Not long ago all you heard about was how the cloud was going to revolutionize your business. So you set up automatic cloud storage systems and found the right software to enable your employees to work from anywhere at any time. Now, the Internet of Things (IoT) has entered the business sphere, taking the cloud to the next step to increase your business productivity and efficiency.
In fact, in a recent IoT survey 45 percent of respondents answered that operational productivity and efficiency is the top use case for IoT in their businesses. Here’s a closer look at how IoT will transform your business process:
Optimize Your Operations
IoT associated with big data will be one of the most useful technology combination for your company. You can see what products and services your customers are buying, slow and busy times in your stores, customer service feedback, employee productivity, scheduling and so much more. Use this data to take a look at your day-to-day operations and see where there are lags in productivity or what’s consuming most of your employees’ time.
For example, if your employees are spending a good chunk of their day in meetings, gather data on the content of these meetings and if they’re improving your business functions. Use the data to see if you have meetings that cover the same topics and if they can be eliminated or combined to be more efficient. Some companies also use smart sensors to see which rooms are most occupied and where employees spend most of their time. They then can use this information to schedule meetings in nearby conference rooms and minimize the disruptive effect of those meetings.
Collect and Analyze Data
Another significant use of IoT big data is with your supply chain. According to a Cisco and DHL report, IoT technology will deliver a $1.9 trillion boost to supply chain logistics by 2025. Using this technology you can monitor which products are selling out and which are sitting on the shelves. You can see track your delivery systems to see if they’re running on time or even to track weather patterns and gas prices to optimize routes. IoT also helps your supply chain managers more accurately forecast, restock inventory, track items in your warehouse and minimize losses.
To be sure that your systems can handle all of the data coming in, you need to be sure that your hardware can keep up with the software. For example, your routers and modems should enable your employees to connect to Wi-Fi without any disruptions or lag time. Your computers and mobile devices also should have the fastest mobile processors in order to handle all of the data. If you haven’t updated your hardware in a while, upgrade to a mobile processor that features the latest security solutions, has a long battery life and a reliable connection.
Improve Signage and Marketing
IoT technology isn’t just for the back-end logistics. You can use it in the front of your stores to improve customer service, marketing and advertising. For example, you can use big data about your inventory and sales to improve front-of-the-house signage. According to market studies, the top IoT opportunities for the retail sector include dynamic signage. If your data shows that a product isn’t moving, you can see use customer service surveys, polls and feedback to see if there’s a disconnect between how you’re advertising the product and why customers are buying it (or not). This type of information can help your sales, marketing and advertising teams conduct more efficient A/B testing and come up with more relevant campaigns in a shorter amount of time.
You can’t improve your company’s productivity and efficiency if you don’t know what’s working and what’s not. IoT aims to bring you all of the relevant data and help you make informed decisions to increase your productivity and efficiency. With the right tools, your business will be booming in no time.