IBM & Samsung team up to empower field technicians to work from anywhere

When a product or piece of equipment needs maintenance, we rely on field service technicians to fix the problem quickly and at minimal cost. To do this effectively, mobility has become a driving force for the future of field service management (FSM). As we discussed in a recent post on mobility and innovation for FSM, the market growth is staggering.

Estimated to grow from $ 1.78 billion in 2016 to an impressive $ 3.61 billion by 2021, Gartner also predicted that by 2020, two out of three large field service organizations will have equipped field technicians with mobile applications. This will enable the ability to generate new revenue streams, improve efficiency and increase customer satisfaction.

To meet this growing demand, IBM & Samsung announced a partnership to accelerate the digital transformation of industries among key verticals like transportation, public safety and manufacturing.  The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active2, a new business-rugged tablet built directly for business through a customer-centric design, will come equipped with IBM Maximo, the world’s leading enterprise asset management (EAM) software. 

Understanding where EAM & FSM intersect

Industries such as transportation and manufacturing are very asset-intensive. This means that they typically operate in highly competitive markets, manage high-value facilities and equipment, and have an extensive volume of assets to manage. They must do this all while balancing costs, safety and resources. In these types of industries, each failure is disruptive and costly.  Maintaining optimal availability, reliability, profitability, and operational safety is therefore essential for an organization’s success.

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) addresses the entire lifecycle management of the physical assets of an organization. Field service management is the ability to optimally plan and dispatch field resources and their vehicles to a specific location in a timely manner in order to deliver against their service commitments. This includes executing work orders against assets managed in Maximo. See Figure 1 for more detail on how EAM and FSM intersect.

Figure 1. Intersection between EAM & FSM

 

Simplify the daily lives of field technicians

Mobility is critical in allowing dispatchers and technicians to communicate in real-time. Having the right functionalities on mobile devices makes it easier and more efficient for workers to perform tasks, regardless of the complexity of the environment they are working in.

For example, a technician in the field receives notifications of new work assignments. They then view details of the assignment and access the work order to log time and materials. They also provide progress updates and note when a job is completed. Dispatchers see these updates in real-time and view progress made by labor and crews on a map. If an interruption to the planned work for the day occurs, due to severe weather or other circumstances, the dispatcher can make adjustments to the schedule and assignments. This way, crews stay informed and resources are utilized effectively.

With IBM Maximo, we are delighted to bring to Samsung, for the first time, industry leading asset management features for field workers to simplify their daily lives.”  – Suk-Jea Hahn, Executive Vice President of Samsung Electronics’ Global Mobile B2B Team

Delivering mobile work management

Maximo Anywhere is an integrated solution for managing mobile work and assets. Using this functionality, organizations can maximize both their resources and the lifecycle of their assets. It works in tandem with IBM Maximo Asset Management Scheduler so that field- based work processes are streamlined. Key capabilities include:

  • Managing work orders — Manage work execution, including submitting of actuals, follow-up work and delegation of tasks.
  • Managing field crews and technicians — View and execute optimized service routes and assigned work
  • Supply Chain management — Control stock rooms and truck stock, inventory issues, re-orders while managing purchase orders, and the receipt of materials
  • Asset management — Record service address, work, time and material details; view work locations on a map, complete with turn- by- turn directions to help improve technician productivity

Enabling field technicians with tools to work where and how they do

With the Economist forecasting 10 billion mobile devices to be in use by 2020, the proliferation of mobile technology cannot be denied. It is fundamentally changing the way people think, work, act and interact. Mobile applications, or “apps,” enable people to be more productive from anywhere. In fact, 92 percent of organizations believe that adopting mobile apps will give them a competitive edge. They also believe that not doing so will be harmful.

Mobile devices help organizations of all sizes get the right information to the right people at the right time. This improves service quality, increases customer satisfaction and reduces the costs and complexities of daily operations. Figure 2 shows the improvements in performance of best-in-class organizations who have embraced mobility versus those who are lagging behind.

