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Case Study

Global Manufacturing Leader. Modern IoT Platform with Digital Customer Dashboard POC

The challenge

Despite how cutting edge their equipment technology is, the client's physical cutting machinery lacked an integrated Digital IoT Platform that included a Customer Dashboard. In other words, the client lacked real-time visibility into machine health and performance. They lacked a mechanism for notifications and alerts, and they lacked a dashboard for identifying and purchasing needed parts and supplies. Unless a technician was on-site, there was no way to ensure a machine was performing as well as it should be. No predictive maintenance was in place to track running time remotely or to let users know when components were nearing their end of life. Finally, users were required to leverage a multitude of disparate channels to request service, purchase components, view instructional videos, and more. To meet today's consumer expectations and align their digital experience with their physical manufacturing technology, what the organization needed was a modern IoT Platform with a dashboard portal that combined analytics, alerts, and services into a single, intuitive UI.

The priorities

So many of our manufacturing clients suffer from a problem endemic to the industry: the maturity of their manufacturing equipment fails to align with the digital platform  used to manage, monitor, and run it (assuming such a platform even exists). We call this disparity between physical and digital technology the "manufacturing maturity gap." Our Manufacturing IoT Technology Alignment Accelerator ensures your digital IoT platform is as smart and modern as the manufacturing equipment itself.  

"Modern manufacturing technology demands a modern digital experience."

Why is it so important that your digital platform UI/UX aligns with your manufacturing technology? Here's why. Because companies that fail to provide a modern digital experience risk losing customers in three key ways. First, they risk losing existing customers to competitors whose digital offerings live up to their modern expectations. Secondly, they risk losing new customers who refuse to trust that a company can deliver if their digital experience isn’t up to snuff, even if their manufacturing technology is the best in the business. “If their cutters, stampers, benders, and punchers are so advanced,” they'll wonder, “why would they neglect their digital platform?” Finally, your organization risks losing customers to competitors if you’re unable to help them reduce costs, streamline processes, and eliminate human error through process automation.

Due to sensitive and confidential information, we can’t share the client’s name, but we can talk about the challenges and outcomes of the project.
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The action

The Client

A global leader in ultrahigh-pressure manufacturing process solutions, this client developed a portfolio of fabrication and cutting technologies for customers with the most demanding and precise requirements.  

The Solution

Seabeck Systems was no stranger to this pioneer of cutting and fabrication. As a longtime vendor, Seabeck already enjoyed an established relationship with the organization, and a track record of success supporting their database, as well as providing strategic guidance and enterprise IT services around cloud infrastructure, IoT, IT operational support, and more. Further, Seabeck Systems had a history of rapidly developing POCs for this client—to accelerate requirements-gathering, achieve buy-in, and even extinguish fires—so they trusted Seabeck to quickly develop and deliver the online dashboard prototype in time for the upcoming FABTECH 2021: North America's largest metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing conference.  

"Customers and prospects at FABTECH loved the demo. A few people stopped only to look at the demo—not [their manufacturing equipment]."

— Manufacturing Client CEO

In just eight weeks of collaborative iteration, Seabeck Systems strategized, designed, architected, and developed a working prototype of the proposed digital solution. The new IoT Platform and Digital Customer Dashboard would represent a giant leap forward in several ways. First, by providing remote access to status data, messages/alerts, and instructional materials. Second, by enabling predictive maintenance through the tracking of component usage data. And finally, by facilitating service requests and the purchasing of components and supplies—all from one pane of glass.  

Additionally, the IoT Platform would track critical system data (including overall usage, health, and machine /system status), and would alert users when hydraulic oil was low, when water temps were too high, or when a component had malfunctioned. The dashboard would also provide actionable usage-tracking (for pumps, lasers, surface grinders, stampers, filters, cutting heads, ball bars, etc.), would recommend an appropriate course of action (e.g., replace filters, examine components for erosion, schedule tests), and would let users schedule maintenance requests by simply clicking a link.  

What's more, the platform would facilitate the timely identification and replacement of needed parts and supplies by letting users place orders directly from the dashboard (and view their order history)—thus eliminating any guesswork around which parts or supplies were needed. Finally, the portal would provide much-needed support by letting users review upcoming service appointments and past service-activity, and by offering a library of instructional materials and videos. Naturally, the portal would also provide account information, including billing data, installations, and license agreements.  

Best of all, the solution cuts across all forming and fabrication technologies, meaning the client’s customers are now able to control all of their manufacturing machines from a single dashboard UI.

The Benefits

Now that so many organizations are facing staff reductions and a remote workforce, providing secure online access to critical data and enabling proactive action to prevent issues from becoming big problems is more critical than ever. By providing an intuitive one-stop shop, our new Digital IoT Platform with Customer Dashboard improves sales by facilitating product purchases, increases customer satisfaction by consolidating disparate channels of action, reduces downtime by ensuring issues are addressed and rectified early-on, and minimizes the impact of service engagements on the production cycle by letting users schedule appointments (and associated downtime). Finally, the IoT platform helps customers reduce costs, streamline processes, and eliminate human error through process automation.  

"I am getting nonstop compliments on the demo and our team, and best of all the demo works flawlessly. Looks great! Your team did awesome job!!!!!!!!!"

— Manufacturing Client VP

Looking ahead, the new digital platform places the client squarely on the path to IoT enablement by providing an actionable strategic roadmap that outlines the 'real-deal' dashboard development process. Seabeck Systems has plans to develop and implement the client's 'real-deal' Digital IoT platform with Customer Dashboard over the next six months, following an agile, phased approach that accelerates delivery while ensuring the most critical functionality is prioritized.  

The bigger picture is this: any manufacturing organization that wants to provide customers a single, centralized tool to reorder parts, monitor equipment status, automate processes, accelerate training (and much more) should reach out to Seabeck Systems for a simple, intuitive, self-contained Digital IoT Platform and Customer Dashboard POC that may be demoed at tradeshows without fear of the WiFi issues common to such venues.  

In just a few weeks, Seabeck Systems' Manufacturing IoT Technology Alignment Accelerator strategizes, designs, and develops a custom Proof of Concept to align your organization's physical manufacturing equipment with its digital experience and solutions. A Digital IoT Platform with Customer Dashboard prototype allows any issues to be sorted out early-on, facilitates organization-wide input to ensure all key features are included, and helps you win buy-in from the Business before becoming more deeply invested in the real-deal digital platform.  

Reach out to Seabeck Systems for help defining and developing your modern Digital IoT Platform with Customer Dashboard as an incremental step to achieving these key objectives: 

  • Consistent maturity across physical and digital technologies.
  • Greater loyalty by meeting consumer expectations with a modern, one-stop portal.
  • Streamlined processes by combining disparate functions in a single UI.
  • Minimized onboarding time through integrated help, instructional manuals, and training videos.
  • Increased revenue via eCommerce integration for ordering of parts, supplies, etc.
  • Reduced downtime via proactive real-time alerts that eliminate potential issues early-on.
  • Maximized productivity through predictive maintenance scheduling and lifespan tracking.

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