Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared on Field Technologies Online and is adapted here with permission. Here, editor Sarah Nicastro speaks with Scott Day, EVP of product and business strategy at Thyssenkrupp Elevator, about how the company’s service teams benefit when its elevators connect to the Internet. 

Leading field service organizations across the globe are turning to IoT technology to truly transform the way they do business. IoT is enabling these organizations to shift their service model from reactive to proactive — and even predictive. This is of utmost importance with the growing focus on customer experience and satisfaction.

The largest producer of elevators in the Americas, ThyssenKrupp Elevator has more than 15,500 employees, in more than 230 branch and service locations. Currently, the company is implementing IoT to remotely monitor and manage more than 70,000 elevators in the U.S. and more than 200,000 worldwide. Below, Day discusses the catalyst fro ThyssenKrupp’s IoT adoption and shares his perspective on where IoT’s use in field service is headed:

What led ThyssenKrupp Elevator to adopt the IoT?

Scott Day, ThyssenKrupp Elevator

Scott Day

Day: Our overarching goals and objectives were that we needed to develop a game-changing approach to the customer experience in maintaining their vertical transportation equipment. In short, we needed to move from a reactive, sometimes negative, service approach to a positive, proactive service approach. We needed to be able to deploy quickly and globally with a technology that would leapfrog our competitors with an entirely new approach to the elevator service business.

The driving force in adopting an IoT strategy for ThyssenKrupp was to provide a leading-edge customer experience in terms of uptime of their elevators and escalators. To do that, we needed to employ a strategy that would go beyond traditional service methods with remote monitoring and disrupt the industry with a more intelligent, predictive, and preemptive data-driven approach.

What new capabilities has IoT provided ThyssenKrupp Elevator?

Before MAX [ThyssenKrupp’s IoT solution] we relied solely on the technician’s knowledge and experience with a varied and constantly changing service base. We relied on the technician to make decisions on how to fix and when to replace components. In the end, the decision may not be the right one because the amount of data required to provide that breadth of knowledge is massive.

With MAX we can now take a data-driven approach to maintenance. We can fix it right the first time and prevent failures to maximize the uptime of our customers’ vertical transportation. This would not be possible without an IoT strategy.

The customer experience was the primary objective for IoT, but are there also operational benefits?

There are operational benefits. Investments of this magnitude and the changes in our structure that will be necessary to facilitate this strategy have to somehow pay for themselves. In many parts of the world, the price that customers are willing to pay for vertical transportation maintenance remains at 1970s levels while expectations of higher reliability continue to rise.

At the same time, elevator service requires highly skilled technicians and engineers who are paid very well. In many cases, these highly skilled technicians have experienced consistent pay increases over the past 30 years. It is simple math: Frozen prices with rising costs facilitate the need to do something drastically different. Route optimization only takes us so far in achieving efficiencies that save us money. With MAX, we can assure our technician has the right knowledge and parts to be most impactful on every single service visit while enhancing the customer experience.

Read the full story at Field Technologies Online