According to a research report by Frost & Sullivan, many companies are fighting their own way, often buying the same and expensive test equipment for different engineers, laboratories or office locations. However, these test instruments are rarely fully utilized, resulting in low utilization and unnecessary costs. Its data shows that the typical utilization rate of many companies’ test assets is in the 30% range. Our cross-industry experience shows that the utilization rate is even lower, usually as low as 20%, which is far from the 70% to 80% that can actually be achieved.
In today’s on-demand sharing economy, companies share underutilized assets such as cars and houses to increase return on investment. Obviously Uber and Airbnb have proven that this concept is effective, and the same principles apply to Electronic test and measurement equipment. With the appropriate technology platform, test assets can be shared to reduce capital expenditures and operating expenditures, increase utilization, and increase return on investment.
In major industries such as semiconductor and automobile manufacturing, telecommunications, aerospace, and defense, time to market pressure continues to increase. In addition, the level of review of R&D budgets and asset expenditures has also improved. Essentially, test engineers and managers should get twice the result with half the effort.
Since test costs in these industries account for a large part of the overall R&D budget, a data-driven solution is needed to ensure that test operations are performed at or near peak operational efficiency.
Why is the cost increasing?
The reason why capital expenditure and operating expenditure costs continue to rise is that one is because there are too many equipment purchases on hand, and the other is to maintain the ever-increasing cost of ownership. Here are some common problems we see:
Ÿ Low operating efficiency: The entire team’s test asset utilization rate is severely insufficient, resulting in higher capital expenditures and operating expenditures than necessary.
Lack of information: Inability to obtain accurate and up-to-date information about the location of the test assets. Without a centralized search function, engineers will spend too much time searching equipment and stay away from core R&D activities.
Ÿ Lack of control: Lack of procurement control means unnecessary purchase of test equipment, which will increase test costs. Making smart asset acquisition decisions can have a major impact on the bottom line.
Ÿ Obsolete: The future needs and requirements were not considered when purchasing test equipment. After the project is completed, the equipment will be shelved or stored. With the accelerated development of technology, engineers mainly look for newer equipment. Older and unused equipment increases fleet operating costs for items such as calibration and maintenance.
Ÿ Unnecessary calibration: Many companies usually calibrate all equipment according to OEM recommendations. By using a centralized system with real-time data, you can calibrate only for upcoming projects or as needed.
ŸLow asset sales recovery rate: Most companies retain old assets for too long, which reduces the value that can be obtained by selling old or unused assets.
Improve information transparency
The low transparency of equipment ownership and usage is an important reason for high capital expenditure and operating expenditure. The centralized asset optimization system provides transparency and visibility of equipment locations, project status, and calibration plans throughout the organization.
From engineers and laboratory managers to purchasing and finance teams, everyone can see which assets are available, which assets are in use or reserved, as well as project costs and calibration schedules. Armed with this information, asset sharing plans can be implemented to reduce costs and increase operational efficiency, productivity, and utilization.
Real-time understanding of asset utilization.
Using timely data to understand asset location, usage, and scheduling can help companies make better decisions in equipment selection, planning, spending, and procurement. Improved asset intelligence also enables users to share equipment, which is a key driver of increased utilization. Greater insight into usage data also allows organizations to mark unused assets for early disposal, thereby maximizing the value of restoration.
Better decision-making: For example, strategic leasing allows companies to reduce costs by avoiding most of the upfront and long-term ownership costs while reducing the number of equipment owned in the asset base
Improved calibration management: With an accurate, real-time scheduling and appointment system, engineers and laboratory managers can rest assured that the equipment will be calibrated during each project, thereby increasing efficiency.
Improved device search: Searching for test devices by part number only indicates whether the specified model is available. Through parameter search, users can search for devices by entering the functions or parameters they need to see which machines can meet current needs.
Timely disposal: With the depreciation of various test assets, there is an optimal time to maximize the value of the second-hand market. We can recommend an ideal time window to handle certain types of equipment.
What can asset optimization do for you?
By centralizing all asset-related data in one place, better decision-making and deeper insights become possible.
• Engineers, laboratory managers, finance and purchasing personnel can quickly find the equipment they need. Finance and purchasing teams can access detailed project and equipment cost of ownership.
• Executive management can monitor the improvement of key indicators over time, thereby increasing throughput, reducing costs and increasing return on investment capital.
Although companies around the world are investing heavily in test and measurement equipment to support accelerated R&D and manufacturing activities, most of these investments have not been effectively utilized. In fact, too many companies are still plagued by low test equipment utilization, rapid rise in asset ownership and test costs, and low levels of operational efficiency and productivity.
Although asset optimization is a comprehensive solution involving a large part of the organization, the financial benefits are significant. Yi Lai Chu’s asset optimization solutions can help companies make more informed decisions in asset acquisition, leasing and purchase, and “appropriate adjustment” of the investment portfolio (including selling underutilized assets and reducing unnecessary purchases).