If you have a Fitbit or a smartwatch, you probably know by now how much you improve yourself and your training. The data provided allows you to monitor – among other things – your heart rate, your speed, and the distance. Therefore, you know whether you need to take it easy or work out a little more. You basically analyse the data and take appropriate actions. This scenario provides a simple example of how you are already using and benefiting from IoT.
Now let’s talk business!
Have you heard the term “Smart Business” before? Well, if we want to put it in simple terms it will mean making your business smarter in a way. Still too vague, huh? It was like this for me at first, but then as someone who worked in retail, I wanted to learn more and understand how the IoT can help. We all read the news about Amazon new ideas, Google new inventions, Apple’s new products, etc. So I think we all have an idea about what the future can look like. The question is, how IoT can be useful to our own business. Well, I thought it will be better if we look at it from two major points
On a business level
I found a lot of articles that demonstrates how business can grow with IoT. I summarized the important points below:
New market opportunities
The demand for smart products and services is increasing every day and the market has a huge potential. Just by looking at quick market facts, you can see how companies are investing more into IoT and how end-users purchases are increasing. I invite you to check our infographics to learn more about the global and the Canadian market. The bottom-line is you can turn your product into a smart product. This way, you will have a larger product portfolio, new marketing opportunities, you can acquire new market shares, and establish your name in the IoT market.
You can create a work space dedicated to ideas, where your employees can work on new smart products, or enhance your current ones. It’s a win-win for you and your employees. You are encouraging their creativity and unleashing their potential.
Data, data, data!
Smart products are only the tip of the iceberg if I can say that. They are indeed important, but what’s more important is the sensors which can be attached to anything. They record data, then send it to the cloud. So let’s say you make coffee machines, and you recently manufactured a smart coffee machine. With this new product, thanks to its sensors, you will be able to collect specific feedback like how the machine is being used, you can get a notification if it breaks or malfunctions, you can detect the reasons behind it so you would know what to do in the future and how to enhance your product. So you are basically collecting customer insights without the need to do do customers surveys! Imagine the amount of data generated from your smart products and the potential it has. You will be able to find new business opportunities and increase customer satisfaction.
You need to think bigger! Look at the big picture, it’s not just about a smart product, but also the data collected and how it can help grow your business. You can definitely benefit from it, which bring me to my next point
Like I explained above, when you collect the data and start analyzing it, you can get more customer insights. So you would know what your customer needs, and how to enhance his experience, When your products malfunction, both of you get an instant notification, so you can take immediate action by contacting your customer with suggestions on how you would make it better. Therefore, you are increasing your customer satisfaction, you are showing him that you care and that he is important to you. On another level, you need to make sure that you have a very well trained customer service representatives who understand your products well and are ready with the possible solutions for your customer problems.
So with all the data you are collecting, you have your own gold mine. You can sell your products and sell data or customer insights reports. Basically, your business model will change to include selling data and reports. This means that you need resources in terms of people and software that help you provide this new product.
On a managerial level
As mentioned before, when you invest to turn your product into a smart product, you will need to make some changes in your organization which is not a bad thing. You will start investing your employees and this will give them a sense of importance. They will understand that they are not indispensable or that they will be replaced by technology. You will also create new job opportunities within your organization and you will also encourage creativity.
On another level, when you chose to implement an IoT solution to your business, you need to understand its full potential so you can benefit most from it. the benefits are many but I will give you some examples. You can optimize the office work. You can have a clear view of employees productivity and therefore, you can check what could be blocking them and make it better. In other words, you can help them be more productive and hence lowering costs.
I have to mention it again, sensors! Let’s say you work in logistics or you do business with a logistics company, sensors can be installed in trucks or on the packages to maximize the visibility of the supply chain. It can also improve transportation costs and keeping track of your valuable cargo. The data collected from these sensors can help mitigate risks such as delays, disruptions, theft, etc.
Another important benefit is that you can monitor your business from anywhere. So for examples, if you have multiple stores, offices, or buildings, you can check on them from your phone or your laptop from anywhere in the world. You will be able to know what’s going on at all time, receive alerts, and take appropriate actions in a timely manner which is crucial.
So there you have it. Some few example of how IoT can improve your business. Stay tuned on our upcoming article on IoT & ROI. You can always check our publications and subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date.