The OEM IIoT Blind Spot – The Advantage OEMs Often Miss

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The OEM IIoT Blind Spot – The Advantage OEMs Often Miss

An IIoT Scotoma

If you’re familiar with the term, you know that scotoma is typically referred to as a blind spot. Interesting to note about a scotoma is the idea that if you don’t believe it, you won’t see it. It’s the believing that enables the seeing. We can build scotomas based on our belief system, and Industrial IoT outcomes may come in and out of vision, but we often push these ideas to the back burner to the detriment of our organization.  Nevertheless, there is a silver lining.

OEMs have more power to create new revenue models than most providers throughout the supply chain. Why? OEMs have access to the most finite data. The question is—will OEMs believe enough to see the potential?

Outcome-Based Service

Outcome-based service has been the light at the end of the tunnel for years – it’s ready to disrupt—but distributors (or simply competitors) are starting to capitalize on data from their various OEMs. However, many OEMs hear that it’s important but don’t actually feel the weight of it.

In essence, they have a blind spot to what power they have to disrupt not only their own business but the entire supply chain.

But We Don’t Offer Service

OEMs often feel that since they may not offer service directly, assisting in creating an ecosystem where pre-emptive service is at the forefront may not feel like a priority. Paradoxically, almost every OEM is looking for differentiators to gain additional revenue, and with an IIoT market expected to reach $263.4 billion by 2027 with some of the highest growth rates occurring in predictive maintenance, focus on resolving dilemmas around security and employee upskill take heightened precedence.

Paying for Data

Although the distribution channel may be loyal today, the more quickly the channel partners offer a solution to the OEMs’ end clients without the OEM’s involvement, the more likely the OEM will be tying into a channel service accessing data about their own machines. In essence, the OEM could be paying the channel for data about its own equipment.

Over the Fence

The final blind spot that seems to appear repeatedly is that because members of the supply chain have a service system, the OEM should simply throw it over the fence to distributors and dealers since these members typically deal directly with the end customer. While an OEM may not need a service system– in order to maintain their competitive edge, it benefits them to have a way to manage this actionable data they will inevitably provide to the channel.

There is power in data…and it’s important to ensure entitlements and response levels are being met at a higher level across the channel that takes into account the OEM’s supply chain members as well as the end customers.

The Last Mile

It’s the last mile of the customer journey that needs to be the focus. Not only may the third party or distributor be responsible for providing pre-emptive data and service to the customer—but as part of that, the OEM’s reputation is on the line.

The key is that OEMs have access to the more minute data in their equipment, not the channel. The power to pinpoint discrepancies, trends and errors more accurately positions the OEM for a revenue-generating model that the rest of the supply chain can’t easily replicate.

It’s well known there is a race for data among the supply chain. Why do so many OEMs resist taking a larger stake in what surely may be their differentiator in the years to come? Perhaps it’s the scotoma rising to the occasion.



Kris BrannocKris Brannock is an Executive Vice President at VSI, a transformative technology company that focuses on Actionable IoT™ and service. A corporate growth strategy influencer, Kris focuses her attention on disruptive innovation in IIoT and asset-intensive service. With experience on issues surrounding complex serviceable, asset-based environments, including patent pending IIoT solutions in Alarm Response Automation, she provides tangible insight for executives looking to monetize on IoT investments.