Figure 2. Mobile technology improving compliance rates and reducing paperwork. Source: Aberdeen Group, 2015

With this collaboration, IBM Maximo and Samsung are solving ever-changing business requirements for industrialized mobile devices. In addition, they are empowering field technicians with new tools designed to work where and how they do. 

To learn more about this collaboration, read the press release.

For more detail on IBM Maximo, visit the marketplace.

 

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Mobile access to asset data from anywhere: four real-world use cases

For asset-intensive organizations, mobility continues to drive significant productivity gains, improve worker effectiveness and safety, and eliminate errors by capturing data directly from the work source. IBM’s Maximo Anywhere provides a single-vendor mobile solution for both connected and offline scenarios, with role-based hybrid mobile apps that work across iOS, Android and Windows Tablet and help perform work, asset, inventory and industry-specific process using smartphones, tablets, and ruggedized mobile devices.

Maximo Anywhere offers field technicians capabilities that span multiple applications – allowing organizations to accommodate a wide array of work processes across their business units. For example, regulated work processes which require electronic signature (e-sig) or virtual signature sign off can easily be accommodated – enabling organizations to incorporate checks at any point in their work processes – and provide end-to-end validation that work has been completed in a satisfactory manner.

Here’s how Maximo Anywhere is taking off

Many organizations have selected Maximo Anywhere as their asset management mobility platform of choice. Here are four real use cases that demonstrate how organizations can realize significant benefits by using Maximo Anywhere to gain remote access from most mobile devices to Maximo Asset Management processes and data: 

  • Inspection
  • Incident Reporting (HSE)
  • Calibration
  • Linesman Training

Inspection: Easily track and report on regulatory compliance and incident response

Safety is paramount when it comes to amusement park rides. Inspecting, maintaining and reporting on the conditions and performance of theme park equipment is a life-critical EAM process. The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities worldwide. For IAAPA members, incident reporting is mandatory in the United States.

In order maintain the highest inspection standards, a major entertainment organization uses Maximo Anywhere to ensure the safety of their theme parks. The entertainment organization operates and maintains more than 800 rides – including 130 roller coasters across North America. To ensure regulatory compliance is met, the organization’s 1000 strong staff of inspectors use Maximo Anywhere to inspect and maintain rides and equipment at more than 10 sites. As a result, the organization has eliminated a massive amount of manual paper work. Without the paper trail, the organization is able to easily track and report inspection results for regulatory compliance and incident response.

Incident reporting: Reduce safety related risks and increase field workforce efficiency

In another example, a Canadian power generator is supporting Health and Safety requirements with Maximo Anywhere. In order to reduce safety related risks and incidents, in addition to increasing the efficiency of their field workforce, the power generation company is using Maximo Anywhere for HSE. The Maximo Anywhere solution allows field workers to quickly report Near-Miss Hazard and Safety Observations, while ensuring they can identify and eliminate root causes and prevent major incidents from happening. Currently, 40 field workers are using the solution to report incidents, however the organization plans to make the solution available to as many as 1500 users.

Calibration: Complete calibration work orders in the field and receive immediate tolerance validation

Calibration is another area where Maximo Anywhere is taking off. In one example, a life sciences organization has deployed Maximo Anywhere to streamline its calibration processes. In this example, the solution is being used by more than 60 field technicians across 8 different sites.

Calibration on Work Execution enables technicians to complete calibration work orders in the field, in disconnected and connected environments. No more 4,500 line spreadsheets maintained by a clerical resource – trawling a spreadsheet each day to update records and issuing e-mails. Using Maximo Anywhere for calibration frees technicians from having to manually write down calibration readings, then enter the data in Maximo from a desktop – saving time, preventing errors, and avoiding delays if the technician needs to recheck any calibration readings as a result of a clerical error.

Figure 1: The old way: Calibration clipboard

In a single step, a technician is able to calibrate the instruments, and enter the data from anywhere using a table or other device. With a simple UI, technicians can quickly capture the calibration data needed, and receive immediate tolerance validation – enabling the detection of any potential tolerance issues – on the spot.

