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HomeServe is the UK’s second largest boiler installer and the operations have two distinct components. First, a sales surveyor will conduct a video, telephone or in-home survey to assess what kind of boiler a customer needs, recommend one, and produce a quote. Secondly, field engineers will attend a customer’s property to install a boiler once a quote is accepted.
This presents a complex mix of sales surveyors who attend many jobs in one day and engineers with one job that could require one day or several days for installations. So, when searching for new scheduling and route optimisation software, HomeServe needed a tool that could do both.
More than white-space-filling
Sparking the search for a new scheduling solution was HomeServe’s desire to work smarter, not harder. In particular it sought to bring greater efficiency to the way it scheduled its workforce and remove some of the pressure from its back-office staff.
Richard Wilson, IT Director for HomeServe boiler installations, explains, “Previously we had always relied on the personal knowledge of our planning team to know which sales surveyors and engineers would be best suited for a job in terms of geography, availability and skill set. We wanted software that could make smarter, faster decisions than our planners were equipped to.” It was on speaking with other field service and scheduling solution providers that HomeServe first heard of FLS.
Richard says: “A lot of the scheduling tools we looked at were just about filling white space. In other words, finding gaps in people’s diaries to fit in appointments. We wanted a more dynamic tool, one that could continuously optimise, looking at every appointment and every field worker collectively and scheduling everything in the most optimal way. The providers we talked to said, ‘We can’t really do that, but we know a solution that can: the one offered by FAST LEAN SMART.”
A tool that thinks on its feet
Richard and his project team investigated FLS and discovered that its real-time scheduler and route optimiser, FLS VISITOUR, was the solution it was looking for. An intelligent tool that evaluates a company’s entire resource pool and effectively ‘thinks on its feet’, VISITOUR makes smarter, quicker and more efficient decisions than humans and other scheduling technologies.
It works in conjunction with FLS’s platform-independent mobility solution, FLS MOBILE, to ensure that field-based staff get to where they need to be and have the information they need when they get there. Together they cut the administrative burden considerably and automate a process. The company proceeded with the proof-of-concept pilot project that FLS offers all new customers.
This demonstrates the value of VISITOUR in terms of functionality and versatility, in particular its ability to integrate with existing back-end systems.
Richard explains: “Integration was a key requirement for us. We needed to know that VISITOUR could integrate with our service management software. This is why FLS’s pilot projects are so helpful. They’re not just demos where you have to guess and imagine how it’s going to work in the context of your business. With an FLS pilot, they wire it all in and prove it to you. We saw immediately that FLS lends itself to integration. We were also able to see first-hand how feature-rich and multi-faceted VISITOUR really is.”
Richard goes on to refer to a feature that has proved particularly useful for HomeServe: the ability to link jobs. When HomeServe installs a boiler, it needs to schedule a field engineer to do the installation and an electrician to do the wiring. FLS will link the two jobs, even if they take place on different days. This means that if the installation appointment needs to be changed, FLS will move the electrician appointment simultaneously. “Most software will do about 80% of what you need or really want it to do,” says Richard. “The ability to link jobs is a great example of the fact that VISITOUR will do a lot more.”
Winter is the busiest and most challenging time of year for HomeServe boiler installations. The company needed to go from concept to pilot to live very quickly, so that everything could be in place before the temperature dropped and the calls for new boilers started flooding in. Implementation happened in a much shorter timescale than normal. Thanks to strong teamwork between FLS and HomeServe’s in-house developers and back office teams, VISITOUR was live, integrated and scheduling hundreds of multi-disciplined field resources within just weeks.
“We’re so pleased by how well everyone worked to get VISITOUR in place for autumn,” Richard says. “It was a big team effort and FLS really helped us get it in the air. Our back-office staff deserve a lot of credit, too; they worked very hard and very quickly.”
He points out one reason why FLS is generally a quicker-to-implement program than many other scheduling software packages: “FLS is very good on configuration without the need for customisation. We didn’t have the appetite, time or the resources to develop our own boutique functionality. We needed a solution that was already fully functional, which we could tweak to fit our requirements without writing code. That solution was VISITOUR.”
