While M2M is not new to many key areas of the manufacturing world (car companies have put in remote diagnostic systems in their vehicles for a while), it is starting to emerge as a way for companies to improve their bottom line.  For the purposes of this discussion, M2M can be done wirelessly, using a landline or satellite communication.

 Which manufacturers could benefit from an M2M solution?  

  • Any company that sells a device that is higher cost (usually in the thousands of dollars per unit) and has a long expected usage life.
  • Examples include:  Heavy machinery, large-scale printing machines, medical equipment and factory equipment and various turbine engines
  • The ROI gets even better if the company offers a service element to their sales model.

 Real-time information = less downtime

  • For many devices, they become a vital part of your customer’s daily business.  When the device goes down, it can mean that their business can come to a halt, hurting their bottom line.  In the case of medical equipment, it can be life-threatening.
  • By having increased visibility to your product, you are able to better predict possible issues, dispatching out your technicians as a pre-emptive measure.  
  • Finally, since many issues can be fixed through resets of your devices, you can lower down your rate of failure by bringing devices back on line faster.

 Improve your product design through accurate usage data

  • There was a great story that I heard at a recent trade event where a company building large agriculture equipment was debating some changes to the fuel tank size on their high-end machines.  Their theory, based on how they thought their devices were being used, was that a larger tank was required to prevent farmers from running out of fuel.  It turns out that they were totally off-base....most of their customers rarely went below 50% fuel capacity, and in fact, they could reduce the size of the tank (which saved weight/cost) and their customers would not be affected.
  • Determining the actual usage patterns can help to provide for better designs, which reduce possible failure points while allowing increased sales (first, through products that provide features that people actually want and by then allowing for better sales collateral/techniques to position the product in way that will appeal to the user base better)

 Know your flaws earlier through better pattern recognition

  • In a perfect world (and perhaps with the information provided by an M2M solution, we can get there!), there wouldn’t be any design flaws in a device.  We would know exactly how each device is going to be used, and we can improve the design of devices to the point where things do not fail prematurely.  
  • In reality, certain parts do wear out faster than expected, and this can put undue stress on your repair crews.  While an M2M solution will help you improve your design, real-time data will allow you to get better group data on a larger swath of devices, allowing you to see patterns long before it becomes an issue.
  • This allows you to be more proactive to your customers, preventing unwanted downtime and perhaps more costly warranty repairs/recalls.

 M2M can equal extra service revenue as well

  • For many of your customers, they are willing to pay extra if you provide a service that allows them to keep your devices running smoother.  It usually pays for itself quickly, and they can improve their business.
  • Combining an M2M solution with your existing programs for service can help to improve the revenue (i.e. increased monthly charges) while reducing your service delivery cost (as you can often eliminate unnecessary trips to your customers location when you repair issues over the air).

 How Novotech can help.....we offer the following components for your M2M needs:

  • All Hardware requirements (whether you build in connectivity into your device, or use a 3rd party device for connectivity)
  • Bundling together of all parts required to connect to your device
  • Hosting capabilities to view your devices
  • Easy integration of the M2M solution into your existing back-end systems
  • On-going management of your devices.

Be sure to drop us a note, to ask how we can help!