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Decreasing your risk from Service Level Agreements with Remote Data

by Tom McKinney | Apr 08, 2020


Leveraging Service Level Agreements (SLAs) can help improve customer trust while increasing revenue. Whether implicit or explicit every product sold has an expected level of performance, and warranties are used to clearly define what types of failures are covered during the lifespan of a machine. SLAs are used to limit the impact of failures upon production. Systems integrator and OEMs that offer SLAs for machines or manufacturing lines create value for the end user including:

  • SLAs reduce the end users risk, similar to an insurance policy
  • Enable up selling and more flexible pricing strategies to increase margins
  • Improve the vendor to customer relationship by sharing and limiting risk


Key elements required for a machine SLA offering

Vendors can increase revenue by charging for different levels of service but in doing so they are also taking on some risk. One key to a de-risking a SLA offering is to establish service levels that are easily measurable and can easily be documented in an unbiased way. Automatically measuring and recording machine data has many benefits including:

  • Eliminate customer debate regarding when the failure occurred
  • Machine state at the point of failure or just prior to the point of failure can help resolve the root cause
  • Detect misuse and simplify the discussion with the customer regarding issues outside the scope of the SLA

When resolving a SLA issue bringing hard data to the discussion can reduce the complexity of the conversation with the end customer and lead to a less emotional discussion focused on the facts.




Using SLA offers to create a competitive advantage

Many companies refuse to commit to comprehensive warranties and service agreements because they don’t have the data to estimate their own risk despite having serviced a given market for years. The primary reason being that they have no idea how their product performs in the field. The only data available are through customer support calls and in many cases those calls have not been documented properly. This limits the path for a business leader to build a business model around a service agreement.

By starting to collect data today, machine builders can you can work towards a profitable SLA offering in the future. The cost of collecting data and storing that information is very low in comparison to the advantages. Most service departments are already deploying Ewon Cosy devices to enable remote access. For an incremental cost, vendors can upgrade to an Ewon Flexy and enable telemetry data on top of remote access.

Layering an IoT platform from Altizon on top of a Flexy and Talk2M allows machine builders to start gathering the information required to develop the confidence to offer more aggressive SLAs. Vendors with a solid warranty and SLA can displace even toe most entrenched vendors that refuse to stand behind their products in writing.


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