In manufacturing sectors like construction, parts breakdowns and failures can result in millions in lost revenue. Just one eight-hour day of downtime costs the average farmer close to $5,000 at planting and $2,000 at harvesting, for example.
That’s where Syncron comes in. The 18-year-old Swedish company provides after-sales maintenance and spare parts service to industrial manufacturers, and leverages artificial intelligence to help forecast prices, restocking demand, and other supply-chain and inventory trends.
That sort of predictive analytics could save companies between $200 billion and $600 billion by 2025, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.
“Our goal is to enable customers to predict when something is about to go wrong and to fix it when it goes wrong,” Anders Grudén, former Accenture executive and Syncron CEO, told VentureBeat in a phone interview.
Syncron offers two core software-as-a-service products — Syncron Inventory and Syncron Price — bundled in its Service Cloud suite. The former forecasts companies’ restocking needs based on seasonal patterns and trends, and the latter dynamically identifies the best prices for parts by factoring in global and regional price lists, discounts, and rebates.
For Syncron, both are serious investments — chief marketing officer Gary Brooks said that more than 20 percent of the company’s revenue goes into developing the underlying machine learning algorithms.
But it has paid dividends. Construction company JCB uses Syncron Inventory to manage a network of 14 distribution centers and over 2,000 dealer locations. And Volvo is tapping Syncron Pricing to keep track of more than a quarter million unique parts across 1,300 sites.
According to Brooks, Syncron’s solutions have helped other manufacturers and automakers increase their fill rate — the share of customer parts demand that is met through immediate dealership stock availability — from 60 to 90 percent.
And it’s angling for future success. Later this year, it’ll launch Syncron Uptime, which aims to cut down on product failure by projecting when and where a repair or replacement part will be needed — specifically by tracking sensor data.
With Uptime, Syncron is targeting an internet of things in manufacturing market that’s expected to be worth $3 billion by 2020.
“It’s all about capturing sensor data from the equipment and applying machine learning frameworks to figure out trends,” Grudén said. “Our technologies help customers to understand and avoid downtime.”
Syncron has 10 offices around the world and does business in over 100 countries. Its clients include Volvo, Brother, Caterpillar, Electrolux, Hitachi, Mazda, and Manitowoc Cranes, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial cranes.
It today announced $35 million in revenue this past year, hot off the heels of the most successful Q1 in its history.