Over the past decade, manufacturers have taken advantage of new technologies by investing in electronics and software that improves performance, drives higher levels of innovation and even reduces cost. This is proof that adopting smarter products, increased automation and new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) is the key to unlocking significant value.
The IoT enables more than just new ways to do the same thing. A network of intelligent devices that “talk” to each other brings an unlimited amount of new capabilities not just to the manufacturing industry, but virtually every industry (and home). There are three ways in which to connect to the IoT ─ Person-to-Machine (P2M), Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Person-to-Person (P2P) – all of which will produce better execution of current initiatives. Manufacturers who utilize the IoT experience operations that are more efficient and productive than their competitors who have not taken the leap. Even though there are many advantages to the IoT, some key ways manufacturers can gain the best value from connectivity include:
- Greater visibility into operations
- Ability to look at trends and anomalies
- Drive better decision-making and higher performance
- Gain insight into how products are used in the field
- Enable predictive service to products in the field and prevent failures
- Increase customer support and satisfaction
- Integration with existing systems such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions
While the IoT has the potential to significantly disrupt the competitive landscape of the manufacturing industry, the hype surrounding the advantages it can bring to the industry also uproots many challenges. As tempting as it may be to dive directly into intelligent devices, manufacturers need to take a step back and really look at their business to determine where applying IoT concepts make the most sense.
The best way to do this is establishing where the inefficiencies lie, the possible opportunities and what value it will being to the business. When a thought-out strategy is developed, manufacturers can then leverage the information gathered and analyzed to incorporate the IoT appropriately into their business operations.
Need help defining your IoT strategy? We can help.