3 reasons your company should be using IoT
Monday, June 26, 2017
The internet of things (IoT) is still a relatively new concept for some businesses — especially companies long used to doing things the "old fashioned" way, via paper and face-to-face communication. Their products may be unrelated to technology, and therefore unlikely to demand the level of digital understanding that makes IoT onboarding easier for their tech-infused counterparts.
But these companies can still benefit from embracing the IoT with the same enthusiasm. Productivity and profitability are universal targets when creating a lean, sustainable business model, and the IoT provides a boost to both, according to MPI Group CEO John Brandt's recent IndustryWeek article.
So why should your company use the IoT? There are three important reasons driving implementation, even among unlikely industries:
1. It promotes supply chain harmony
Your supply chain relies on many components working as a whole, and that concept scales to each vendor as well. The receipt of components, packaging, delivery and even reverse logistics relies on each of your vendors staying in sync with their own piece of the pie.
The potential for the "telephone game" of miscommunication is amplified throughout these layers without the checks and balances the IoT has to offer. While longstanding businesses have worked it out thus far, the potential for issues is still present.
As supply and demand grow in complexity, the need for a common digital language becomes increasingly clear. Not only does the IoT provide you with reliable, up-to-the-minute data, it can help notify you of a supplier shortage, or vice-versa, without needing a phone call or a few rounds of emails to determine the issue.
From Amazon to AT&T, count on IoT becoming an indelible part of your supply chain sooner, rather than later.
2. It prevents resource waste
Every dollar spent on a surplus order that could have waited means less buying power for other items that may be crucial, or hiring power for a larger workforce. The IoT doesn't just help with existing workflow productivity, it supports potential workflow productivity and introduces unmatched accuracy into your modeling and planning.
Margins will always be slimmer than the C-suite would like, and the new battlefront isn't sales, it's lean manufacturing. That means doing everything possible to reduce ordering mistakes, whether they come in the form of too much volume or not enough volume, which triggers additional cost for rush or alternate delivery.
With the prevalence of the IoT in consumer ordering, notes Christy Pettey of Gartner, it's not surprising it's migrating so vigorously to B2B sectors.
3. It opens new sales venues
When a company already has an IoT system in place, they'll gravitate toward IoT-ready partners to get the most out of it. Your company becomes a considerably more attractive B2B prospect when your supply chain resembles a "plug and play" solution more than a "build from scratch" one.
Look to the systems already in use by your largest potential business customers to inform your own IoT plans. Smart matching could give you a leg up on the competition, even as you're implementing an IoT system that will deliver internal client-independent benefits.
The IoT represents an incredible opportunity to streamline day-to-day manufacturing and facilitate larger, productivity-focused transformations in virtually every business model. From instant inventory and ordering capabilities to forward-thinking trend-spotting for resource use efficiency, these networks of devices are revolutionizing B2B.
Even if implementation looks to be an uphill battle from afar, rest assured that industry is offering a resounding piece of encouragement. The climb is worth it, and smart companies are making it voluntarily before they're forced to by industry momentum.
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