Maximizing Field Service Efficiency Through Mobile Enablement in Assets-Intensive Industries


11 June 2019

Any business that has equipment -- be it a fleet of cars, telecommunications systems, or medical devices -- has at some point fallen victim to equipment-failure related headaches.

 Breakdowns can be expensive, time consuming, and in some cases dangerous. Beyond the direct cost of repairing broken equipment, equipment failures can hurt a company’s reputation and lead to a loss of business and reduced income.

 It’s common knowledge that preventive maintenance is the best way to head off breakdowns and reduce costs. As Benjamin Franklin famously advised residents of Philadelphia on fire-prevention measures: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

In fact, corrective maintenance typically costs two to five times as much as preventive maintenance. On top of saving on repair costs, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that setting a preventive maintenance program based on the condition of equipment -- can reduce breakdowns by 75% and result in 35% to 45% less downtime.

But sometimes setting up a preventive maintenance system is easier said than done. Getting a single job completed can require a mountain of paperwork, facility managers often don’t have on-the-ground oversight of the work done by contractors, and records on facility equipment maintenance history may be inaccurate or incomplete.

 On top of that, many of the signs of slowing performance and impending equipment failure are not immediately apparent. Worse, when problems become apparent, workers often implement temporary “Band-Aid” fixes to maintain production in the short term. Over time, Band-Aid fixes almost always make the problem worse.

 Probably the biggest factor in maintenance failure is a lack of organization. Companies often lack efficient methods to ensure that ongoing maintenance is performed, and many of them fail to take advantage of the technology available to help with the task. While businesses have flocked to slick apps and productivity suites to optimize human relations logistics, marketing, and other profit-driving operations, maintenance departments are often running on pen and paper, or at best, Excel.

 Advanced analytics and business intelligence solutions can help businesses develop a more efficient preventive maintenance regime, incorporating blockchain to keep more accurate records on equipment servicing and history.

 CME’s GoService is one such solution. The system automates many aspects of the repair and maintenance process, allowing managers to easily create planned maintenance events and checklists for contractors, place service requests through a mobile app, validate contractors’ presence on site via GPS tools and a check-in/check-out function, and communicate throughout the work process, including approving or rejecting repair costs and receiving detailed reports on the work done.

 The tool allows companies to track repair and maintenance work and costs over time by equipment and repair type, location, and service contractors. The long-term tracking allows facility managers to identify trends and look for ways to reduce costs and maximize profits.

 The system provides easy integration of records such as equipment manuals and warranties, including alerts for those expiring soon.

 The solution also allows managers to track service records and history data in a blockchain network for the life of the equipment and to receive preventive maintenance suggestions via equipment sensors and advanced analytics tools.

 GoService takes the guesswork out of preventive maintenance and provides protection from unpleasant surprises, leaving your business free to focus on its core mission, not on putting out fires.