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Technology in Maintenance now (and for the future)

Three factors for successful technology adoption for Transit maintenance.

There is much in store for maintenance in 2019 that goes well beyond enhancements to traditional asset maintenance systems.  Increased use of mobile computing, IoT (Internet of Things) and real-time analytics all promise to bring in more innovation into maintenance.  There is more to discuss on these technologies and the potential they bring.  For now, though, there are two key questions that need to be addressed.

Why do these technologies hold more promise now than others from the past (e.g. RFID)?  And what are the factors that come in the way of adoption?

In discussions with customers and industry experts, Connixt has identified three primary factors that determine and drive adoption (and conversely, also impede adoption when not addressed):

  1. Faster response and better decision-making

Power to the users. 

These technologies put power where it matters the most – in the hands of workshop techs, field inspectors and crew supervisors.  Users can access real-time information, electronically capture status and update into back-end systems and make decisions faster in the field.  Field crew are empowered to do what they do best – work on the equipment, rolling stock and fixed assets, and keep them at safe, peak performance. Connixt customers talk of the substantial benefits from the use of cloud-mobile tech in their workshops and in the field.

  1. User adoption is key

The true test of any technology? Users need to use it. 

Yet, the one consistent complaint about enterprise technology is that it is never easy for the actual end-user to use – at least not as easy as it appears in presentations and demos in meeting rooms.  Cloud-mobile app suites like iMarq™ run on standard smartphones and tablets they are already familiar with make it easy.  Users are ready to put to work capabilities like speech-to-text, voice-memos and bar-code scanning – features they are already familiar with in their consumer apps.  The front-end user experience must be the primary focus – an area where traditional enterprise software has fallen woefully short.

  1. Faster deployment, easier customization

Finally: results, and fast!

How quickly can departments see results? Cloud-mobile technology is different – users get to test out applications within weeks of initiation, recommend changes, and see those changes implemented within days.  Rapid configuration, customization and a deep awareness of user needs are the keys to success – not an easy combination to achieve, but available today!

Is 2019 then the break-out year for across-the-board adoption of technology in maintenance?  Maintenance teams we have talked to – users, managers and executives – would like it to be. They know that digitizing and automating the first mile is critical to scalability, efficiency and compliance. And, as long as technology can step up and meet their daily needs, there is opportunity to do more.

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