January 22, 2019 - It’s almost a cliché that your business needs every advantage it can leverage to outperform the competition. On the technology front, there are a handful of emerging and maturing products and services that can help you differentiate yourself from the rest of your industry and in fact outperform them. The ripest technological fruit ready to be picked? The Internet of Things, of course.
Because it’s not a single product or standard, IoT technology can be applied to virtually any industry and type of business. And the advantages it offers will help you surge ahead of your peers. According to a study done by Business Insider, for example, manufacturers using IoT saw a 28.5 percent average increase in revenues between 2013 and 2014. Here’s why.
Operating in a sea of smart, connected devices can enhance your business operations. Without the need for direct input or reporting from employees, you can track the status of projects, identify bottlenecks and route around failures. IoT, especially when combined with a bit of artificial intelligence, can be trained to make predictions about your business’s workflow. This is not unlike the way Uber collects data automatically from its fleet of cars to set rates, such as during surge pricing hours.
The IoT lets you do more with less – augmenting human beings with smart systems that work together seamlessly, performing repetitive and time-consuming tasks that humans need not perform. Look no further than retailers like Amazon (with their brick and mortar Amazon Go stores) that are starting to experiment with replacing checkout lines with systems that automatically charge customers’ digital wallets. Or, in a completely different industry, consider how farmers are using IoT devices to autonomously check soil composition and manage irrigation – tasks that used to be extremely labor intensive.
As anyone who has ever been the victim of a catastrophic over-order can attest, inventory management is hard. And human errors aside, inventory management is nonetheless time consuming and resource intensive. IoT takes people out of the loop – or at least lets you rely less on people with wand scanners and clipboards – by letting smart devices sense inventory levels and manage your supply chain automatically, in the background, while you use your precious humans for smarter tasks.
If customer satisfaction isn’t among your top three business goals, you’re almost certainly doing something wrong. But how do you know what your customers are thinking, and thereby how to improve their experience? Indirect methodologies – like customer surveys – are very last century. Instead, connected devices – like smartwatches, fitness bands, phones, home automation devices, and more are all part of the IoT, and they capture data directly from users. B y joining the IoT, you make it possible to get critical behavioral and preference data from your customers, which you can leverage to make your business more effective.
Finally, while we’re on the subject of customer data, IoT can also improve your marketing in much the same way. The customer data you receive gives you insights into creating customized, personalized, and very targeted advertisements for precise demographics which you need to target. While your competitors are creating generic advertising campaigns, you know exactly who to talk to – and what kind of messaging will reach through the noise and appeal to them.
Find out how an IoT platform like Canopy can help your business stay competitive with better marketing, better operations and automation management.