A growth facilitator
HomeServe went live with VISITOUR in September 2018. Since then the company has been scheduling its people more optimally and cost-effectively and planning better, smarter routes to each appointment. This has enabled HomeServe to get to customers quicker. “FLS saves us time in the office, gives us total visibility of who is doing what, and has enabled us to get to our appointments 25% quicker than we were,” Richard says. “It’s really highlighted how efficient your scheduling can be when intelligent software does it for you. We see FLS as a growth facilitator. The efficiency gains are such that we’re now in a position to scale up.”
HomeServe plans to adopt more FLS functionality to better serve its customers, including form-capture on FLS MOBILE and automated email/text functions. “We’re a customer-centric company,” he explains. “That’s ultimately why we’ve done this. We wanted an easy, smart and efficient way of reshuffling appointments so that the customer gets a survey or installation appointment at a time that’s convenient for them. Now that we’ve enabled this, the automated emails and texts will be to keep customers in the loop at all times. We’re all about improving the customer experience and we’re grateful to FLS for helping us do that.”
Zinier’s Intelligent Service Automation and Control (ISAC) Uses Machine Learning to Help Field Service Organizations Optimize their Operations and Scale More Efficiently.
Zinier’s Intelligent Service Automation and Control (ISAC) Uses Machine Learning to Help Field Service Organizations Optimize their Operations and Scale More Efficiently.
Zinier has announced Intelligent Service Automation and Control (ISAC), an AI-driven platform enabling field service organizations to operate more efficiently. Through its machine learning and analytics capabilities, ISAC helps organizations optimize every aspect of their field service operations, resulting in the highest levels of automation-driven outcomes.
As the volume and complexity of field service requests continue to rise, field service organizations are looking for ways to drive efficiency and lay the groundwork for continued growth. At the same time, technology trends such as 5G in telecom and a sharp increase in the number of IoT-connected devices are creating a flood of new data streams, forcing organizations to move away from manual methods of collecting, analyzing, and acting on data.
Zinier’s ISAC platform uses machine learning to analyze data and provide real-time insights, driving productivity and enabling customers to inject automation into every step of the service delivery chain. By comparing a constant flow of field data against historical trends, ISAC is able to recommend the best course of action at any given time. And with a flexible, open architecture, customers can easily apply AI to specific use cases, whether it’s scanning a closeout package for anomalies or recommending a stock transfer by predicting parts required for a work order and an individual technician’s parts on-hand.
“After reviewing a number of solutions, we determined that Zinier was the only one that met all our requirements for flexibility and end-to-end automation,” said Luis Miguel Diaz Ortiz, Head of Telecom & Technology, Mexico at NCR Corporation. “ISAC's AI and automation capabilities will help us manage infrastructure and work more proactively. We consider it a terrific investment in providing better service.”
With ISAC as the foundation, field service organizations can easily build AI solutions for the use cases most important to them. All they need to do is determine the scope, criteria, and threshold for AI recommendations, and ISAC will take it from there.
“Most companies are looking for ways to drive automation and turn data into actionable insights, but execution remains a challenge,” said Arka Dhar, co-founder and CEO of Zinier. “With ISAC, we’re helping our customers fully embrace automation by giving them a highly configurable tool that can be applied to their specific needs, driving efficiency and providing recommendations based on real-time data and user feedback.”
Key features/benefits of ISAC include:
• Flexible, Configurable Platform: Unlike legacy solutions that can take months to update, ISAC was designed with flexibility and scalability in mind. Instead of being limited to a few use cases, customers can easily configure the features to apply AI to their operations by defining criteria and letting ISAC evaluate data accordingly.
• Real-Time AI Recommendations: ISAC is constantly running in the background, observing user actions and providing recommendations. In some cases, ISAC will immediately implement a recommendation once it has been accepted by the user. In other cases, it will suggest a course of action for a back-office coordinator or field technician.
