As digital transformation surges through the industry, each manufacturer is on its own digitization journey. Before real digitization efforts can begin, manufacturers must first make a viable business case, which requires extensive planning and weighing investments in IoT technology against projected return. Will it make my business more profitable? Will it increase my market share? Will it facilitate new business models? These are the questions manufacturers should ask themselves when planning their digital transformation.

At Hannover Messe this year, Microsoft will feature a diverse group of partners and customers engaged in similar digital transformation discussions—from manufacturers just starting out to those that have successfully implemented servitization models. Let’s look at some of the solutions and innovations you’ll see at HMI 2018.

Deliver insights to your customers with remote monitoring

Monetizing IoT investments begins with taking advantage of IoT’s inherent remote monitoring capabilities to generate and deliver insights to your customers. Many manufacturers have already seen the benefits of IoT in their own operations, but haven’t explored remote monitoring as a new servitized business model. With visibility into industrial device performance, customers gain business insights and can make adjustments that increase productivity while reducing downtime and maintenance costs.

Consider Microsoft customer Sandvik Coromant, part of the Sandvik Group, a global engineering organization that produces machining tools and tooling systems. One of our showcase customers at HMI 2017, Sandvik initially implemented IoT to improve internal operations, but quickly realized that by leveraging IoT on their devices at customer sites, they could create a new service line. After connecting their products to the cloud and integrating performance data with Dynamics 365, Sandvik’s service representatives now provide live feedback to customers who want to optimize device performance. Sandvik’s customers have reduced the time needed to make emergency shutdown decisions from two seconds to 100 milliseconds, and have realized millions of dollars in cost savings due to increased efficiencies.

Turn field service into a profit center with predictive maintenance

While remote monitoring alone enables manufacturers to deliver value to their customers, it also serves as the foundation for additional servitization opportunities, such as predictive maintenance. By analyzing streaming IoT data, manufacturers can assess conditions, recognize warning signs, and service equipment before it fails.

Grundfos, a global leader in advanced pumping solutions, manufactures smart pumps which identify and isolate faulty pipes and reroute water to its intended location. By integrating data collected from the pumps with Dynamics 365, Grundfos predicts and prevents potential issues, and can react more quickly when they arise. For instance, Grundfos now leverages external weather data to adjust its pumps to prevent flooding when heavy rainfall is predicted.

After implementing remote monitoring for its customers, Sandvik Coromant worked with Microsoft to utilize predictive analytics by sending their data to the cloud for real-time analysis. This new capability enables automatic equipment adjustments, maintenance notifications, and alerts. According to Nevzat Ertan, Sandvik’s Chief Enterprise Architect and Senior Manager, “Right now we can detect electrical surges and abnormal patterns and can stop the machine in real time if those exceed certain thresholds. The power of these cloud-based services enables us to set up predictive maintenance schedules and set alarms so that we can take a machine offline before it fails.”1 Remote monitoring and predictive maintenance are key capabilities for driving a larger return on IoT investments.

Empower your business with a new field service experience

Individually, remote monitoring and predictive maintenance solutions improve company productivity, increase profit, and deliver valuable insights. But if these capabilities are not delivered as part of an exceptional, connected field service experience, customers may overlook the benefits by fixating on the shortfalls of the overall experience. A differentiated service experience requires an intelligent solution, like Dynamics 365 for Field Service, that unites customer data and field service capabilities on a streamlined platform.

Sandvik Coromant united their existing remote monitoring and predictive maintenance solutions and transformed their business by implementing Dynamics 365. This unified platform enabled Sandvik to leverage IoT insights to deliver specific knowledge at the tooling level and use resource scheduling optimization to minimize idle time by up to 50 percent,2 delivering an unprecedented field service experience.

Enable upsell and cross-sell opportunities by integrating sales and service

With a new servitization model for field service in place, manufacturers can drive new top-line revenue by enabling cross-sell and upsell capabilities for field technicians. With full sales and service integration, field service technicians can evaluate remote monitoring and predictive maintenance data alongside historical sales information to suggest products and services that will deliver customers’ desired results and enable onsite sales.

Manufacturers around the world are breaking down silos between their sales and service organizations. Dynamics 365 for Sales provides powerful sales insights that enable field technicians to increase sales productivity and customer satisfaction, the final piece in building a customer-centric business model. Kennametal, a tooling supplier, has transformed its customer engagement process by adopting Dynamics to provide a much-needed 360-degree view of the customer for sales and service. This enables Kennametal to deliver on their philosophy of customer-first experiences. As Kennametal’s CIO describes it, “We needed a comprehensive ecosystem that worked together seamlessly. The Microsoft platform provided a complete solution, setting the stage for comprehensive customer engagement.”3

With cross-sell and upsell enabled, organizations unlock opportunities to further enhance the customer experience. Whether through custom configuration solutions like PROS Configure Price Quote (CPQ), or streamlined contract management through Icertis Contract Management, these opportunities enable businesses to get the most from their IoT investment and customer interactions.

Learn more about our new paradigm in field service at Hannover Messe

By integrating remote monitoring and predictive maintenance with our agile business platform, Dynamics 365, manufacturers are monetizing their connected products and creating a new paradigm in field service.

To learn more about how Microsoft and its partners are enabling manufacturers to take the next step in their connected field service evolution—utilizing innovative technologies like AI and mixed reality—and to experience these technologies firsthand, sign up to request a 1:1 briefing or booth tour with Microsoft executives during Hannover Messe 2018.

1 Sandvik Coromant customer case study

2 Sandvik Coromant customer video

3 Kennametal customer case study