Counter Uncertainty with Predictability Through Connected Services


Counter Uncertainty with Predictability Through Connected Services

The 2020 pandemic has driven many companies to move past piloting the integration of industrial internet of things (IIoT) technologies into their distribution and fulfillment (D&F) maintenance and operations (M&O) and into actual implementation. That’s because one of the biggest maintenance challenges in the current D&F environment is avoiding unplanned downtime.

With key equipment and assets ever more important and essential, the costs associated with downtime have risen significantly. How much? Up to 80 percent of organizations aren’t even sure, with many underestimating those costs by as much as 300 percent. Not only does that uncertainty make recovery from downtime much more difficult, it contributes to missed service level agreements (SLAs), damaged brand reputation and lost customer loyalty.

The answer? Connected services for M&O lifecycle management. By leveraging IIoT-connected assets via sensors and control system data, operations that require near-100 percent uptime can keep their key material handling equipment (MHE) running at the rates needed to keep pace with consumer demands.

The Value of Predictive Programs

Most companies operate without objective baseline data about the current health of their essential MHE. Understanding the intricacies of these systems typically falls within the purview of veteran technician staff members, who evaluate system condition by “feel” and whose insights are mostly undocumented or considered tribal knowledge.

The conversion of actual operational data into business value was studied by the Department of Energy (DOE) more than a decade ago. The ensuing report documented how the use of data in functional predictive maintenance programs delivers multiple benefits, including:

  • 10X return on investment
  • 25–30 percent reduction in maintenance costs
  • 70–75 percent elimination of equipment breakdowns
  • 35–40 percent decrease in downtime needed to perform maintenance
  • 20–25 percent increase in production

Partnering for Improved Connectivity

In the midst of tackling the day-to-day challenges posed by COVID-19, most companies realize they are not equipped to manage IIoT initiatives on their own. Therefore, many are choosing to partner with an experienced lifecycle management service provider to help them:

  • Define the scope and desired outcomes of the initiatives
  • Extract the benefits of a connected M&O strategy
  • Interpret data into actionable insights
  • Provide coaching on IIoT adoption
  • Hold internal stakeholders accountable for action items

Considering the diversity of D&F operations, a one-size-fits-all approach to lifecycle management isn’t realistic. Instead, a connected services partner can provide a framework for flexible commercial lifecycle management agreements that align with a company’s financial preferences and operational constraints.

Rather than incurring large intermittent expenses — typically from resolving major downtime issues — a partner can offer more predictable financial arrangements that may even flex with seasonal demand fluctuations and profit margins. Further, an experienced lifecycle management partner can help an operation evaluate its strengths and weaknesses and develop programs tailored to its preferences and business goals.

To learn more about how Honeywell Intelligrated can help you transition to a more predictive lifecycle management program — lowering your labor costs, increasing system reliability and uptime, and maximizing the utilization of your operations to meet current and future demands — read this On The Move article.

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