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Here are Industrial OEM priorities for 2020

What do four years feel like to you today? I am almost certain they feel like an eternity given what’s happening around us. A BCG report that came out this last week caught my attention & it perfectly sums up the sea change in priorities across the industrial OEM landscape through the last four years.

The survey was conducted in 2016 & now 2020 & benchmarked industrial products companies ie. those who manufacture heavy industrial equipment or the components that go into it, had a global presence & average annual revenue of about $3 billion.

Here’s are a couple of data points that stood out to me that I thought were worth sharing –

The top priority in 2016 is now at the bottom of the list

Predictive Maintenance was top of mind in 2016 for Industrial OEMs. Today, it languishes at the bottom of the pile. What really happened here? For those of you who’ve been in the trenches of aftermarket service, you’d have realized that predictive maintenance requires remote connectivity to equipment in the field. Without a live connection to the operational equipment, it is next to impossible to predict when a piece of equipment will come up for service or run the risk of downtime.

Predictive maintenance could succeed only with a successful implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT) where every equipment and module was connected back to your headquarters & aftermarket teams. IoT was just a buzzword back then & without a preceding wave of IoT adoption, there was no chance predictive maintenance could succeed. The situation still persists – we repeatedly hear from our customers that on an average less than 10% of their assets are IoT connected today.

With the social distancing norms in effect & the curveball that got delivered to industrial manufacturing, IoT will revive again & the rate of adoption will accelerate within the next few quarters. While that is a good thing for the industry in general, it will create a new challenge for all of us – the rise of big data in manufacturing.

Remote Connectivity is still far from reality

Smart Equipment & Remote Connectivity figure on the top 10 priorities list this year too – although in slightly altered form. With a measly 13% remote connectivity across the existing installed base, manufacturers are losing sight of the other 87% equipment that is out there.

The average new equipment connectivity is just 31% which means two-thirds of the new equipment is well on its way to being lost across the noise & the customer drifting away slowly over the years. I can personally vouch for this number given our vast experience working with global industrial manufacturing leaders. And I can also vouch for the phenomenal opportunities that present when an industrial manufacturer understands the state of their remote connectivity.

Through the IBDP, we’ve seen customers get visibility into missing connectivity & getting actionable insights to generate millions of dollars worth of opportunities for upgrading those remote locations. Think of Entytle’s IBDP as IoT for your unconnected machines.

Data is the highest priority for industrial manufacturers in 2020

Every single day we are clutching to numbers & statistics in ways that we had never imagined before. There’s barely an hour that goes by where someone, somewhere isn’t publishing COVID facts, industrial & supply chain stats & projecting scenarios that would play out over the course of the next few weeks & quarters. I am strongly in support of this and here’s my rationale – we can’t track what we can’t monitor. Compare the wide-scale visibility we have today with how a plague from a century ago would’ve played out. Data is a good thing, more data is definitely a better thing. What’s not great about data is when it starts to produce noise & erroneous findings – when it becomes overwhelming where nothing is gained or perceived from the wealth of information.

The story isn’t much different when it comes to industrial OEMs this year – might I say, the pandemic has heightened the acute need to manage data well. And there are good reasons for this, the manufacturing organization in general uses on average 5 tools that are at any moment capturing hundreds/thousands of data points. These are tools that range from the ubiquitous CRM & ERP along with a host of auxiliary tools such as Service Management Systems, External Customer-facing systems, Support Systems, and the ever-present home-grown business intelligence/reporting system.

Add a couple of product/org acquisitions to the mix and you have a potpourri of systems & tools with different departments seeking different versions of the truth to achieve departmental goals. What ends up happening is that data remains incomplete, messy, and unusable thus becoming the bottleneck, work gets siloed and no actionable insights derived from the installed base. Growth stops right in its track.

Is it any surprise then that Data Management Systems have become the highest priority of 2020 for OEMs emphasizing clean and consolidated information in a single view to enable change.

Enabler Technologies have finally arrived

Four out of the top 10 priorities in the survey were Enabler Technologies. As the name suggests, they ‘enable’ better use of your existing tools & systems. Think of it as a sort of add-on/module that can take overall equipment efficiency from 60% (typical) to 85% (gold standard) or even 100% (perfect, ideal world). These tools help you connect the dots meaningfully & scale multiple initiatives across departments rapidly.

Your organization has invested millions of dollars in building world-class infrastructure to record data across, but this infrastructure has far outlived its purpose. The only way to make this data work for you is through the right enabler technology.

I am certain you have a data over-abundance issue today. Or maybe data duplications and missing information? Or likely you have to navigate 4 tools to extract one report? Or you have a BI tool that doesn’t understand how to connect the dots ex. doesn’t know which equipment goes with which part? Or you don’t have bandwidth availability to help your customer-facing teams? and executives likely don’t even have access or visibility to this data? With the right enabler technology, all of these can be solved freeing up precious time for you & your team while providing the exact insights to understand who to call, when to call, and what you should be talking about to them.

We at Entytle have been providing a globally used, world-class enabler technology, purpose-built for OEMs called Installed Base Data Platform (IBDP) since 2017 and have countless case studies of how this enabler technology solves all of the above.

You can learn what an IBDP does for you by downloading this ebook here.

Summing it all up

Data management is here to stay in the industrial manufacturing sector. Years of accumulating systems, tools & in effect data, means finding any actionable insights takes forever. You have the data, you just need the right enabler to unlock the potential hidden in it. They are not expensive and are often a tiny fraction of your investments in larger enterprise technology. And they can be deployed in a matter of a few weeks, not quarters or years.

Entytle’s IBDP is such an enabler.

You can learn more about what Entytle can do for you.

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