The Internet of Things is taking the world by storm. And while the field service industry love the "tried and tested" approaches, the truth of the matter is that digitalisation will change many of the things we now take for granted, especially when it comes to asset management.
Since Commusoft will be a part of the Facilities Show 2019 line-up, where companies across the board will be showing the newest technologies in the business, we’ve asked for the organisers' expert opinion. This is their take on asset management and the Internet of Things:
Asset management is how companies keep track of their physical and digital assets. Traditionally, this has been done using very low-tech methods, opening the door to errors that make it difficult to keep track of the usage and location of your assets. Using the Internet of Things – connecting physical devices and objects to the internet – can make this whole method smoother, easier, more efficient and more effective.
But how will the internet of things improve your asset management?
With many companies currently using a simple Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, or even pen and paper, to manage their assets, utilising the Internet of Things can transform your business and take it into the modern age. You can turn any asset into an IoT-enabled one simply by adding sensor that can be tracked by a computer system, or a barcode that can be scanned.
In this way, you can keep track of your assets, identify faults and usage data, and centralise all this information into an automated system that can be updated remotely without fallible human intervention. You can collect data and analyse it, and have a more thorough understand of the assets you control: movable stock, for instance, can be tracked as it goes through transit, so you have more visibility; and other assets can be flagged for repair, with information sent to your company as faults arise.
People sometimes get things wrong. Humans can mislay assets, cause accidental damage, or measure and inspect assets incorrectly or inefficiently. An IoT-enabled asset management system can be used to track locations, usage hours, warehouse inventories, material flows and the state of your assets, reducing the need for clumsy human involvement. In this way, your assets will be less prone to errors, you can increase the accuracy and efficiency of your asset management, thereby ensuring your entire operation is correct and above board.
That’s not to denigrate the efforts of your staff – sometimes, however, machines do a better job!
A component has stopped performing on one of your assets – this has stopped your operation in its tracks, and now you have to identify what’s gone wrong and how to fix it.
With IoT-enabled asset management, you can take advantage of predictive maintenance. This means your asset management system will be able to identify risks before they’re realised, making it easier for you to replace problematic components before they totally break. Alternatively, if an asset is in transit, moving from place to place, you can use an IoT-enabled system to keep track of it to ensure it never goes lost. In this way, you can make sure everything is working and accounted for.
Furthermore, integrating data analytics and machine learning can improve your real-time decision making, giving you even more flexibility when managing your assets.
Do you know what assets need repairing and replacing? If you lack precise knowledge of how well – or badly – certain assets are performing, you might not be aware of what improvements and replacements you need to make, creating extra costs down the line. Furthermore, if an asset is in a state of disrepair, you may not know exactly where the fault lies, resulting in a wholesale replacement at great expense, instead of a cheaper, minor repair.
By utilising an IoT-enabled system to keep track of your assets, you can identify faults, measure costs and better prioritise repairs to a variety of assets. You can use these asset management systems to work out exactly where your money needs spending, making better, more efficient use of your limited resources.
The internet of things is part of the bread and butter of facilities management and field service management. Every company, large and small, is beginning to integrate some form of internet connectivity to parts of its business that have traditionally been entirely offline. And with advantages like these, it’s easy to see why.
Join us at the Facilities Show 2019
There’s one perfect place to discuss big ideas and new technologies – including the implications of the Internet of Things – shaping the facilities management profession: Facilities Show 2019. This conference and trade show is Europe’s only dedicated facilities management event.
Get your free ticket to Facilities Show 2019: 18-20 June at ExCeL London to get face to face with suppliers and source cost-effective solutions across CAFM, Cleaning, Field Service Management, Mechanical and Electrical, Maintenance, Recruitment, Telecom, Vehicle Tracking and Waste Management. The Commusoft team will be exhibiting and looking forward to meet you in person!
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