 32.6 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 14.6% during the forecast period?

Modern Field Service Management – Field Service 4.0

It is extremely important that the modernization of Field Service Management (FSM) should be on a similar page along with the digital transformation of the other fields of the business. Right from the optimized allocation of manpower to developing greater efficiency in the business operations, FSM has come a long way and has altered the landscape of the organizations. The FSM solutions have been able to streamline business processes, facilitate maintenance tasks, and improve reporting on the profitability of the services. Now with the help of IoT devices and a plethora of other digital applications, FSM is now able to gather real-time data of the field services and generate remarkable insights.

Over 42% of Field Service Organizations (FSOs) have already deployed the Internet of Things (IoT) into their business as of 2018. 31% of FSOs are set to deploy IoT in the next 2 years.

Efforts are being made to include analytical support along with the Business Intelligence to reach the next milestone in the Field Service Management. Through this, the remote asset management of the businesses can be made more effective and give them enough flexibility to function as per the trends. Together with IoT products and advanced digitalization technologies,  field services are capable of giving a competitive edge by increasing the revenues of the SMBs.

There are just a few things that need to be taken care of if SMBs are looking forward to this:

  1. Both RAM providers and FSM providers should review and uplift the capabilities of the organizations to increase remote monitoring functionalities.
  2. Equipment suppliers should create a holistic program from the call center to field service operator for remote monitoring services with business processes that include the channel partners and other external aspects of the organization. 
  3. More evaluation of the existing services and ease the remote condition monitoring facility by the service providers.
  4. The end customers should consider adding remote condition monitoring for complex equipment.

The global field service management (FSM) market size is expected to grow from USD 3.0 billion in 2020 to USD 5.1 billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.0% during the forecast period.

The Role of Technology

Earlier, many of the organizations and manufacturers used to face a challenging situation due to the lack of proper digital technologies and tools in the system that would provide ease in tracking and monitoring. But the integration of emerging technologies like Cloud applications, Global Positioning System (GPS), Near Field Communication (NFC), Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Sensors, Big Data Analytics along with Internet of Things (IoT) have paved the foundation for developing a much better and advanced version of the Remote Asset Management system. Augmented Reality(AR) assists the field technicians and operators to generate real-time data of the machinery and equipment required in servicing, enables remote collaboration, and seeks solutions to sudden problems experienced during servicing.  

With improved accuracy, extensive facilities, comprehensive features, and in-depth infographics the system has become an ‘asset’ for any business vertical. The increase in the usage of wireless communications technology across business operations has resulted in an increased demand for connected devices. The new video surveillance, automation, and tracking features have provided tremendous benefits for the manufacturers.

The Benefits

While there exist a huge number of benefits that can be achieved with the help of Field Service 4.0 solutions, let’s have a look at the most significant ones:

  1. The digital interferences and substantial data obtained from the field services have resulted in the emergence of top-notch business models and have brought tremendous changes in the existing ones too.
  2. This includes the elimination of the role of middlemen. The job that was earlier to be carried out by these middlemen is now much efficiently carried out by the Remote Asset Management solutions powered by FSM.
  3. The time period taken by these solutions to complete a business task or operations is very much less when compared to that of humans. This ends up saving tons of time and money at the same time with better productive outcomes.
  4. In the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, wherein it has become difficult to look after the entire management of the organization, the Remote Asset Management tools have come in handy.
  5. With magnificent scalability and accessibility from any device, anytime and from anywhere, there have been no issues with respect to the functioning of the business and the solutions have been able to manage every aspect of the organization. 
  6. There has been a rise in Industry as a Service, where the industries are not just manufacturing products but are also offering the services related to it. This convergence has blurred the borders between the industries and services.

The SMB Perspective

While large-scale organizations and businesses are already benefiting from the Remote Asset Management systems, the small and medium-scale businesses are still a few steps behind from using elite frameworks. There are plenty of reasons that contribute to this, but majorly it’s because of the lack of remote asset management solution providers and high operating costs. Some of the businesses have overcome these difficulties and the entire system has proven to be a boon for their organization. The improved usage of such digital technologies has been fruitful for them-generating large profits and elevating their business productivity. In fact, the small and medium-sized business segments are projected to grow at a much higher CAGR during the forecast period. Majorly, this is because most of these businesses are very well aware of the advantages the large-scale industries are experiencing and there is an ultimate need for remote asset management solutions across the verticals they are working.