• Seamless Integrations: Organizations can easily connect all of their critical systems using Zinier’s set of APIs and integrations, ensuring that all relevant information is factored into each recommendation and insight.
Edge is the highest-performing edge computing server on the market worldwide to manage data at the edge.
Edge is the highest-performing edge computing server on the market worldwide to manage data at the edge.
The BullSequana Edge has been designed to be used securely for the Internet of Things (IoT), in environments in which fast response times are critical - such as manufacturing 4.0, autonomous vehicles, healthcare and retail/airport security – where data needs to be processed and analyzed at the edge in real-time.
The embedded BullSequana Edge server securely manages and processes IoT data, close to the source where it is generated, so that it is treated immediately. It analyzes and runs Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications in real-time for instant insight, so that actions and decisions can be made swiftly to optimize operations.
The BullSequana Edge enables businesses to overcome challenges such as limited bandwidth, intermittent network connectivity, securing data at the edge, and network costs. Key benefits are:
• Optimum security and privacy: both the data and the physical server are protected by an advanced chain of security measures • Immediate responsiveness: data analysis in real-time;
• Autonomy: reduced dependence on cloud and datacenter availability and connectivity, ensures that apps are not disrupted in case of limited or intermittent network connectivity. The BullSequana Edge can communicate via radio, GSM or Wi-Fi;
• Interactivity: both multi-source and multi-format data can be analyzed in real-time;
• Cost-effective: reduced datacenter infrastructure and networking costs.
“The exponential growth of IoT devices and how to best manage the consequent explosion of data is a challenge faced by many businesses today. To manage and harness this mass of data to our advantage, in a post-cloud era, we need to embrace edge computing. Atos brings together its expertise and experience as a leader in cloud orchestration, high-performance computing, cybersecurity and AI, to develop a unique edge computing product – the BullSequana Edge - which empowers businesses to take full advantage of the data deluge.” said Pierre Barnabé, Senior Executive Vice-President, Head of Big Data & CyberSecurity Division at Atos.
The BullSequana Edge already supports three main categories of use cases:
• AI: Atos Edge Computer Vision – this provides advanced extraction and analysis of ‘features’ (people, faces, emotions, behaviors) so that automatic actions are able to be carried out, based on this analysis. It enables a large set of intelligent cameras, for example in video surveillance, to collaborate holistically in real-time, enabling operations to be tracked without interruption;
• Big Data: Atos Edge Data Analytics – this enables organizations to improve their business models with predictive and prescriptive solutions. It hinges upon edge data lake capabilities to make data trustworthy and useable;
• Container: Atos Edge Data Container (EDC) – this all-in-one container solution is ready to run at the edge and serves as a decentralized IT system (from one individual rack up to a complete containerized data center). It can run autonomously in non-data center environments with no need for local on-site operation;
The BullSequana Edge is available today and can be purchased as a standalone infrastructure or together with a software platform, such as Atos Edge Computer Vision, Edge Data Analytics, or in a container system such as Atos Edge Data Container. The BullSequana Edge is Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT.
Managing tens of thousands of field service tasks per day in numerous locations requires enormous human resource capacity and generates significant costs. Additionally, with more than half a million network elements and thousands of employees engaged in the service delivery process, management of incoming issues is complex and time-consuming. MegaFon was looking to streamline these operations, minimize income losses resulting from network and service downtime, and improve field service quality. To reach those business objectives, Comarch implemented its Field Service Management system.
With the on-premises application of Comarch Field Service Management and the Comarch FSM Mobile app, the daily, paper-based responsibilities of engineers, managers and administrators have been digitized. In addition, subcontractors’ employees can now access the system and use its capabilities. As a result, field work management has been unified and centralized, which was crucial for the company.
Deployment of the software enabled MegaFon to automate field workforce management, optimize planning and scheduling, and introduce real-time reporting. With these features, the company is now able to manage tasks efficiently in connection with emergency incidents, planned works, customer complaints, energy systems and infrastructure problems from mobile and fixed networks.
