In the previous article of this series, we talked about how Internet of Things (IoT) can benefit the general population, ranging from wearables to smart home devices.
We also talked about how devices, if they are connected to the same network, can use IoT to constantly relay data across them, providing end-users convenience, enhanced productivity, and efficiency through data-driven solutions.
Similarly, businesses can also utilize IoT in a similar fashion to enhance their overall operations. The ability to integrate IoT solutions in a non-disruptive manner extends the benefits to the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector, enabling growing businesses to also jump onto the bandwagon and digitalise their operations.
Let us look at how businesses can utilise IoT.
1. Tracking Technology
Tracking technologies can be used in a multitude of ways but one of its more common applications is inventory management. Each item in the inventory can be fitted with a tracking device of which its data will be uploaded to a cloud-based database, tracking its every movement until the end-process.
This allows for a more streamlined, efficient approach to inventory management, enabling companies to better organise and plan their production.
2. Constant Monitoring
Picture source: www.khws.co.uk
The application of sensors and cameras allows companies to monitor anything that they need to, including the whole manufacturing line, each individual process within the line, and their workers. As its connected to the internet, it be accessed at anytime from anywhere allowing decision makers to make instant changes if required.
In terms of healthcare, healthcare companies can use IoT technology to monitor isolated patients, especially the elderly and bed-ridden patients. Apart from physical monitoring, the technology can be expanded to notify the healthcare authorities should a patient forget to take their medication, allowing immediate intervention when needed.
3. Performance Analysis
Companies can also use IoT technology to gauge and monitor the performance of their equipment and tools in the production line. This can be done by equipping data capture devices such as sensors and cameras to the equipment and tools to transmit data back about how they are performing.
Important data metrics such as production cycle time, downtime, and productivity rate can be measured in real-time and relayed to a cloud database for further analysis.
This can help companies practice preventative maintenance, enabling them to predict a malfunction before it occurs, resulting in a more efficient and productive manufacturing line, all thanks to data-driven solutions.
4. Product Improvement
IoT can also be used in the aftersales sector, allowing companies to continue improving the functionality of their product. Coupled with the power of Big Data Analytics (BDA), companies can analyse customer usage data to see how their customers consume the products.
This provides valuable real-world behavioural data which can be used as a case-study for companies to improve their offerings down the line. Other data include purchase trends and consumer demographics that can also be analysed to maintain their current consumer base while penetrating new markets through customised offerings based on the analysed data.
As stated in the previous article, IoT technologies will only expand in functionality, making its possibilities limitless. Furthermore, it provides a non-disruptive avenue for businesses, especially SMEs and start-ups to venture into advanced technology, allowing them to offer globally competitive products and services that can be continuously improved through the combination of IoT and BDA.
*Featured image sourced from: internetofbusiness.com