This week’s post is guest authored by Charlie Slater, Business Development and Operations Manager for Keysight Services.
These days, most organizations operate within one of two scenarios: cutting costs while delivering the same topline, or holding costs steady while increasing revenues. The third, less-common scenario is investing more to create a giant leap in output. If you’re in this fortunate group, confidence in future growth usually opens the door to major investments in plant, property and equipment (PPE)—and the “E” in PPE includes test equipment. Optimizing the management of test assets can help you create some semblance of order within the chaos.
Uncovering some unexpected side effects of rapid growth
Surprising problems can arise when your organization is moving at high speed. Several months ago I met with a manager in a high-growth company. Our purpose was to plan for onsite delivery of calibration services. When creating such a plan, key baseline information includes the location and condition of all in-hand test assets.
As we talked, it became clear that he had incomplete data about his company’s installed base of test equipment. Further discussion revealed the unexpected cause. The company’s engineers had extremely high purchasing authority and pallets of new network analyzers and spectrum analyzers were coming in every day. The manager had virtually no idea what was arriving and limited visibility into what his engineers were actively using or even if the equipment was in working order.
Gaining control of test assets and getting more from each one
During chaotic growth, sticking to the basics can help contain spending and restore order to an organization. For the company described above, accurate tracking of all new and existing RF equipment helped get its inventory under control. Today, better monitoring enables compliance with internal and external quality standards, and this includes staying up to date with test-asset calibration.
The underlying solution is real-time tools that provide centralized visibility. This enhances productivity by letting managers and engineers find and reassign unused instruments rather than waiting for delivery of new ones.
For any organization, real-time monitoring can pinpoint instruments that are underused or idle. In many cases, the most cost-effective way to refresh a languishing-but-viable test asset is an update or upgrade—and new functionality may be just a download away. For hardware upgrades that require installation, the turnaround time is usually shorter than the lead-time for a new instrument.
Exploring all three scenarios
To learn more, check out our latest resources, including a white paper about how to best enable 4G to 5G migration and a case study about how one company improved the health of their test assets.
Please chime in with any and all comments. How have you tried to optimize your situation? What worked best and why?