Why asset intensive industries must embrace mobile solutions

‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ - Mobile is the invention, but what is the necessity?


Phenomenal transformation is happening in industries with vastly distributed assets, utilities and transport in particular, and driving this is the implementation of smart mobile technologies. So how do you judge what is a necessity as you transition into the Fourth Industrial Revolution?


Central to your strategy should be a focus on your customers who now demand affordable, reliable and more environmentally-sustainable options. This is forcing a rethink of how you operate and ultimately how you arm your workforce.


Mobile modernisation is streamlining the processes behind asset maintenance and upgrades, workforce safety and capability, meeting regulated reliability and environmental standards, and managing costs.


Increased operational efficiency


For utilities companies that aren’t grasping the need to modernise their operations and cater to changing customer expectations, they are finding themselves falling further behind. Within Australia’s energy network, the rise in automation and mobile technologies has seen an extensive increase in asset monitoring, which, in turn, has resulted in increased operational efficiency across the electricity grid. Much like advanced metering infrastructure (smart meters), a mobile solution for field service management is simply another part of the process of modernisation of the electricity grid.


Immediate productivity


With the expansion in technology and proliferation of the Cloud, mobile technology solution experts can now be deployed into the field where they can effortlessly carry out procedures from an operations centre in their pocket. The result is immediate productivity, efficiency and safety outcomes. This empowers the worker to do more while out of the office as processes are simplified and extended into the field with immediate access, while information and historical data is at the fingertips of the work force – all in real-time.


Smart decisions in the field


Recently, a state-owned organisation with vast distributed assets implemented a mobile solution scheme to replace their outdated paper processes within one of their IBM enterprise asset management operating systems. This has enabled engineers to use a mobile app to see what repairs are required on a particular asset, when it was last inspected and what needs urgent attention. It can also flag other jobs in the area which require attention. The app logs the time taken to complete the job and estimates additional time required to repair or fix parts based on historical data. This information is sent to and comes from the EAM software. This enables smart decisions to be made around predictive maintenance and ordering as well as resource allocation. The app has been designed to empower the end user, with an easy-to-use interface and provides quality control of data being inputted into the system.


By improving workforce capability remotely, mobile solutions incorporate smart technologies to provide safer, more efficient and more reliable services.


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