Using telematics to perfect the equipment triangle

Manufacturers can strengthen their dealer network and improve communication with end users through the real-time use of telematics data. See how a supporting a stronger equipment triangle with telematics benefits all angles.

By Emily Polkar, MSI Data December 31, 2015

Most equipment manufacturers are tackling the same issue when it comes to product support: How can they make their dealer network more efficient? Manufacturers know that efficient dealerships lead to an increase in sales, revenue, and the overall well-being of the organization.

However, many struggle to find common ground between themselves, their dealers, and equipment end users. By giving each party access to detailed equipment information and telematics data, manufacturers, dealers, and end users all benefit from what’s called the equipment triangle: The ability for manufacturers, dealers, and equipment end users to work together and benefit from greater insight into equipment performance and service needs.

How telematics work

Telematics is the use of wireless devices and “black box” technologies to transmit data in real-time throughout an organization. Today, many equipment intensive businesses—manufacturers, dealers, and end users—rely on telematics to connect them to the status of their equipment in the field in real-time. This is often done through a service management system.

Telematics allow manufacturers, dealers, and end users to support each other’s efforts when they have access to the equipment performance and operation information. For example, dealers can use the incoming equipment data to trigger alerts when the equipment isn’t working. With this information, they can sell more accurate and proactive service contracts to end users. End users benefit because they don’t have to worry about their equipment breaking down. Dealers benefit from new service sales revenue. Manufacturers benefit from having more profitable dealers and loyal customers.

By improving the communication and fluidity between these three key members of the equipment triangle, the organization will earn more service revenue, and the end users will be happier and likely renew their service contracts, creating a virtuous cycle for all three parties.

Manufacturers access real-time data

Manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to streamline their organization and increase sales. Specifically, they want to see how their equipment is performing in the field, how successful their preventive maintenance programs are, and review general end-user complaints.

By having a direct line to equipment performance and service information through telematics data, manufacturers have access to real-time data in real time from machines and customers and can encourage a consistent service experience across all dealerships. They can also use their insight to inform development of future products and equipment design.

Dealers offer consistent service experience

Manufacturers see an opportunity for dealers to capitalize on increasing revenue from service by using telematics to inform the service programs they sell. Access to telematics data also helps dealers meet increasing service demands and quotas from manufacturers. They gain insight into when equipment needs to be serviced and use that information to inform proactive preventive maintenance visits.

If all dealers in the network are held to the same service standards and utilize similar telematics technology, they’ll offer a more consistent service experience for all customers. With access to resources and data, dealers can build stronger relationships with customers, become their trusted advisors, and prevent unscheduled downtime.

End users gain new equipment intelligence

End users benefit from every angle through telematics data because they’re given access to equipment intelligence that they never would have had before. They can see data like how long a machine sits idling during a given day rather than relying on stats like hours on an operator’s time card to determine how long a machine’s been operating. With telematics, end users have an accurate measure of actual work being performed and can make strategic business decisions based on that information.

In addition to gaining insight into their own equipment performance and data, end users also gain the support of more informed dealers and service teams to maintain their equipment in the field. Dealers and end users share telematics data in a sense. End users delegate some analysis to the dealer and are also able to demonstrate their own knowledge of the telematics system so they get the big picture benefits.

Telematics strengthens the equipment triangle

Technology is becoming a platform through which the entire triangle—contractor, dealer, and equipment manufacturer—can communicate and come together to reshape expectations about how equipment-intensive businesses run and how equipment-intensive projects get built.

With more insight into the workings of equipment in the field, manufacturers and dealers can analyze when and under what conditions equipment is most efficient so end users can accomplish more work and expand their equipment’s lifespan.

– Emily Polkar is a content marketing specialist at MSI Data. MSI Data is a CFE Media content partner. See the original article here. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, Control Engineering,

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