Remote services are among several technologies to help maintain the smooth operation of complex machinery… But what drives end users to invest in this technology over other maintenance options?
PMMI Business Intelligence’s 2024 Trends in Remote Services and Monitoring Report answers that question, using survey input and interviews from 144 end-user representatives and 36 OEMs.
Remote services are a set of services and tools that can be used by end users to support their operations remotely, either internally or through a connection with equipment suppliers. It requires consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs) to allow remote access into their plants so that end-user staff and equipment suppliers can interact with machinery and offer support.
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Remote services use cases for end users
The most important reason behind end users choosing to invest in remote services is reducing machinery downtime, with around 92% of those surveyed saying it is either somewhat or very important.
“Any downtime is very [expensive] and very critical so being as quick as possible is key,” says one representative of a large food CPG.
Optimizing machine and operation performance is the second most popular reason for end users to invest in remote services, with about 90% saying it is somewhat or very important. That’s followed by increased speed of support, which about 87% of respondents claim is at least somewhat important.
Combining tools such as remote monitoring and predictive maintenance can dramatically reduce the frequency of stoppages, while remote support provides the means to solve issues quickly when problems arise.
The ability to use predictive maintenance is seen as either somewhat or very important by about 83% of end users. This indicates that the appetite for this service exists for end users and presents a great opportunity for the 75% of surveyed OEMs who do not currently offer it.
Other reasons for investment, with over 80% of respondents in support, include ease of use and maintenance, increased worker safety, and increased longevity of machinery.
Investment reasons with between 75% and 79% finding them important, include limiting the impact of skills gaps and workforce shortages, decreased reliance on on-site technicians, and less cost and time spent on travel.
Decreased cost of ownership, usually a very important metric for end users, is seen as the least important attribute when looking to invest in remote services and monitoring. About 75% of survey respondents still find this important, though.
How OEMs see their customers’ buying habits
OEMs were also surveyed about the most important factors for end users investing in remote services and monitoring. The responses indicate an understanding among OEMs of customers’ priorities, including the correct identification of the top three most important reasons given by end users.
However, within the data, there are some interesting differences. The attribute with the biggest difference when comparing OEMs’ and end users’ responses is to “limit the impact of worker shortages.” About 97% of OEMs state this is either somewhat or very important, compared with only 79% of end users.
The next largest difference between OEM and end-user answers is in “less cost and time of travel,” with the extent of importance OEMs believe of their customers almost 16% higher than what their customers indicate.
Interestingly, both labor shortages and costly travel to customer sites are arguably issues that affect OEMs as much as end users. This may reflect the key benefits to OEMs’ own operations that are generated by providing remote services to their customers.
SOURCE: PMMI Business Intelligence, 2024 Trends in Remote Services and Monitoring Report
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