S4Fleet – Service solutions for fleet management

August 12, 2016

Program manager: Pekka Töytäri, DIMECC
Contact: pekka.toytari(at)dimecc.com

Schedule: 2015-2017
Size: 29,5 M€

Results: http://hightech.dimecc.com/


In the recent years, manufacturing industry has gone through a technological upheaval. Sensor technologies have enabled better, more precise and timely monitoring of different types of equipment while at the same time development of memory technologies, data communication capabilities, as well as computational power have made it possible to economically utilize the the available data. There is a strong indication that companies are entering a new wave of industrial development labeled as the Internet of Things (IoT) or Industrial Internet. Based on the data enabled increased intelligence firms are now capable and ready to offer different types of services and solutions to increase customer value. Moreover, as the previous data management systems have been built on monitoring of the individual units (cranes, trucks, paper machines etc.) the analytics can be now applied to the entire fleet including even thousands of units. Yet, it is inevitable that sensor enabled connectivity through the Industrial Internet will face increasing challenges and complexity when analytics are applied at the level of fleet.

The purpose of the DIMECC S4Fleet program is to research the variety of possibilities these technological breakthroughs enable in service business. The objective is to explore and exploit the possible managerial possibilities and challenges related to applying the available technologies towards a global, distributed customer base. A strong research consortium, including participants from top national universities and leading technological manufacturing firms, can lead the way for Finnish industry renewal. This collaboration and multidisciplinary accomplishments can have a remarkable impact on Finnish firms’ competitive advantage and position in international trade. Yet, as the technology offers an avenue, there is still a long leap towards profitable business and S4Fleet is designed to deliver solutions. The program is structured into three complementary project entities that are designed to cover the most critical areas in this technological renewal. The first project deals with the strategic intelligence in fleet management. The key aim is to clarify the strategic actions that need to be taken to renew the business towards profitable, data based fleet level service and solutions provision. The project builds strong knowledge on fleet management considering the changing time intervals, lengthened contract relationships, the related profitability, and required institutional transformation. The second project is built on understanding the operational requirements and consequences of this shift. To find efficient and dynamic models and tools for the fleet level analyses, companies need ways for predictability and productivity when facing the management challenge with the distributed fleet, not forgetting the customers’ holistic service experience. Finally, the third project is centered to the technology that enables this shift. The purpose is to explore the possibilities that advanced technologies have to offer
for service business, based on the availability of customer information for decision-making. The project examines information network modeling; fleet platform building and data enabled maintenance models. These three projects then collaborate and share information, with the biggest contribution stemming from activities at the project interfaces and synergies from complementary work.

The program consortium will pay special attention to the program management tools and integration efforts, bringing companies and research institutes together. The program’s three levels of analysis – strategy, operations, technology – are all needed in the modern service solutions for fleet management. S4Fleet program will be a nationally unique and competitive consortium, with an ambitious pursuit for the leading international edge. To reach the highest ranks in research, the consortium will engage in proactive international cooperation at two levels. Firstly, the consortium partners have gathered together an international scientific advisory board to direct and advise the research network on the right track, and challenge the researchers with topical research information. The board consist the leading scholars on the respective service business areas (operations, strategy, technology). The board will congregate once a year to review the research plans, to give keynote speeches in program seminars and to supervise individual researches. Secondly, the consortium partners have initiated cooperation and knowledge exchange with a list of international liaison partners that have expressed their interest towards the program and are keen to collaborate in similar projects that they currently work with around the globe.

S4Fleet program is unique, novel and strong consortium that is built to respond to the practical challenges that firms face when shifting their business towards fleet level service solutions enabled by the emergence of the Industrial Internet. The collaboration between organizations and academic institutions will offer and fruitful avenue for rigorous scientific contributions. It is now time to pursue the avenue that will renew and improve Finnish manufacturers’ competitive position within the lucrative service business landscape.