“The implementation of the Comarch FSM solution in MegaFon is another opportunity to share our experience in the telecommunication sector and advise our client on how to optimize their processes. This project allowed us to build a strong presence on the Russian market,” says Szymon Uczciwek, Head of Field Service Management Consulting in Comarch.
MegaFon is one the leading telecommunication service providers in Russia, claiming 29.5% of the market share in 2017. The company and its subsidiaries operate in all Russian regions, along with Abkhazia, South Ossetia and the Republic of Tajikistan. Their subscriber base exceeded 77 million at the end of 2017.
Megafon’s company offer covers all telecoms market segments. Services include voice, mobile data, fixed-line telecommunication services, digital TV, IP telephony and innovative solutions such as mobile TV, OTT video content, M2M, mobile and financial advertising and cloud services.
MegaFon’s shares have been traded on the Moscow Stock Exchange since 2012, and on the London Stock Exchange since 2014.
Comarch is a global supplier of software and services for enterprises. It has over 20 years’ experience designing, implementing and integrating IT solutions for some of the world’s largest brands, including BP, Deutsche Telekom, Diageo, KPN, Orange, Telefónica, Unilever and Vodafone. Comarch has a specialist telecoms unit providing IT solutions to telecoms operators around the world. It builds technology solutions to meet the key requirements of telecoms companies, namely to increase revenue, grow business efficiency, simplify systems, cut costs, enhance the customer experience, build new services and shorten their time to market.
Comarch IT solutions for telecoms have been consistently listed in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant report, while its IoT offer has been evaluated positively by Berg Insight, IHS Markit and Gartner, who also named Comarch a “Vendor to watch” in the 2017 Market Trends: A Comprehensive Approach to CSP IoT Platform Selection Will Enhance Market Positioning.
The company has also been recognized for its work in the telecoms industry by other analysts, including Forrester, Informa and Frost & Sullivan.
Wearing a Mixed Reality headset, an engineer can share what they see and communicate with another engineer miles away. They might also be able to simultaneously call up manuals or other information through a heads-up display and view details provided by their assisting engineer.
Last month saw the launch of Hololens 2, the much-improved successor to Microsoft’s mixed reality headset Hololens. Microsoft is not a lone voice in the dark, with a plethora of other companies working on technologies with similar applications. Nreal and Zappar are just two of the start-ups trying to cash in on this emerging market. Are their investors just taking a gamble or are there good reasons for their investments?
This makes one wonder – is Mixed Reality just another gimmick or could it bring major benefits to Field Service operations? I suspect the latter, and here is why:
The adoption of new technologies tends to follow the S-Curve. As a product or technology gains traction in the market, its market begins to grow. At first, the growth is slow, almost imperceptible. It then develops more rapidly as consumers begin to adopt the technology. As the market expands, that growth continues. Finally, a host of factors cause the growth rate to decline and then gradually growth tapers off as it becomes a replacement market.
"The adoption of new technologies tends to follow the S-Curve..."
So where is Mixed Reality on the S-Curve? In his much quoted “Diffusion of Innovation”, Everett Rogers terms the first group to adopt a new technology as “Innovators”. Innovators are characterised by a willingness to take risks, have the highest social status, have financial liquidity and have closest contact to scientific sources and interaction with other innovators. Their risk tolerance allows them to adopt technologies that may ultimately fail. Financial resources help absorb these failures. I would suggest that the US military, who have just placed a large Hololens order, fits squarely into this category.
The next stage of adoption belongs to the early adopters. Early adopters have a high degree of opinion leadership as well as high status and financial liquidity. Whilst facts and figures are still sparse, anecdotal evidence suggest that we may already have started to move into this phase. The companies I hear about who are investigating Mixed Reality are in niche markets, very profitable and their engineers are highly skilled. They are happy to take some risks and try innovative solutions. This suggests that we may be about to accelerate fast up the S- Curve, but what benefits can we expect?
