The Internet-of-Things (IoT) is being leveraged by numerous industries around the world, changing how companies will operate going forward.
By 2020, industries worldwide will have 50 billion devices connected to the Internet-of-Things (IoT) in comparison to the 15 billion today, according to a report by DHL and Cisco consulting services. As IoT develops and evolves, it’s going to completely change lives and businesses, just like the Internet did when it became mainstream in the 90s.
The more interactions you have with your customers, the more data you can collect and insights you can derive and use to create competitive strategies.
With RFID tags, you can now follow your product from manufacturing all the way through your value chain to your end-consumer.
IoT supports remote working, which will improve job satisfaction and increase job efficiency and quality.
This technology will assist you in working and producing products faster, keeping up to customer expectation. You’ll also be able to do more work in a shorter period of time.
Your customers will have access to IoT in their personal lives, which means they’ll expect an IoT experience when dealing with your company.
Hire IoT experts to optimise the usage of the technology and ensure you get a return on investment.
The question you need to ask yourself is, is whether your business is ready for the IoT. Even if you aren’t a software or tech company, IoT devices are still going to have a substantial impact on how you do business. Here are seven ways IoT can help your business become more competitive and connected:
- Optimised data collection
The more data you have the more insights you can derive from it. With IoT devices connecting your customers in innovative ways with more interactions than ever before, you’ll have greater access to this data. Smart devices can now track and record consumer behaviour patterns, and potentially learn from them. This will allow your technology to make intelligent product recommendations and customise searching in new and innovative ways.
You can use data collection to come up with effective advertising, along with getting to know your target audience in a more specific, qualitative way. This will give you more information at every single stage of the consumer buying cycle – from research to purchase and implementation.
- Revolutionary inventory management
IoT is transforming how logistics businesses track and manage inventory. If you have warehousing, manufacturing or storage, you could incorporate remote scanners and similar highly-connected devices to assist workers track inventory product-by-product.
In the near future, smart devices such as RFID tags could keep tabs on your inventory changes autonomously, freeing up your team for cognitively demanding tasks. With GPS built into each item, you’ll know where every item is from the moment the tracker is switched on until it goes home with the end-consumer.
- Working offsite
Alternatively, if your business isn’t directly involved with physical inventory, IoT can help your staff work remotely. Using numerous devices, all connected to your network, your offsite employees can be more connected, and accomplish different types of tasks by tapping into devices in your office or factory floor.
81% of remote workers surveyed say they are happy at work, according to a Tiny Pulse report, compared with the 7.4% of traditional workers. The report continues to say that employees who work remotely scored consistently higher because they enjoy the freedom and flexibility, compared to when they have to work onsite. According to the survey, 91% of remote workers believe they “get more work done when working remotely,” which will increase your businesses productivity and profitability .
“Future IoT forecasts are intended to create market efficiency, helping companies make smart choices about whether they should enter a new area and informing venture capitalists as they decide where to place their investments,” says Peter Middleton, a research director at Gartner.
- Increased efficiency of accessibility
Because customers (both in B2C and B2B instances) will have to more in-depth research and purchasing options, the buying cycle is likely to decrease in length. Shoppers will now be able to find and order exactly what they want, with just a few choice spoken phrases.
“They’ll also demand delivery of the product sooner,” says Forbes. “Fortunately, your partners, suppliers, and logistics providers will have correspondingly advanced technology.” This means that you’ll be able to serve your customers faster, and meet client expectation.
- Improved efficiency and productivity
Progress isn’t always about speed, but with IoT technology you’ll be able to achieve more, in less time. The technological evolution is improving productivity and efficiency, using the concept of smart working. The cutting-edge IoT development can assist you and your team to accomplish large-scale tasks quicker and with improved precision.
This could even result in your business needing fewer staff members to accomplish the same quantity of work, or you could scale up your operations in new areas that can help you to grow and expand your company.
- Evolving customer expectation
Keep in mind that this innovative technology also exists for personal use and your customers are learning all of its applications. This will give rise to new consumer expectations and needs that incorporate IoT devices, technology and software. Your clients will want options they’ve never wanted before, and they’ll expect more from your business with every new purchase.
“‘Smart’ devices will become the new standard for appliances, gadgets, and maybe even items like furniture,” reveals Forbes. Your customers will also expect more integration, tools with increased efficiency, and accessories that improve the management of their smart homes.
- Increase in staff knowledge and skills
You’ll have to find new staff that have a higher level of experience with IoT and digital transformation. “You’ll need experts in IoT technology if you’re going to be successful in integrating these devices into your current procedures, and data analysts if you want to make the best use of the data,” says Forbes.
You’ll need highly skilled people to fill these positions, but they will help you to get a return on investment on your new technology. Employees with expertise can help you get the best out of this technology and ensure you can develop new and innovative strategies using the IoT.
IoT is quickly infiltrating numerous industries and there are most likely existing applications for your business. But, you don’t have to follow what others are doing with this technology. You can come up with innovative ways to gather insights and connect to your production line, product and eventually customer usage.
Implement IoT into your business in order to optimise data collection, inventory management and tracking, improve accessibility, while improving efficiency and productivity.
Ensure you’re aware and on top of your customers’ evolving expectations.
Hire personnel that can use the technology to its fullest and can come up with new ways to adopt it within your business.
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