By Brian Albright, Field Technologies magazine
Wireless M2M (machine-to-machine) solutions can increase efficiency and provide new revenue opportunities.
Even the most well-run field service operations still face built-in costs that are largely unavoidable: When something breaks, a technician has to go fix it, requiring an investment in time, fuel, and equipment. M2M technology can change that. With more reliable wireless network coverage and improved M2M modules, a number of service and delivery companies are finding ways to further optimize their operations by keeping tabs on equipment in the field. Remote access allows them to spot potential service problems in advance of a breakdown, remotely troubleshoot equipment, monitor inventories, and even repair equipment remotely, thus avoiding a truck roll completely.
“The ideal scenario would be to review a dashboard snapshot of your customer sites each morning over coffee,” says Benjamin Nye, strategic solutions consultant at Etherios, a division of Digi International. “At this point, you would be able to make an informed series of decisions on what needs attention. With remote access, you can even tap in to a specific device without actually going to the site. Together, remote monitoring and management optimize personnel and fleet expenses — lowering the total cost of doing business.”