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Applying IoT to transform business: top-10 cases

July 15, 2021
Andrii Rybakov

Business executives have gradually started realizing the importance of emerging IoT solutions for their companies. Applying different sensors, communication devices, or identity chips that are often connected with cloud and analytics engines has led to increasing automation in organizations. Thanks to IoT technology, companies of all sizes, including small and medium-sized (SMEs), can obtain real-time information and promote better decision-making.

According to Impact, ‘an estimated 43% of businesses that implement IoT policies into their organizations experience increased business agility by improving the way operational processes are conducted.’ These businesses represent various industries, such as manufacturing, logistics, automotive, healthcare, or energy. Ultimately, applying IoT helps companies gain a competitive advantage, increase overall productivity, and improve customer experience.

So what are the key ways IoT solutions can transform businesses? And how can organizations benefit from them? Read in our blog post.

1. Asset monitoring & inventory management

With IoT technology, asset monitoring is configured to provide automatic notifications regarding the asset location and allows tracking the multiple assets, which helps reduce potential human errors. Using IoT-enabled sensors can enhance the supply chain’s safety and determine various issues ahead of time due to their ability to report on actual delivery conditions, such as humidity, temperature, or vibration. That is critical for handling perishable goods and also helps cut down or eliminate the defects and the waste, and in turn, save costs.  

In inventory management, companies can use IoT-connected devices to scan items with RFID tags automatically. The particular process takes place when the items enter and exit from the warehouses. Certain scanners are helpful for calculating stock levels, recording items’ location, or other information like the date and time of movement. Besides, the IoT system allows reporting issues regarding stock shortages, temperature control, or travel delays, and flagging potential theft from workers.

2. Data sharing & perception

Applying IoT has significantly revolutionized the data procession for almost all companies. Apart from providing an opportunity to gain valuable real-time information, IoT solutions help track the patterns that show how users connect with relevant devices. By analyzing such patterns, the application gains an opportunity to become smarter and brings a better experience to the users.

At the same time, IoT technology can support organizations in analyzing the collected data for further company growth. Businesses can use this information to study customer needs and buyer cycle, find areas for improvement and inventions, or new approaches to marketing and advertising.

3. Creating new business opportunities

According to the Forbes Insights survey, 'a majority of executives report that IoT is creating new business lines.' For instance, with IoT technology, organizations can not only manufacture products but also provide ongoing services. These services allow tracking the performance of such products. Besides, companies can share the data obtained from a monitoring process across their ecosystems of clients and partners. That provides new ways of innovations and leads to continuous engagement and value-added services.

Also, IoT solutions allow companies to move away from traditional business models and seek new revenue streams. The collected data often brings value by itself; however, more importantly, businesses can provide customers with subscription-based services that depend on the connected nature of products. That can allow organizations to offset the entry’s initial costs.

4. Adopting efficient marketing strategies

Today, with IoT devices, there is no need for marketers to depend on marketing surveys or call centers to learn about their target audience. Such devices can monitor different activities, environments, or operational performance and then share collected data for further analysis. That allows marketers to generate useful insights and prepare custom messages for individual customers.

In the case of manufacturers, they produce IoT-enabled devices that can update the firmware and provide them with critical information about the usage. Thus, IoT technology enables manufacturers to gain a better understanding of how their devices are working. Also, it allows predicting future customer requirements, which is crucial for adopting new marketing strategies.

5. Driving real-time insights

Real-time information collected from processes, devices, or employees via sensors has already started to revolutionize businesses by providing visibility that can serve as a significant game-changer. For example, it is possible to observe innovations in various core industries, especially in retail. Retailers can gain real-time insights of customers thanks to IoT-enabled surveillance cameras and smart shelves, which allows stocking products on-shelf and increasing profits due to appropriate sales and effective stock management.

Companies can analyze the collected data thanks to advanced analytics programs, along with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms. That also provides previously unobtainable insights regarding the business that can be critical for improving efficiency, predicting market movements, forecasting supply and demand, monitoring machine health, and strengthening security.

6. Facilitating omnichannel services

Nowadays, applying an omnichannel approach to sales serves as a popular trend because it can streamline the entire shopping process. Businesses use IoT technology to facilitate this service and enhance the customer experience manifold.