What are the most important elements of an asset-intensive business? Maintenance, Repair, and Operations of the assets! For the SMBs to flourish and reach the next mile in their domains, Remote Asset Management has numerous progressive features such as Asset Performance Management (APM), Asset Condition Monitoring(ACT), Real-Time Location System(RTLS), Mobile Workforce Management(MWM), analytics, security, predictive maintenance, warehouse and inventory management and much more. Further, when SMBs will utilize AR practices, they can work remotely and offer services from their own locations. All these features are capable of minimizing the risks, reducing operating costs, integrating financial databases, and providing mobility to the business operations.

Let’s have a look at some of the prestigious advantages that Remote Asset Management has provided them:

  1. Remote Monitoring

Irrespective of being in any corner of the world, you can have an in-depth view and total analysis of all the operations and processing going on in your business. Not just that, but the remote asset management also checks for the necessary blunders and rectifies them in time. The operating parameters automatically trigger alerts and give immediate service response to the issues developed. This way the system mitigates the errors to a large extent and increases the overall efficiency of the working architecture. The strong sensing and analytical-based tracking solutions further assist in monitoring the equipment in locations where even humans can’t intervene.

2. Extensive Collaboration

The supreme features of Remote Asset Management allow the collaborations of SMBs to provide support to large-scale enterprises across the globe. Such things that were earlier limited to global industries like banking, telecom, etc. can now be leveraged by manufacturers as well. The rapid adoption of such technologies by SMBs will accelerate their growth and play a key role in the global market segment.

3. Service Uptime

The system aims at improving the productivity of the entire business operations and it takes care of the uptime as well. It performs risk audits and calculates the losses during downtime. The increased reliability, maintenance engineering, and WIP inventory have helped to mitigate the risk of downtime. It has an eye on all the other systems and equipment of your organization, thereby even a small error can be detected easily and the installed sensors resolve the issue then and there in no time. It measures the performance of every asset accordingly and helps in the decision-making process too.

4. Machine Control

For SMBs, a wide range of machinery and tools that help in the production of supplies or keep an efficient supply of the services. The Remote  Asset Management system has an inbuilt machine control unit that closely tracks every activity of these tools and controls them as per the ideal layout without any assistance. The system also effectively manages the maintenance of this machinery and displays other significant insights from daily analysis.  

5. Energy and Cost Savings

There is no need for any extra manpower or other resources once an all-round Remote Asset Management system is installed and implemented in any organization. This helps businesses to save tons of money on manpower and energy utilization. The adoption of low-cost IoT-enabled remote asset management solutions and brilliant usage of predictive maintenance has proven a turning point for the optimization of the asset life cycle. There has been a large growth in the maximization of ROI of the existing asset base.

6. User Comfort

The system is completely user-friendly and comes at the utmost convenience. With such major technological aspects added into the system, each day it’s becoming convenient and easier for the user to bring the best out of it. The ultimate visibility, traceability, and the new dimensions of digital maintenance have provided better flexibility to the working structure of SMBs.

More than 65% of the manufacturers have started to implement IoT asset tracking solutions to improve asset ROI.

Challenges

Installing a Remote Asset Management system is just the stepping stone towards the betterment of the business architecture and giving them a digital touch. But the actual test lies in overcoming the challenges and turning them into privileges for the organization.

  1. Choosing the right RAM system as per the business model is a huge task. There are plenty of factors to consider such as the equipment, and machinery involved, size of the asset base and customer base, along with the departments wherein a RAM system needs to be involved.

  2. Remotely monitoring of the existing assets in one of the many situations might not give a complete idea of the situations prevailing. In such cases, you do have to understand that digital technology is just a medium, but a physical presence is equally important.

  3. Before even having a thought about RAM systems, every organization has to look after the finances. A complete analysis of the entire asset base will give an exact picture to choose the most cost-effective choices. DO not unnecessarily implement field services solutions where there’s very less requirement of such solutions.

  4. Establishing a system approach while implementing the solutions such that business does not divert from its original targets and works towards providing a better customer experience, enhanced productivity, and positive revenue growth.    

New Ray of Hope

As each day passes by, there have been new additions to Remote Asset Management and the providers are consistently working towards providing an effortless experience to the users. With the introduction of Field Service, a mature and comprehensive solution has been integrated with the RAM system which has been a critical link for SMBs to adapt and progress with the changing market structure. As we all know that there’s always scope for betterment, irrespective of the outstanding benefits currently experienced from Remote Asset Management, their Business Automation processes and asset KPIs will evolve with time. Field Service 4.0 has various dimensions of new technologies to offer and hold the capability to transform the existing business models, creating a deep and ever-lasting impact on them. 

About the Author

The Author Mr. Vishal Nair can be contacted @ 
Mobile : +91 96268 52558 & 
E- mail : vishalnairm@gmail.com