By Gary Forger · June 14, 2021
For a while, remote was all about being able to change TV channels without getting off the couch. Over time, that went from pretty cool to the only option.
Remote has also touched employees who work full time yet rarely, if ever, come into an office. Until a year ago, the rest of us may have had at least a twinge of resentment now and again about that. Today, nearly every company is having a discussion about remote work.
There’s also the iPhone and FaceTime. Did anyone not like seeing someone as we talked? Of course not. But we’ve all heard or experienced in the past year a certain disenchantment with Zoom, Microsoft Teams and the like.
In all of these cases, remote added something to everyday activities even if it challenged us along the way. Then suddenly, Covid made remote a thing. And remote MRO training, monitoring and repairs came into their own.
But before we get into what remote MRO looks like these days, let’s get one thing clear: Covid was more a catalyst than an enabler. It opened the door wide to all kinds of possibilities. But without several technologies such as the Web, e-learning, smart glasses, augmented reality (AR) and more, remote MRO would not have been enabled to come into its own.
Back at Bastian Solutions’ remote support center, there have been changes in the past year, explains David Strawser, director of support. As DCs and other facilities adjusted their shifts to accommodate new staffing during Covid, Bastian Solutions’ support center adjusted its hours. Meanwhile, virtual meetings exploded. And today, 99% of Bastian Solutions’ repair work is remote, Strawser says.
But an even more fundamental change was underway that has changed the nature of remote MRO support. “With Covid, remote support became a different kind of remote,” says Strawser. “It changed the relationship between Bastian Solutions as a provider and the customers we serve.”
He goes on to explain that “Covid made people work together better. We were all truly there to help and learn from each other. What had been so automatic took on a new look and feel. It put everyone in a different mindset.” And that benefited remote support from monitoring equipment to making the repair.
Clearly, remote MRO has taken on a new tenor in the past year. While many like to put recent changes in the forever bucket, that distinction really doesn’t matter here. As Norton of Raymond says, “we’re never going to stop learning and improving.”
Read the full article on Supply Chain Management Review.