Thanks to incorporating sensors on different internet-connected devices, companies gain facilitation regarding the operations, status, or service levels from remote facilities and provide support if the client demands it. For instance, organizations can use specific IoT-enabled shelves in their warehouses equipped with high-def optical sensors. These shelves display product pricing and also send information regarding the actual inventory levels to the system.

7. Increasing efficiency & productivity

The collected data from different IoT devices help businesses boost their productivity in all areas, including production line processes and shipping delivery routes. That allows completing operations and tasks quicker, more efficiently, and more cost-effectively. Thanks to IoT solutions, companies can also reduce employee workloads and increase the potential for further automation, enabling them to cut down staffing levels or increase the production ones.

Besides, implementing industrial IoT (IIoT) is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry as they help create smart manufacturing processes that depend on data. Companies can use IIoT applications for monitoring the machine performance, generating data to track machine conditions, eliminating line performance bottlenecks, and informing when the equipment needs servicing. That allows the equipment to operate effectively and, in turn, leads to higher uptime, better quality, and low operating costs. Read more about IIoT and its use cases.

8. Improving customer experience

IoT plays a crucial role in improving the customer experience because businesses can use relevant devices to collect client data from all available touchpoints. This data is unified, which allows gaining insights that help provide a more personalized customer experience and satisfy client needs. For instance, IoT solutions such as mobile card readers connected to smartphones enable payments to be processed more quickly and smoothly. Meanwhile, retailers can use IoT-enabled on-floor cameras to understand customer attitudes regarding promotions better.

Integrating chatbots and AI with IoT technology also helps focus on customer satisfaction. Chatbots synthesize information and detect particular issues regarding services or products the company can improve. And combining AI with IoT brings valuable data to customer relationship managers and provides clients with instant support.

9. Enhancing workplace safety

Using IoT-enabled sensors and wearables in various high-risk work sites, including manufacturing, construction, or other heavy industries, contributes to better workplace safety. Such devices allow project managers to analyze the health conditions of their staff and define whether they are in danger. Thanks to additional features like GPS, organizations can track the exact location of employees and, in turn, respond to emergencies quickly. Lastly, installing surveillance cameras in facilities can improve the security of valuable assets. Read more about the ways IoT can enhance workplace safety.

10. Creating smart factories

With IIoT solutions, companies can transform their traditional factories into smart ones by integrating the machinery, staff, and Big Data analytics into the digitally connected ecosystem. Besides, IIoT technology allows not only collecting and analyzing data but also learning from experience. Thus, a proper smart factory can obtain and interpret the insights from collected data and then forecast trends or events. That helps companies implement smart manufacturing workflows and other critical automated processes.

In addition, factories can apply IIoT across all available facilities to determine the amount of waste they produce or obtain other critical data regarding electricity or water consumption. The particular data can be available through specific web-based dashboards. Another example of using the IIoT platform is when factories monitor the machinery, industrial robots, and other industrial equipment, including even compressors or pumps. That allows avoiding potential disruptions and increasing efficiency and provides better quality of products.

The bottom line

IoT technology serves as a compelling value proposition for companies and a crucial driver of business transformation due to its ability to bring together information and intelligence for delivering new ideas and approaches to conduct business. Thanks to discovering, collecting, and acting on data from different available devices, sensors, or systems across the company, the executives can obtain in-depth views on their clients’ needs in ways impossible before.

According to Fierce Electronics, ‘real-world business benefits gained from IoT have been known to exceed original expectations by 16 to 17 percentage points.' Therefore, organizations that have implemented IoT solutions can experience the increased opportunities for their business operations and become more responsive to customer requirements. This means that applying IoT technology can place companies on the front-line of emerging trends that help boost efficiency, increase revenue, and guarantee the right services or products reach clients on time.

Are you already using IoT technology for your business? What operations or tasks does it help you deal with? Or how do you benefit from applying IoT devices? Share with us in the comments below.

How AgileVision can help

Over the past several years, AgileVision has helped many businesses implement new IoT solutions or improve the existing ones. Are you considering the increase in efficiency or need some advice on how to start using IoT in your company?

Are you curious to learn more?

Read our eBook "How small and medium business can benefit from IoT"
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