Some say remote monitoring is like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, and everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it. So what can remote monitoring really do for your organization? Tefen has been asked by a top Medical Technology Company this exact question.
A little background: Medical Device companies, especially those with capital equipment, often provide post-sale engineering support and on-site maintenance service to customers who have bought the equipment.
Remote Diagnose. When remote monitoring is performed remotely, massive savings can be gained from reducing the field engineer’s travel and labor time.
Efficient Repair. Leveraging the data generated by remote monitoring, companies find it easier to diagnosis the issue, which often times lead to higher rate of repair success.
Training / Software Upgrade. Clinical specialists can thus review equipment settings remotely or walk the on-site clinicians through manuals remotely. This is particularly useful if your company has customers spread out across the country or even the globe.
Enhance Planning & Scheduling. With the new superpower of foreseeing and preparing the work in advance, it helps to reduce the risk of missing parts, thus reduces the cost for emergency spare parts and unscheduled down time. It also enables companies to schedule the maintenance worker in advance, thus enhancing resource utilization efficiency.
Customer Satisfaction. Customers perceive a higher value-add with the company’s service. To make use of remote diagnostics, you need know-how, specifically tools and a robust set of statistical data across all installed equipment, which is something the customer (or 3rd parties) usually do not have. Providing remote diagnostics may ultimately lead to higher margins and a tighter partnership.
Employee Satisfaction. Switching from a reactive to a proactive service approach reduces fire-fighting and simplifies the activity planning for maintenance engineers, leading to higher employee satisfaction and better field force coordination.
For the Black Belt Experts
Uptime contracts. When you are good enough, you’ll be confident to make contractual promises, on delivering value, which enables you to charge more. “Up-time contracts” can be introduced as part of the service offering, ensuring high customer throughput and thus extra consumable and disposable sales.
Big data. A facilitated access to MTBF statistics allows you to set clear and efficient indications for service contract pricing and ultimately, improve profitability. In addition, it may provide the automatic collection of potential data (e.g. # of procedures) and intelligence to analyze and optimize.
A false surprise
Despite all these goodies mentioned, however, there are also two risk to be taken into consideration:
As Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross put it in five stage model of grief, similar process will happen with change in your organization. People will go through denial (of new procedures), anger (of minor issues), bargaining (of new responsibilities), and depression (of constant confusion) before their acceptance. You may want to introduce change management to facilitate this process.
The sheer volume of maintenance work may tend to increase, as we anticipate repair works rather than “waiting” for equipment breakdown. Thus when you look at the metrics, don’t be shocked by the number, but try to understand the true story happening behind it.
Millie He, Senior Consultant, Tefen USA
Paolo Correale, Director, Tefen EU
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