With subscription-based services becoming more commonplace, 2018 was the beginning of a watershed moment for some of today’s largest manufacturers: adapt to customer expectations or be left behind.

For several decades, manufacturers have been focused on retroactively fixing products after they have already broken down. However, today’s customers aren’t always willing to accept the downtime that comes with this approach. This is driving manufacturers to shift their focus from ad hoc retroactive repairs to dynamic repair prevention – or maximizing product uptime.

This proactive approach is widely heralded as the way of the future for manufacturers. But the thing is, maximizing product uptime is already dominating the way original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) think about their businesses today.

Recently, Syncron partnered with Worldwide Business Research (WBR) to determine how prepared manufacturers are to meet these rising customer expectations and unveiled several key findings about how maximized product uptime is impacting their business strategy today and how prevalent it is in their future plans.

Executives are feeling the pressure to focus on uptime

It’s not just customers who are looking for uptime-based services, but the boardrooms as well. In fact, two thirds of the manufacturers we spoke to said that either maximized product uptime is already a critical priority and that they have a strategy in place, or that it is a critical priority for the future because of pressure from the boardroom. Paired with the fact that 98% of end-users said that they want to see OEMs offer service agreements that guarantee product uptime, the groundwork is well underway for uptime to become the primary way of doing business in manufacturing.

Most OEMs are ready for full uptime

Already, 34% of OEMs surveyed let us know that they are capable of implementing a solution that can deliver maximized product uptime today. Meanwhile, another 39% said that they would be able to deliver such as solution within the next two years. This is a massive leap ahead of where the industry had expected it would be even a year ago and lays the framework for even more rapid movement forward in the coming years.

OEMs are Implementing the necessary infrastructure

Before OEMs can support a service model that centers on maximized product uptime, they must have the data to support this new strategy, and OEMs appear to realize this. Seventy-one percent of respondents indicated that they are currently gathering data from sensor-equipped products in the field to get real-time updates on equipment performance. In addition, 76 percent of respondents say they have at least some infrastructure in place to use the data they have to support a solution that maximizes product uptime.

Maximized product uptime is one of the most disruptive trends to hit manufacturing in a long time. And with the focus and need for maximized product uptime only expected to increase, the manufacturing space is ripe for innovation and will be one of the most interesting sectors to follow in the years ahead.