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Tennant Re-Imagines Its Business with IoT and Big Data

May 27, 2015 by Neetin Datar 0

In my last Internet of Things (IoT) blog, I had talked about how SAP is helping companies connect, transform and re-imagine their businesses. Tennant Company (NYSE: TNX), a world leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world, has done exactly that, and with great success.

Tennant has co-innovated with SAP and a couple of our technology partners, to harness the power of IoT. Their CIO, Paul Wellman spoke about their IoT success at the recently concluded SAPPHIRE NOW conference in May and how they are driving competitive advantage in the marketplace today.

Tennant’s IoT strategy is focused on their higher end of product portfolio i.e. Commercial and Industrial machines as their B2B customers buy them in large numbers and need help managing these assets deployed at sites such as plants, warehouses, and retails stores, across North America. These floor cleaning machines represent significant investments for their customers and do need periodic service, maintenance, and lifecycle management.

Connected Machines to Big Data Insights to Value Creation

Tennant‘s R&D team has done a great job of innovating with machine control systems, telemetry, cellular modem, SIM card and firmware to successfully connect their fleet of ruggedized machines to device cloud and be able to communicate relevant data. Working with SAP and partners, this data from tens of thousands of machines and from multiple locations gets sent daily to SAP HANA platform for further advanced analytics and derive Big Data insights.

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These derived insights are available to Tennant’s customers on “consumer-grade” and user friendly dashboards to help reduce their total cost of cleaning their work environments and drive better utilization of their industrial cleaning machines:

  • Machine Usage: Machine usage can vary dramatically from location to location within an enterprise and its sites. Having visibility of usage level e.g. at each retail store or warehouse location is hugely valuable for customers as having operational consistency across a fleet of machines equals direct labor savings.
  • Machine Location: Cleaning machines do go missing at customer sites and having the capability to track location of machines reduces lost/ stolen assets – and produce huge savings.
  • Machine Maintenance: Tennant’s customers are always interested in lowering their maintenance costs. To help with this objective Tennant has married the machine ID data with SAP ERP data (i.e. service order history) to provide a full view of maintenance costs.

Tennant’s IoT Value Proposition

Tennant’s IoT enabled fleet management solution is a win-win proposition – for their customers and for Tennant itself. Customers are able to lower their overall cost of cleaning and Tennant is able to drive better sales of aftermarket parts, be more effective with each of their service calls and importantly distinguish itself against its competition as they now can provide better customer experience and build customer loyalty.

Per Paul Wellman, Tennant is not stopping here. They have plans to add more exciting IoT capabilities in the areas of battery metrics, impact detection, maintenance diagnostics and usage by operator ID. They are also giving a lot of thought to new business models like “Cleaning as a Service”.

As you can see Tennant has a powerful IoT and Big Data story and I’d highly recommend you check out their presentation at SAPPHIRE NOW conference here.

Relentless Pursuit of Manufacturing Excellence

Manufacturer’s today need to fit into a new world that includes Big Data, IoT, cloud, mobility, social media, and omni-channel commerce. This is additive to their traditional challenges of designing and delivering world-class products and services. Some companies like Tennant are nailing it. Here’s your opportunity to be equally bold – join us at Manufacturing Industries Forum in Chicago on June 23-25 and learn how you can re-imagine your business and do things you never thought possible on your journey to the “Perfect Enterprise.”

Additional resources:
Neetin Datar leads Core Industries and IoT Marketing at SAP America. He has over 20 years of SAP and enterprise software experience. He is passionate about technology and its use by organizations to run simple. Follow him on Twitter @neetin_datar

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.
Top image: Shutterstock

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