Why Getting Multi-Device Configuration Right Is Critical for Asset Maintenance

EAM Software / April 2017

Asset maintenance is more demanding than ever before. And asset-intensive industries that are able to deliver fast, frictionless experiences to manage their assets will achieve better asset performance. One of the key elements of enterprise asset management is the software used by asset-intensive industries. Comparesoft researched the multi-device accessibility of typical asset management software and its influence on overall asset performance management.

Why Multiscreen Mobility

Increased Productivity for Field-Based Users

A typical asset team includes scheduling engineers, maintenance engineers, contractors, auditors, reliability engineers and management executives. Each of these roles require related but different data from assets. Schedulers typically prioritise production; maintenance engineers focus on condition monitoring, and management executives focus on overall asset performance.

Workforce Has Access to Multiple Devices

Almost all of the asset team have at least two devices (desktop/laptop and tablet/mobile) on which they view asset data. Typically, the functional tasks on tablets/mobiles involve selecting data or viewing information on the go. Mobile and tablet users tend to be very goal-oriented—they expect to be able to get what they need from a mobile site easily and immediately, whereas on desktops and laptops, the information engagement is deeper and longer.

Smaller Devices Are for Specific Goal-Based Activities

Typically, ease of navigation takes priority on mobile devices and information drill down takes priority on large-screen devices, whilst asset teams today are constantly connected, moving between devices—from tablet to laptop to desktop to smartphone—throughout their day. This constant connectivity offers rich new opportunities for organisations to enhance their asset performance.

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Challenges With Multi-Device Accessibility

Connectivity-Based Asset Data and Offline Data Threshold

The asset-intensive industry is data-heavy; most contemporary asset management software is SaaS-based. This means asset data access is connectivity-dependant. This can be challenging for isolated locations. To avoid connectivity-related issues, a number of software vendors and organisations have offline databases for field users. The decisions on offline data threshold levels and synchronisation of online-offline data are always challenging. For example, CAD Drawings are typically easier to access and interrogate on desktop devices, but floor plans need to be accessed by mobile users in the field. Functionalities like calculating floor space and marking available spaces are productive yields on a mobile.

Navigational Habits of Users on Mobile Devices

The micro-moments of mobile tasks are very specific and goal-oriented. Mobile moments are best completed on a single window or with minimum navigation. Due to the screen size, menus need to be shorter on the mobile than on the desktop. The action buttons on a mobile need to be centred. Whilst mobile and tablets are touch-friendly, desktops are pop-up friendly. The ability to quickly get to information with minimum drop downs and filters aids in winning mobile moments—for example, allowing mobile users to search by severity, intensity, size, and importance of maintenance incidents.

UI Contrast and Data Downloads

From a technical standpoint, the asset management software experience on mobiles is best driven with minimum data downloads. The UI layout needs to be high contrast to adapt to field settings, and asset content needs to load in a logical manner.

Opportunities With Blending Mobile and Desktop

Leverage Intrinsic Mobile Capabilities

A significant amount of technical communication within organisations still largely happens by email. With mobiles, users can take videos and photographs, record calls, and send messages, all of which are very relevant for driving asset performance. The opportunity to drive asset performance is enhanced by using the intrinsic functionalities of mobile devices.

Be Ready for Amplified Data

The convergence of the Industrial Internet of Things, Unmanned Asset Inspection and a Technologically-Savvy workforce will amplify data feeds to asset management software. Deploying a multi-device asset management solution will influence your organisation in managing and driving information from the high levels of data expected in the very near future.