Business Insights, Internet of Things
The man on the street might limit his understanding of the Internet of Things (IoT) to connected household appliances and wearable technology, but it actually is on the business front where the real revolution is taking place.
It’s no secret that the Internet of Things (IoT) – the interconnection of machines and devices that collect and transmit data via the internet – is taking the technological developments by storm.
And while the numbers between industry leaders may vary, the rise of IoT remains astonishing: Market research company Statista recently reported that connected devices increased from 15.41 billion in 2015 to 23.14 billion in 2018, and it’s likely to increase to 75.44 billion by 2025. Tech stalwart Intel is even more optimistic about the rise of IoT, predicting 200 billion smart objects by 2020 – this translates to 26 devices for every human being on earth.
An infinite number of business opportunities are yet to be unlocked by this technology, but there already are many IoT-based solutions available on the market that can take your business to the next level.
Enhance your production lines
IoT can take manufacturers to the forefront of innovation by providing insights about the overall quality and efficiency of production lines. For example, by detecting substandard materials and ensuring businesses adhere to product specifications, IoT provides decision makers with more bandwidth to think strategically.
Sensors can monitor every step in the production line, and record it into a real-time management system. The technology also enables business owners to monitor machine tools – providing valuable information about productivity and required maintenance. All of this, in turn, enables businesses to make the necessary adjustments to reduce wastage of materials and time, improve production lines’ overall efficiency and – most importantly – increase revenue.
Transforming supply chains
Solutions enabled by IoT can help streamline logistics, giving businesses more insight than ever before to optimise supply chains. One of the prime examples of IoT-based cost reduction and process optimisation in supply chain management is Amazon, which uses IoT enabled robots to scan and pick products in its distribution warehouses.
The tracking capabilities of IoT also allows businesses to monitor the whereabouts and condition of goods in the supply chain, thanks to tags and sensors that provide real-time data about the location of goods in transit or in a warehouse, as well as data on the condition of those goods such as temperature, pressure, or potential damage to packaging.
Powerful capabilities like these have the potential to transform entire industries for the better. A prime example is the healthcare industry, where the supply chain for devices and implantable wastes $5 billion per year due to inefficiencies. Thanks to automated stocking, accurate usage capture, healthcare ecosystem compatibility, and robust data analytics, these costs can be reduced by more than 25%, saving the industry $1.25 billion.
And don’t forget: IoT means happier customers too!
Apart from improving efficiency in production and distribution, you can also improve customer satisfaction by incorporating IoT in your products, enabling the end user to have a more engaging and optimal user experience. The feedback you can receive from incorporated IoT technology in your products can also enable you to continue to improve and innovate.
An interesting example of a company using IoT to improve the customer experience is agricultural brand John Deere, who transformed their traditional product offerings by developing new technologies and utilising existing ones to boost the efficiency of prepping, planting, feeding and harvesting with the goal of improving per-acre crop yields. These technologies include IoT sensors, wireless communications, cloud apps and even a steering-wheel replacement that guides precision passes across arable land.
Whether it’s in production lines, your distribution or your end products – IoT has the potential to increase revenues and improve customer satisfaction. The technology can be applied to any industry and can be customised to address your immediate needs and responsibilities. Incorporating IoT into your systems and processes should be a no-brainer if you’d like to run your business like a well-oiled machine in this era of inter-connectivity. Joining in on this revolution will open your business to infinite possibilities and make your company a force to be reckoned with.