Connected field service uses IoT and field service technology to identify industrial equipment problems before they begin.

When your equipment works, your business works. And when your business works, you get happier customers and bigger profits. But think about those times when your equipment breaks down unexpectedly; you lose time and money fixing it, and you disappoint customers by having an unreliable service.

Enter connected field service, a new, more effective way to maintain your industrial equipment. In short, service becomes your business. By using devices that share information and analyzing data, we can predict when your equipment will break down, help prevent downtime, and solve existing problems.

Let’s take a look at how three industries are using this new technology to drive profits and build on customer satisfaction.

Industrial water pumps: Selling less, earning more

It sounds counterintuitive, but many companies in the industrial water pump industry have figured out how to make more money by not selling pumps—stay with us on this one. Like most businesses, those in the industrial water pump world want customers to buy spare parts from them for maintenance and repairs. But customers generally want to save money by buying third-party parts and either installing them on their own or hiring a third party.

So, these companies did something innovative: they stopped selling pumps and maintenance contracts. Instead, these companies worked with their dealer networks to sell hours of run-time and/or uptime, essentially renting out the equipment like a landlord rents out an apartment. And like any good landlord (i.e., not the kind who fixes a leak with duct tape), they then take charge of owning the maintenance and repair of the equipment—ensuring that only true OEM parts are used. In the end, customers also benefit because the pump is less likely to go down during peak pumping periods (i.e. mid-summer) because of preventive maintenance.

Oil drilling: Seeing into the future

Down time. It’s good for people, but pricey for businesses. When an oil drill shuts down unexpectedly during scheduled production, the drilling company loses production revenue and faces unplanned repair costs. But by using drill bit sensors for monitoring things like tooth surface and nozzle pressure, as well as to see which parts are damaged, engineers can predict the longevity of the drill bit and carry out preventative maintenance to reduce risk of lost revenue and non-productive operating expenses.

Consumer white goods: Prevention is key

Connected field service isn’t just for industrial equipment. Here’s a good way to decrease maintenance and repair costs in consumer appliances: build products that won’t need to be fixed. While the consumer white goods industry hasn’t invented completely unbreakable washing machines or dishwashers yet, they are certainly making great strides in the way they design their appliances to lessen repair needs. By aggregating and analyzing data from IoT sensors on the devices, their customer contact center, and their field service teams, manufacturers can identify points of failure so that the R&D team can focus on redesigning products to reduce future issues—and warranty claims.

In addition to reducing the amount and cost of warranty claims, this system can also increase alignment between the product, customer service, and field service teams who typically work in silos. While this sometimes can require a larger investment in organizational and technology changes, it’s usually worth it in the long run because of the warranty claim reduction.

What industry is next?

Well, that’s up to you. Connected field service has infinite applications that can transform an industry by using predictive technologies to identify a problem before it needs to be fixed, creating the ability to generate profit where it didn’t exist before and making service the center of the business.

Together with our alliances, Deloitte Digital helps companies transform customer service by decreasing downtime and increasing uptime of their assets—and we call that finding the holy grail. Read more about connected field service here