Today I represented IFS in a panel discussion where we hosted a business lunch together with Marstrat on Smart Maintenance at the world’s largest maritime trade fair, SMM in Hamburg. Marstrat is a maritime strategy consulting firm, and together we like to challenge maritime branch experts to consider market innovation using smart maintenance.
The setup for the business lunch meeting was two discussion panels with representatives* from vendors and organizations within the maritime sector. As “starter” the panel discussed the challenge of how to benefit from the full potential of smart maintenance, and the second panel, after the main course, served as a “dessert” to discuss solutions for smart maintenance.
Topics we discussed included the definition, importance and current application of smart maintenance, actual challenges/dilemmas regarding smart maintenance, recent solutions/advances and expectations for future directions of smart maintenance.
IFS has developed service and maintenance software for the last three decades. Together with our customers, we have experienced the transformation from viewing service and maintenance as a cost center and support function to seeing it as a business unit with its own P&L that generates new revenue streams and differentiates companies from their competitors. The digital transformation happening right now is, however, the biggest shift ever. Don’t miss that boat!
“Smart” is used in many aspects such as smart cities and smart homes. To check how “big” smart maintenance really is, simply google smart maintenance and it generates 173 million hits! Now doubt that it’s hot.
IDC says information technology (IT) has moved from the back office (1st platform) to the front office (2nd platform) and finally embedded itself into nearly every aspect of people’s business and personal lives, fueled by 3rd platform technologies—mobile, social business, cloud and big data and analytics. The boundary between the internal operations of the enterprise and its external ecosystem (e.g. customers, markets, competitors, and partners) is rapidly disappearing.
What is smart maintenance?
Smart maintenance is about machines that can send condition data in real time, and through software algorithms, predict and prevent malfunctions before they happen. Is that all? No, but it’s a good start. Smart maintenance is about tying many data sources together such as machine condition data, machine criticality, service levels, spare part supply, availability of service engineers, travel time, traffic or weather conditions and more. It’s about being able to pull all this data together and to visualize, automate and optimize decision alternatives through software systems. That is smart maintenance. And worth saying, it has never been easier than it is today to benefit from new technologies such as cloud computing, mobile solutions, scheduling and automation solutions, IoT and big data applications. The challenge, however, is to know where to start and when.
To begin is a good start
Don’t wait for the perfect moment to start the digital transformation because it will never come. If you have a modern business application in place, you can extend it with solutions to support your digital transformation.
Perhaps you’re using old systems that no longer support your business and future strategies and need business software that can serve as your Platform for Innovation, which will manage and leverage change to sharpen your competitive edge. If you are in the phase of selecting a new enterprise software package that is built to capitalize on change, we would like to guide you through the most important questions you should ask the vendors—Software Selection for Enterprise Resource Planning or Software Selection for Enterprise Asset Management
*) Moderator of the sessions was Mr. Meindert van Genderern from Marstrat