Industries are investing billions of dollars in assets and are facing challenges monitoring those assets. The health of an asset is critical and it hugely impacts the business process. It is essential to keep track of where the asset is, what it is doing and in what condition it is performing. Thus, Asset Management becomes challenging and expensive.
With IoT-based Smart Asset Monitoring Solution, we can increase asset reliability, extend asset life, ensure it is not abused and reduce the maintenance cost with predictive maintenance. There are a lot of case studies or examples of new cutting edge solutions using IoT technology demonstrating better asset control. However, there is very little in-depth understanding of what exactly goes into building an end-to-end solution. Companies or executives looking at these examples, begin to think IoT solution as magic pill for overcoming their business challenges. More often none of these examples talk in detail about the various factors that need to be considered. There is no formula or fixed route for getting better Return on Investments (RoI) or Return on Assets (RoA) with IoT solutions.
This paper is a continuation of the previous whitepaper on Re-imagining Asset Management with Internet of Things (IoT). It provides guidelines and addresses the important aspects to consider while implementing a Smart Asset Management Solution. The paper further explains with a case study on how you can realize value from Smart Asset Management and increase your ROA. This is a solution implemented for a leading Crane Rental company in the United States.
The following guidelines can be considered as a good starting point for an effective asset management solution strategy and adoption:
Some of the common challenges are:
Implementing a Smart Asset Monitoring system doesn’t automatically bring higher ROA and better contributions to company’s income. Realizing value from such solutions is a highly focused initiative and depends on three things primarily:
Data handling is of prima facie importance to realize value from Smart Asset Management. The GPS devices can send location data, driving data, usage data, geo-fenced applications can send real-time alerts and maintenance requests can be automated. However, all of this will result in returns only when the organization can knit the data together to understand the patterns, constraints, and impact. Analytic capabilities play a major role in this and depending on the type of asset or type of monitoring requirement and latency needed, data analytics can be in realtime, at the transactional level or at the enterprise BI level. A study conducted by Cisco shows that 40% of the respondents believe that they need to improve their data capturing, storing and analyzing capabilities need to be improved to make effective use of IoT solutions. Thus, It is safe to say, the return on assets (RoA) with IoT based Smart Asset Management entirely depends on the data collection, data integration and data processing.
They were plagued by disconnected systems, manual error-prone processes, poor planning and zero operational visibility. The management had challenges in identifying the asset lifetime value and there was revenue loss due to inaccurate billing to the customers. The legacy systems and processes of the company made it difficult to track and manage the utilization of these assets and thereby, leaving a lot of scope for efficiency improvement. The company embarked on a digital transformation journey by building a digital platform and Smart Asset Management solution.
A two-year roadmap was created for the company, to entirely re-architect their systems with different technology components comprising cloud, mobile and IoT. They looked at Smart Asset Management solution along with the other mobile and technology initiatives. The business had a vision of offering Lifting as a Service ultimately combining their cranes (product) and to offer them as a service for meeting the lifting requirements of their customers.
With the Smart Asset Management solution, the company is successfully able to achieve realtime equipment tracking, geo-fenced alerts and increase asset utilization. The dynamic dashboards for CXO users and operation users helped in fuel and route optimization, rightsizing inventory, better forecast and yard automation. The entire maintenance process for the cranes has been transformed to a more predictive and automated maintenance based on the crane’s usage and condition. With these systems in place, now they are moving to track advanced telemetry data like the load lifted by the cranes, operating condition of the cranes and dynamic insurance for cranes.
The Company has started reaping benefits in terms of process efficiencies and eliminated data inaccuracies. They are now able to identify which assets are bringing in more returns and business is looking at introducing dynamic pricing for their on-demand assets. Similarly, the poor performing assets can be sold to reduce the cost incurred on them. The digital transformation is an incremental journey and the company is in the right direction to get ahead of their competition.
The benefit of Smart Asset Management solution is endless and depends on the organization how they use it. Understanding the implementation of a solution like this will be in multiple phases starting from phases like measurement, automation, innovation, and transformation. They can use it for simply tracking assets to pinpoint where you need to reduce unforeseen delays or time lost, reducing theft or pilferage of assets, making sure that the right asset is at the right place at the right time to increase customer experience.
The Smart Asset Management solution can be utilized for automatic reorders to ensure continuous availability of the asset and for optimizing operations like shipping route, route fuel usage etc. It provides help in rightsizing assets to avoid unnecessary cost and can be used for better regulatory compliance. Assets can manage themselves by requesting maintenance and the smart solution helps in improving first time fix rates. There is a huge scope of improving asset uptime with predictive maintenance and better planning of the asset sale/resale decisions to increase lifetime value.