Well, wouldn’t it be nice if we could bottle skills and experience. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and wherever we look we encounter skills shortages. Be it HVAC, Gas Central Heating or High-Speed Printing; in Cornwall, London or Scotland – companies struggle to recruit experienced engineers. In niche sectors it is the worst. When baby boomer engineers are retiring they the take their skills with them and it’s hard to replace them. Would it not be great if a senior engineer could guide the engineer on site through fault-finding and repair from the comfort of the office (or even from home), in real time? How many senior engineers could you retain this way?
But then, do we need to stay with the traditional model of service visits. In many sectors it is common that the first visit is about identifying the fault and the parts required to fix it. We may try to do this over the phone but often without success. How often could this be done by customer staff with guidance from a skilled engineer delivered remotely via Mixed Reality? I imagine it would be a lot, if it was easy enough. How much would that improve engineer productivity and first-time-fix rates and fix-times? And what about inaccessible locations or when the fault occurs off-shore or on a ship? The benefits of Mixed Reality for fault finding and assisted repairs are massive. Of course sometimes it’s as simple as getting a second opinion about a tricky issue.
Then there is training. Ever simulated a fault and waited forever whilst six trainees take turns resolving it with their heads in a confined space? Wearing Mixed Reality headsets, they could be right there with the trainer inside the machine.
These are just a few examples. As technologies expand and become cheaper, their applications multiply. Just think what you could do with a mobile phone 10 years ago and what we use it for now. No wonder some industry analysts expect shipments of Mixed Reality devices to exceed five million in the next three years.
So, yes – I see Mixed Reality changing the way we do service, and soon!
Danny Wieder is a Field Service Consultant at HSO.
SigmaDots blockchain-based solution enables protection for IoT and IIoT systems.
SigmaDots blockchain-based solution enables protection for IoT and IIoT systems.
SigmaDots, a cyber-security startup and subsidiary of Essence Group, has partnered with Telit, a global enabler of the Internet of Things (IoT), to expand IoT security and strengthen business continuity leveraging SigmaDots technology. Essence Group is a market leader in developing LTE-based connected devices and IoT platforms.
SigmaDots has developed the first embedded, blockchain-based cybersecurity solution for IoT and IIoT systems. Telit, recognizing the need for enhanced solutions, is working closely with SigmaDots to improve resilience to cyberattacks. The companies are collaborating on the use of blockchain technology for routers, control panels, IoT gateways, and a host of IoT devices, drastically reducing device vulnerability to cyberthreats.
“The ubiquity of IoT devices makes them attractive targets for cyber mischief,” said Alon Segal, SVP of Software & Services, Telit. “Our collaboration with SigmaDots adds another layer of security and communications resiliency using distributed technologies to offer advanced, secure infrastructure solutions for our customers.”
SigmaDots software-based solutions harness the power of serverless architecture, bringing blockchain-based cybersecurity to the IoT ecosystem. With a scalable, interoperable, and secure platform uniquely adapted to the limited resources of IoT, SigmaDots empowers connected ecosystems to accelerate the machine-to-machine economy.
“IoT is finally delivering on its promises of complete connectivity – wearables, mobile apps, home safety, smart meters and in industry – generally anywhere” said Itsik Harpaz, General Manager of SigmaDots. “However, this connectivity brings significant threats – an attack on a single device can spread throughout the entire network.”
IoT devices without strong cyber protection can easily become part of a botnet to carry out distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks or fall prey to IoT-focused attacks like man-in-the-middle, data and identity theft, and device hijacking.
“SigmaDots technology was developed out of the need to strengthen the security of our IoT devices,” said Dr. Haim Amir, CEO and founder of Essence Group. “We’ve been creating innovative connected device solutions for more than 25 years, so we fully understand the challenges and the necessity of creating airtight cyber protection.”
Established for 50 years, Thetford International is a founder member of CHEM, the Container Handling Equipment Manufacturers Association. The company has become a market leader in the design and manufacture of all types of compaction equipment, supplying to a diversity of sectors, from the print industry and supermarkets to industrial complexes, recycling centres and refuse transfer stations.
