Ways Your Business Can Benefit from Internet of Things
50 Billion Devices and $19 trillion in profits and cost savings. This intimidating statistics, according to Cisco Systems, is bound to happen across different industries in 2020. If you haven’t heard a thing or two about the Internet of Things, well then you better keep reading as we’ll give you a detailed overview of how the Internet of Things can impact your business in the years to come.
For uninitiated, the concept of Internet of Things works much like of a machine “talking” with each other, but with added capabilities of data collection from the surroundings as well as the real-time response from humans located remotely- making it a real game-changer across different industries today.
To cut the chase, here are the ways your business can take advantage of the Internet of Things.
1. Smarter Manufacturing Process
Although manufacturing industry have been using advanced machines and equipment for years now, IoT will provide a new gateway by means of making the whole manufacturing process much “smarter”. Powered by cloud, data analytics, and Internet of Things, smart manufacturing will allow a business to identify production issues, improve operational efficiency, and manufacture products with minimal failure rate.
One of the global manufacturers that adopts smart manufacturing is the General Electric. One of their battery plants is equipped with over 10,000 sensors that picks-up real-time information about the plant such as the temperature, humidity, air pressure, and machine operating data. This enables them to monitor the production and make necessary adjustments on the process, as well as to trace back the performance of each finished product back to the specific batches of materials used and at every step of manufacturing process.
2. Data-Driven Marketing
According to statistics, 51% of the world’s top global marketers expect that IoT will change the marketing scene by 2020. This is because the interconnectivity of devices and machines produces a massive amount of data, also dubbed as Big Data, which businesses can use to make their marketing strategy more accurate and effective.
Big data consists of highly valuable marketing information such as customer behavior and customer past purchases- which can be used to send alerts, create engaging ads, and specialise promos based on each customer’s preferences.
However, for a business to come up with useful insights and action from these data, they must use advanced analytics to find a clear signal in the vast amount of uncategorised information to make sure that their strategy will be effective. This can be achieved through advanced analytics.
3. Efficient Inventory Management
Inventory management is a day to day requirement for any typical business. And it is very interesting how this aspect of business will make progress in the age of IoT. As more and more companies demand for a more solid inventory solutions aside from cloud-based platforms available in the market, Internet of Things introduces a better approach in inventory management by increasing the amount of information embedded in RFID tags.
Aside from the information inherent to the product itself, advanced RFID tags will now be able to collect real-time data about the surrounding of the object, such as the weather, temperature, damage to the object, and traffic- and transmit it real-time to central database.
With real-time information at hand, inventory managers can pin-point the location of each item, and take necessary action when an item goes missing or has been damaged. It will also allows them to identify the shortest, most energy efficient route between the point of pick and point of delivery, saving a lot money in fuel expenditures. This added ability of real-time tracking also avoids lost or stolen items, improved inventory turnover, and better identification of inventory inefficiencies.
4. Better Customer Experience
How IoT will impact the overall business is more evident on the experience that a business provides to its customers. For instance, more and more retail stores are starting to install temperature sensors in their refrigerator and freezers to ensure that it is running efficiently. These ensure that the goods inside remains fresh and safe for consumers, while at the same time avoiding inventory shrinkage.
Another example of how IoT can revolutionise the customer experience is through rewarding customers who have spent time, money and effort on the promotions and activities initiated by the business.
For instance, if a customer uses the official app of the store to purchase a product that is available elsewhere, the store can give the customer a discount for his purchase, thus making them satisfied with the service, and eventually turn them into loyal customers of the business.
5. Improved Asset Utilisation
Another practical application of Internet of Things in the business is better asset utilisation. According to World Economic Forum’s Industrial Internet Survey, the number one reason why 79% industrial companies adopt IoT-driven technologies is optimising asset utilisation, which includes fleets, HVAC units, manufacturing machines, etc.
By embedding these assets with sensors, businesses no longer have to rely on data collecting efforts of operators since data are being captured from these machines real-time, which then allows a company to conduct predictive maintenance.
If a particular machine started to perform at a suboptimal level, the asset will send a signal to a central database where operation managers can immediately execute repair before the asset fails totally.
These are just some of the ways Internet of Things can bring benefits to your business. As IoT continues to emerge and affect the overall business landscape, the best thing that we can do now is to learn how to use these technologies to make our business more efficient and profitable in the long-run.
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