How IoT Improves Business for the Field Service Industry

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The IoT improves machine health with preventative and prescriptive diagnostics


Most Americans don’t see their doctors solely when they’re sick. Why? Because getting a yearly physical discovers and prevents minor issues from going major. Patients spend less money by addressing a mild symptom rather than waiting to go to the ER. 

The same principle applies to maintaining machine health. Companies purchase machinery to accomplish many tasks, ranging from plowing to transportation to ventilation and more.

All equipment needs to have “checkups” at least occasionally to last as long as possible. Seasonal maintenance inspections help detect subtle wear and tear before the machine fails. Customers then pay much less for a short and quick repair service than fixing the machine from the ground up. 

Cars, for example, require preventative maintenance in terms of insurance, tire rotation and oil change. Drivers who don’t get those services increase their chance of getting a flat tire, collision and other costly damages.

At one point, machinery required inspection on a set schedule, which can be inconvenient to the user. Now, the Internet of Things (IoT) is making preventative maintenance easier. Today, many manufacturers invest in IoT to simplify preventative maintenance.

With the IoT, original equipment manufacturers (OEM) can gain business intelligence data on product use patterns and wear and tear. Even simple products can come with IoT sensors that store many years of big and small data.


depot repair items


Remote diagnostics evolves to predictive diagnostics

Studies show that many find it frustrating to get customer service by phone. Some may even find it hard to schedule an in-person service. With the IoT, customers and service providers alike can solve problems from anywhere. Customers don’t have to visit a service firm or call the Help Desk as often as before. Many industries today use remote diagnostics to troubleshoot, maintain and assess product efficiency from a remote location. 42% of FSOs have already deployed the Internet of Things (IoT) into their business as of 2018.

IoT sensors promote predictive analytics, which determines when and how to prevent machine failure. Companies that track performance remotely can suggest inspection service dates based on individual use. Customers who get service based on use are proven to get their money’s worth. Those who use their machines less will not get service when it’s not needed, while those who often use machines in rough environments get service sooner than later.


Predictive diagnostics promotes prescriptive measures

Prescriptive analytics in the IoT provides action based suggestions, based on the “here and now” of a situation. In short, predictive analytics anticipate machine failure, but prescriptive models offer tips on how to prevent failure. For example, a prescriptive model for an IT company could warn technicians to shut down a server if a virus is detected. 

Prescriptive analytics also help people escape hazardous settings. For example, an HVAC system that has sensors could detect a fire and warn employees to leave the building. Many companies also use optimization models when developing a product to determine the right price to charge for maximum profitability.

The future of field service will be defined by the IoT. Learn how IoT impacts industrial service companies, how to prepare your team for the shift and examples of companies already taking advantage of all the possibilities IoT offers.



It’s safe to say that maintaining machine health is like maintaining human health. It’s also clear that the Internet of Things enables manufacturers to do so. Using IoT technology for preventative and prescriptive maintenance is the best way to ensure a machine lives a long, healthy life. The IoT not only maintains equipment, but makes manufacturing companies more productive and customers happier.  Request a demo now.