The construction industry has become increasingly reliant upon connected data through the industrial internet of things (IIoT). The Association of Equipment Management Professionals has even produced an ISO-certified data schema for exchanging worksite data from connected assets independent of manufacturer.

Industry leaders such as Caterpillar, Volvo Construction, Deere and Komatsu are making significant investments in connected sensors to collect data on engine performance, machine operations, asset tracking, power and fuel usage, idle time and fault codes, and other information. However, like many other industries with increasing amounts of connected assets and growing concerns about downtime and total cost of ownership, the construction industry has had limited success in truly leveraging this information to its fullest potential.

Several OEMs have built “health portals” where users can see equipment status and operational statistics, as well as receive alerts on specific issues. Instead of this resulting in a collaborative service supply chain process, it typically kicks off a series of phones calls and emails among OEMs, dealers, contractors, lessors/renters and fleets all looking for additional information within multiple internal legacy applications. They might spend more time tracking down information, coordinating schedules and approving work orders than they do repairing the equipment.

The participants in the construction service supply chain should consider deploying service relationship management (SRM) to maximize their investments in IIoT and legacy applications. SRM reduces downtime, lowers administrative costs and increases productivity through a closed-loop, collaborative and highly effective approach to information sharing. 

Driving Uptime, Reducing Total Cost of Ownership
Although unscheduled downtime will inevitably occur, SRM can eliminate the typical headaches, stress and productivity challenges associated with these events. Communication between construction teams, machine operators, equipment manufacturers and others can end up becoming an unnecessary fire drill that costs precious time and resources. SRM allows team members to more easily  address the problem in real time, access and share critical information and streamline data capture at the point of service. The result is proactive, fast decision-making that leads to appropriate, timely and less costly repairs.

Connecting the Service Supply Chain 
SRM connects the people, processes, information and systems at the point of service. Everyone involved in the service supply chain, from equipment operators and manufacturers to construction managers and foremen, can leverage in-context, real-time access to sensor data, equipment service history, maintenance status, warranty status, service bulletins, recalls and more.

SRM allows team members to receive automated alerts pertaining to important maintenance issues that can adversely impact their performance or availability. For example, if a backhoe malfunctions, the related sensors can automatically relay information detailing the component and fault-related details. OEM or third-party algorithms then assign a severity and suggest a likely cause and a proposed repair plan. 

With SRM, manufacturers are immediately available for warranty or policy questions as well as technical support. Mobile technicians can perform inspections and communicate directly with notes and pictures.

Because SRM is cloud-based, this information can be accessed from any device, at any time, from anywhere. This makes SRM equally powerful for a manager on an office laptop or someone onsite using a mobile device. 

Running on Schedule
Construction companies are investing in IIoT to accumulate data that leads to better decisions and greater efficiency, but connected assets in themselves only scratch the surface. The data must be actionable in order to maximize ROI.

Armed with valuable insight into the health, performance, service history and maintenance status of construction equipment, contractors can reduce total cost of ownership and maximize asset availability to ensure operations run on schedule. 

Michael Riemer is vice president of product and channel marketing for Decisiv. For more information, visit decisiv.com.