Much has changed in the world of business. Not just over the last hundred years either, but over just the last ten. The main difference of course being the internet. The internet has allowed levels of connectivity that we couldn’t have even dreamed of before. It’s not just connectivity between computers either. Now an internet of things, or IoT, has developed. It seems that even the coffee maker can be hooked up to your wifi now. Of course we have to ask ourselves, just how does this affect business.
More Efficient Production
Information is power, everyone says that. If you think about if for a second it’s blatantly obvious. Information gathering is one of the major ways the internet of things is changing the business world. In factories sensors within the production line feed real time information to the network. This of course does not only help maximize production, but helps prevent costly breakdowns as well. It’s not just on the production line either. IoT devices can be installed in the warehouse as well to give you real time information on where your inventory levels are at, making sure you have what you need when you need it.
Better targeting customers
The IoT isn’t just for gathering information on the production floor, it will also help you understand your customers. One aspect of the IoT is visual monitoring. You can install cameras in your business and track exactly what customers do when they come in. How is this helpful might you ask? Well, imagine you got a new product and set up a nice new display, but no one buys it. Did they not buy it because they didn’t want to, or did they not see it. With the customer tracking it’s a simple matter of checking in with the computer to see which is true. This allows you to set up your floor for maximum profit.
Providing a Better Customer Experience
The days of “You can have a model T in any color you want, as long as it’s black” are long gone. There’s so many companies doing more or less what you do that if your customers have bad experiences, they’ll simply go somewhere else. The same technology that can be used to track customers responses to sales can also be used to track problems. IoT sensors can be set up to provide real time data on things like line backups, spills/messes and even bottlenecks in corridors so the problems can be addressed as they come up, making your customers experience that much better.
As technology has improved, it’s gotten easier and easier to work remotely. With the internet of things it becomes even easier. Because nearly everything can be plugged into the internet, it can be managed from nearly anywhere you have a connection. While this may not seem like such a big deal at first, it actually can result in massive savings. Remote workers don’t need an office, or any other equipment of their own at your facility. There’s also much less liability to worry about. And, remote workers have been shown to be overall more happy and productive than their counterparts.
New business lines
The IoT provides new business lines as well. It offers all kinds of opportunities that simply didn’t exist before. For example, how much more attractive is a maintenance package if you can offer to monitor the product remotely and come in to fix it before it actually breaks? A IoT sensory will actually allow you to do that. It’s not just physical products either. Sensors could be put in place to monitor really anything and have you come in when it needs to be dealt with. Everything from cleaning, to tree trimming to car maintenance can now be offered hassle free.
Driverless cars are actually perhaps one of the biggest aspects of the internet of things. Their implementation could perhaps be one of the single largest innovations since the steam engine. Well, maybe not quite that big, but it is a huge deal. Driverless vehicles will slash the cost of shipping as there will no longer be a driver to pay a salary. This won’t only cut costs, but because it will be cheaper to deliver things it will also open up new business opportunities that simply were too expensive to do before. It’s not just cars that are going to be driverless either. Everything from eighteen wheelers to fork lifts are eventually going to get the driverless treatment.