You can learn more about how the calibration feature works by watching a short video; or, try the step-by-step demo. In the demo, our calibration technician is out in the field and realizes that an instrument needs to be calibrated. Using Maximo Anywhere, the technician can create a new calibration work order or follow-up calibration work order on their mobile device. Part of the calibration work order is the data sheet that has all of the requirements needed in order to calibrate the instrument. The demonstration also illustrates the ability to capture ‘repeatables’ and create calibration work orders in the field.

Linesman training: Bring a new generation of field staff on-board faster

In a final example, a mid-western electric distribution utility has replaced their existing EAM and mobile solution with a modern Maximo based system. A distinct advantage of using Maximo Anywhere is the ability to bring a new and younger workforce on board quickly. The organization’s 75 plus field workers are using Maximo Anywhere to maintain distribution lines – with the intention of extending its use to include 230 linesman. For an industry that takes years to bring new linesman up to speed, the Maximo Anywhere simple user interface (UI) is both appealing and intuitive for the new generation of recruits.

Learn more

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Mobilize your workforce with Maximo Anywhere

With 10 billion mobile devices forecast to be in use by 2020, the proliferation of mobile technology is fundamentally changing the way people think, work, act and interact.

Mobile applications, or “apps,” enable people to be more productive from virtually anywhere. In fact, 92 percent of organizations believe not only that adopting mobile apps will give them a competitive edge, but also that the failure to adopt such apps will put them at a competitive disadvantage.

Although mobile apps are driving massive changes in a wide range of industries, organizations are struggling with whether to build or buy their apps (or both). Developing custom mobile apps for multiple platforms can be costly and complex. On the other hand, managing and maintaining apps from multiple third-party vendors can be an IT nightmare. And regardless of their source, users need to be able to complete tasks simply and securely, even while disconnected or on their own employee-owned devices.

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Please register for the upcoming webcast entitled, Mobilize Your Workforce with Maximo Anywhere.

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IBM Maximo Anywhere delivers instant mobile access to work, asset and inventory data with integrated capabilities from the full range of IBM asset and facility management solutions, and enables mobile workers to leverage device-specific features, helping to improve productivity in the field.

Mobile access to asset data from anywhere

IBM® Maximo® Anywhere gives you remote access from most mobile devices to Maximo Asset Management processes – work asset and inventory management. It is built on the IBM MobileFirst Foundation® platform with an interface that is configurable and customizable.

The solultion enables your mobile workforce to get instant access to critical data, even while disconnected. Using Maximo Anywhere, you can work with a broad range of instrumented machines and smart devices, complete tasks virtually anywhere with secure, trusted transactions, and reduce data entry errors and miscommunications by allowing users to simply do their work – even while disconnected.

Highlights

  • Deliver instant mobile access to work, asset and inventory related data with integrated capabilities from all of our asset and facility management solutions;
  • Leverage device-specific capabilities — and improve productivity in the field — with next-generation mobile tools;
  • Reduce data entry errors and miscommunications by enabling users to simply do their work — even while disconnected;
  • Tailor the user interface to meet organizational requirements and create custom applications;
  • Help ensure regulatory compliance and improve efficiency with the capture of critical data at the point of execution;
  • Take advantage of Advanced Map capabilities to increase efficiency of the field technicians;
  • Reduce total cost of ownership by administering your Mobility solution from Maximo Administration apps.

Learn more

For Asset-Intensive organizations, mobility continues to drive significant productivity gains, improve worker effectiveness and safety, and eliminate errors by capturing data directly from the work source.

The IBM Maximo Anywhere solution provides a single-vendor mobile solution for both connected and offline scenarios, with role-based hybrid mobile Apps that work across iOS, Android and Windows Tablet and help perform work, asset, inventory and industry-specific process using smartphones, tablets, and ‘ruggedized’ mobile devices.

To learn more, register and attend the upcoming webcast entitled, Mobilize Your Workforce with Maximo Anywhere. The webcast will be broadcast on Friday, July 21, 2017 11:00 am, Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00).

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