Thetford uses JobWatch, the BigChange solution for managing mobile service operations using live-connected mobile devices running a multi-functional app to replace all paperwork, integrated with vehicle tracking to monitor the fleet and drivers. As well as replacing nine A4 carbon-copy installation and service forms, the JobWatch 5 in 1 app is also used for engineer time sheets, risk assessments, driver vehicle checks and the management of parts.
Thetford carries out routine maintenance of compactors but the majority of work is reactive and requires a fast response due to the safety concerns of potentially dangerous equipment. Job details are sent to the assigned engineer to complete with JobWatch managing the entire process from start to job completion.
“We had been on the lookout for a suitable system for a numbers of years but nothing seemed to exist that really combined the tracking and field service reporting needs,” says Andrew Goddard, Service Manager, Thetford International. “The BigChange solution is very flexible and adaptable and we were able to tailor it to meet our needs.”
JobWatch has been integrated with Thetford’s own bespoke IT system called Onsite providing asset register synchronisation and the seamless interchange of data between the systems. According to Thetford, the biggest benefits are financial and in particular with regard to invoicing.
“Previously it could take up to 3 weeks to raise an invoice. Now we do it next day and potentially we could do it the same day,” explains Goddard. “JobWatch ensures invoices are accurate and are in line with what the customer is expecting and as they are received soon after the job, there are many fewer queries and payment is always quicker.”
Thetford’s engineers cover the UK working from their homes. With vehicle tracking fitted to the fleet of Ford Transit vans, BigChange provides an automated ‘clocking in and clocking out’ system. With van often stocked with thousands of pounds of parts, it also offers added security and driver monitoring and rating has also encouraged safer driving; important as engineers travel as much as 40,000 miles a year.
JobWatch has also been developed to manage Thetford’s stock control with engineers using their tablets to record parts used. With around 400 individual parts, the system automatically replenishes stocks with deliveries to engineer collection points.
“Previously the vast majority of information was held in people’s heads and by introducing BigChange we have brought all that knowledge into one place. It all works very well and seamlessly with our other systems. The whole service operation just runs a lot more smoothly and our customers – and the company Accountant – are a lot happier!” Goddard adds.
By utilising the latest Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) tools from AI innovators, Inawisdom and Amazon Web Services (AWS), Drax Group has transformed its data insight and customer intelligence to personalise the services it provides to its customers, through its B2B energy supply businesses Opus Energy and Haven Power.
As a leading light in the renewable energy market, Drax Group is passionate about providing innovative and sustainable solutions for customers and has a mission to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future. As part of this initiative, Drax wants to identify any anomalies in energy usage, to help demonstrate to customers that it really understands how they’re using their electricity. Drax Group partnered with Inawisdom to deploy state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence across its data and has since been able to provide a much higher standard of customer service.
“Our relationship with Drax Group has been a success story from the start,” said Neil Miles,CEO and co-founder of Inawisdom. “The utility sector is one of our core industries where AI and ML is proving a powerful instrument. Together with AWS, we were able to use our rapid deployment model to quickly find the real value in the data Drax held and help it to achieve goals effectively and efficiently”.
“Our partnership with Inawisdom and AWS has enabled us to draw insight and intelligence from our data, which was previously too complex to see,” reported Bjoern Reinke, Smart Director from Drax Group. “We can now immediately identify unusual usage and respond accordingly, providing many benefits for our customers and in turn Drax Group’s B2B supply businesses. The speed this capability has been provided is a revelation”.
Scope AR, the pioneer of enterprise-class augmented reality (AR) solutions, today launched at Augmented World Expo 2019 (AWE) an upgraded version of its highly-touted WorkLink platform. With the addition of session recording, WorkLink becomes the industry’s only AR knowledge platform to offer real-time remote support, access to AR work instructions and the ability to record sessions simultaneously in one application. With this, workers can now easily capture, retain and share knowledge like never before. Scope AR also announced new enterprise customer, medical device manufacturer Becton Dickinson, as well as expanded use of its integrated AR platform with Lockheed Martin.
