Remote Monitoring & Diagnostics: Not Just for the Big Guys Anymore

I’m seeing a shift in the Industrial Internet; it’s not just for the “industrial elite” anymore. Now middle-tier manufacturers can reap the advantages of remote monitoring & diagnostics (RM&D) solutions. Implementation costs have been dramatically reduced, and as a result the advantages of RM&D are available to the broader market. This is due in large part to the decreasing cost of the technologies required to capture, store, transmit and analyze “big data.”

I’m excited that the benefits of the Industrial Internet are finally within reach of small- to mid-sized businesses. You would think that the middle tier of manufacturers would share my excitement—particularly OEMs, where service comprises a substantial portion of their overall revenue. OEMs are the trendsetters in manufacturing, and in my mind they have the perfect opportunity to reap the same benefits as big end-users, leading the way (for themselves and their end-customers) in applying the Industrial Internet to very profitable real-world scenarios.

The service improvement opportunities and efficiencies this could yield would completely revolutionize manufacturing and enhance entire economies—that’s no exaggeration. Yet only early adopters from this middle-market are coming online. Why?

When I talk to OEMs, I hear some common misconceptions about RM&D solutions:

  1. The implementation costs are too high. (No, they’re not.)
  2. We don’t have IT resources to dedicate to an RM&D solution. (You don’t need them.)
  3. Our data won’t be secure. (Yes, it will.)
  4. Our customers don’t want it or won’t understand the benefits. (You might be surprised.)
  5. We don’t have the cap-ex budget. (A subscription-based solution is op-ex not cap-ex.)

I tell them that objections like these can be overcome, and have been overcome, in a variety of industries. Other OEMs, even in non-traditional manufacturing segments, are seeing significant benefit/payback from the application of Industrial Internet RM&D solutions on installed assets. Here’s just one success story from TempuTech, an OEM provider of grain management systems in the agriculture space. 

How exactly does GE overcome OEM objections? Well, we have created an out-of-the-box solution called Equipment Insight that combines our lessons from past failures and voice-of-customer about RM&D (in the form of objections) to deliver a custom-built application for OEMs. It has become GE’s Industrial Internet solution for data collection, analysis and management of distributed OEM fleets, and it’s captured the attention of early adopting OEMs and large fleet operators looking to be on the bleeding edge of this movement.  

These visionaries have realized that their time has finally come to benefit from the RM&D technology GE has developed, utilized for years, and is now bringing to the masses. It isn’t just for the big guys anymore, and the early use cases are proof that it can work (and work well) for small to mid-sized businesses.

To learn more about why OEMs should consider being early adopters of RM&D, read this article from ARC on how the Industrial Internet can create new service opportunities.

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