Everything is connected in business. There has to be a constant flow of information to fully understand your customers, consumer trends, how your employees work, the state of your machines, and how those machines are used in the field. If you can manage this, the internet of things will provide your business with the most valuable commodity on the market right now. That is, of course, valued insight. When you have nothing but mere speculation to run on, you’re kind of pointing your sails into any direction, hoping to catch the wind. But when you have knowledge backed up by data, you have a special vision, which shows you which way the wind is blowing. With this in mind, here are ways you can implement the IoT into your business to grow exponentially faster.
Inventory management just got easier
The most impactful way the internet of things can help you is, by managing your inventory a lot more efficiently. Every business relies on some form of storage service or capability. Even if you’re a micro-business and you store your stock at home in your garage, or if you’re a small business just getting used to a warehousing service, IoT can help you manage your stock more effectively.
- Installing IoT connectivity and software in your HVAC units will allow you to remotely control warehouse temperature a lot more fluidly. This is especially crucial if you have temperature-sensitive products such as beauty products, healthcare products, or even food and beverage products.
- With the right IoT tools you can collect and leverage the data your workers provide in their daily routine, to create more efficient working procedures and practices. Perhaps it shouldn’t take your employees as long as it does, to find certain products in the warehouse when they’re selecting an order. You can study travel times, the number of searches made, confirmation time between selection and packaging, etc.
- Manage your inventory a lot quicker, by automatically being given an update or warning, when a product needs to be restocked. You’ll also know how much of the product is being sold, compared to others. This information is vital to your sales, marketing, and financial workers, and or to your profit margin.
IoT also increases employee productivity by minimizing the menial tasks they have to complete every day. By using connected assistants like Siri or Alexa, your employees can use voice commands to implement generic things such as email templates, updating tasks, even write emails and send them off without looking at them. This is also able to be done for instant messaging services between employees so that communication is quick and effective.
However, IoT is all about learning and adapting to the modern climate of work. Therefore, eventually, as your connected devices and intelligent software learn more about the way you work, they will remind your employees when they need to do something. If your employees normally write and send emails that update clients, the assistant bots such as Alexa will remind you by voice and even have pre-written emails that are almost complete, just lacking the new information and data you want to send.
IoT software such as Google’s Cloud IoT Core will connect all devices and learn how they are being used. This will allow your employees to complete large-scale tasks with a greater error-free capability. This undoubtedly saves you time and therefore money, but also improves employee productivity by explaining their mistakes or totally airbrushing over them.
Improving your business perception
Connecting your working tools and devices show business owners how their business is really working. This is done via quantitative analysis of how the devices are being used by employees. You may find that certain employees log into their cloud accounts for work, more often at home than others. This means you are given a true perception of who is willing to work overtime or who is more dedicated/motivated.
In the same spirit, you can also collect data from your web tools, from consumer reviews on your website (being studied for keywords and trends), to studying the buyer cycle in terms of B2B. Analyzing all your business data available will show you when you need to roll out new marketing campaigns as your most effective time could be totally out of sync with your perception of when you need to release it.
More importantly, your perception of your effectiveness to meet consumer demand will be exposed. An embedded IoT agent can learn and transmit what customers like about your product but also what areas they are lagging behind your competitors. This allows for a faster turn around regarding the improvement of products. The scope of improvement will also be widened as you will be turned to more innovative suggestions and inventions that your research and development employees were struggling to crack.
Smaller yet larger control hubs?
All IoT devices can be linked but there must be one central control hub, where all this data is funneled and understood. For business owners, this could be your smartphone. By installing IoT applications, you will be able to open up every single IoT device and machine you have and understand what is going on. However, for this big data to be transferred while you’re on the go or anywhere in the world, you need a SIM that is designed for large data volumes such as the SMARTY one month free SIM. With incredibly large data deals available on the market, you can continuously receive information from all your IoT devices. While you sit at home on your sofa, read through consumer trend reports, look at the graphs of your warehouse inventory, study how fast and effectively tasks are completed, and take a look at what machines are needed to be updated.
Although this is a physically small hub, it’s a huge data hub right in your pocket. While you sit and eat your cheerios for breakfast, all the data you need about how you could improve your business is right there on your phone. Thanks to the large data plans, you will never be without the next big update that could change how you do business.
Customer retention skyrockets
The most complex system of all is the human being. That’s why so many business owners are thanking the heavens for the advancements in IoT technology. Now, they can see the data of what customers like, what they don’t like, what they may be more open to if it was tweaked, and what kind of things they want more of from you.
Using a customer review service such as Feefo and using IoT software to link it to your research and development department, would vastly improve the way you design products in the future.
With a greater understanding of what your customers think and what they would like to see more of, you put yourself in a better position for retaining their custom. Businesses are also, far quicker to react to consumer trends and bring the time it takes to create or improve products, far lower than ever before. This is perhaps why so many smartphone companies like Apple and Samsung are able to create better and better products each year and make vast leaps in technology that consumers will want to buy them each year as well.
Concerning the current climate, remote working has become the norm for so many companies. Not only do they save a lot of money on overheads but they are also finding out that it’s not as detrimental as they might have thought. In fact, remote workers are happier and this leads to higher productivity rates. They are also more functional, using software that they would otherwise never use. This makes it a ripe new IoT field.
IoT technology and software in the applications being used will study how employees work, how they communicate, and how long it takes to complete tasks. It can also study how long employees work for, with data suggesting remote workers are more likely to work longer hours and do more overtime. This is because they are in the comfort of their own home, but it could also be that using software like Zoom, CRM, and IM services, makes communication just as effective.
The study of culture
The IoT logic (sense, collect, transmit and analyze data from remote devices) has the ability to change the culture by remotely providing valuable insights of how your products are used. A great example of this is, data is gathered on how customers use their smartphones in the early 2010s. By analyzing the usage patterns from smartphones out on the field, it showed that the cultural fad of the ‘selfie’ was very important to customers, thus, companies began to make high-quality front-facing cameras instead of just the rear. As you can imagine, mobiles that did this offered customers what they wanted without them having to tell brands.
The internet of things will help your business grow much quicker. It improves everything in sight, from employee productivity, improving machines and devices, as well as understanding consumer needs.