“This is an exciting time for the AR industry. Adoption is growing and expectations among users are shifting towards more comprehensive, enterprise-ready solutions,” explained Scott Montgomerie, CEO of Scope AR. “With the latest WorkLink platform, we’ve added even more ways for workers to collaborate and quickly get the knowledge they need to successfully do their jobs. With the addition of session recording, businesses can now better capture and retain knowledge for future use and training purposes, while taking compliance, quality assurance and accuracy to the next level.”
The updated WorkLink platform can be customized with varying sets of functionality depending on customers’ needs. It can also be deployed across all major platforms and select industry wearables so organizations can use their device of choice. The platform is built to help make anyone an instant expert with seamless access to a variety of features including:
Session Recording to capture important knowledge delivered during live support video calls for retention, future sharing and new insight into additional training needs and how processes can be improved. Either the technician or remote expert can record a live session so real-time knowledge becomes a reusable asset that can be accessed by others in the future.
Beyond its latest product innovations, Scope AR has also experienced continued customer acquisition and growth on the heels of its $9.7 million Series A funding round in March 2019. Becton Dickinson, an American medical technology company that manufactures and sells medical devices, instrument systems and reagants, is the newest addition to the company’s already impressive client roster. Becton Dickinson will use WorkLink at the company’s Automation Center for Enablement to deliver AR instructions across the organization.
Additionally, Lockheed Martin is now expanding its use of Scope AR’s technology after its highly successful implementation of WorkLink to improve workforce training and spacecraft manufacturing procedures. They are now deploying Scope AR into all four of their business units across a broad variety of use cases.
Lockheed Martin’s Emerging Technologies Lead Shelley Peterson added, “Creating AR work instructions with WorkLink has enabled our Space team to reach unprecedented levels of efficiency and accuracy, as well as reduced manufacturing training and activity ramp-up time by 85%. Scope AR's platform has proven to be so valuable that we have expanded our AR adoption into even more manufacturing applications within the Space division, as well as leveraging the technology in other areas of the business."
Accruent, the world’s leading provider of physical resource management solutions, announced today that it is has developed an integration between its Maintenance Connection computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) and its Meridian engineering document management (EDM) software. Using these products together, manufacturers and industrial organizations provide maintenance teams with fast, on-site access to dynamic asset documentation.
Comprehensive and accurate asset information enables maintenance teams to complete work more quickly and cost-effectively, increase asset uptime, and help assure worker safety. As margins are crucial to manufacturers, the resulting cost savings and improved output can have a magnified impact on company success.
For manufacturers, seemingly small improvements in output or maintenance cost savings can mean the difference between growth and fighting for survival. However, a growing shortage of skilled workers (71% of companies surveyed by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) in March 2019 indicated that attracting and retaining skilled workers is their greatest challenge) will require managers to seek other methods of assuring operational excellence. Analyst firm IDC predicts that by 2020, 80% of manufacturers will seek to place data at the center of their processes to increase speed, agility, efficiency, and innovation.
One example of placing data at the center of a process is to improve the depth and quality of information provided to maintenance teams and increasing the speed at which such information is delivered. By integrating EDM and CMMS, Accruent provides manufacturers and industrial organizations the ability to deliver on-demand engineering documentation to on-site maintenance professionals via a computer or mobile device.
Providing access to asset data while technicians are on-site:
• Reduces the time needed to complete maintenance
• Lowers the cost of completing work
• Decreases the duration of asset downtime
In addition, this combination provides better data to engineers who can update asset documentation more quickly and accurately. Perhaps most importantly, providing accurate, real-time asset documentation to maintenance personnel allows them to assure their safety while performing maintenance.
“Manufacturers are embracing digital transformation to improve operations and maximize returns. One of the key elements of digital transformation in manufacturing is breaking down data silos,” noted Kevin Permenter, Research Manager, Enterprise Applications, IDC. “Sharing information between engineering and maintenance teams is an example of how having a single source of truth can deliver benefits to multiple departments and initiatives. Manufacturers that are sharing data across these functions are opening up new avenues to improve productivity, maximize the value of their resources, and lengthen asset life.”