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Going All in on the Internet of Things
July 19th, 2017

Going All in on the Internet of Things

Ian Linton

The government wants to make American manufacturing great again. But to do that they need the Internet of Things. Keep reading to find out why.

The government wants to make American manufacturing great again. It’s competing against businesses manufacturing or sourcing from low-cost production areas. To get back on terms, quality is vital and productivity, efficiency, and responsiveness must improve.

That’s where IoT – the Internet of Things – can make a difference. IoT provides the framework for gathering, managing and sharing vast amounts of information from the marketplace, the production line and the field. That sounds great, but the data volumes and the perceived complexity mean that many businesses are hesitating and not taking advantage.

Plug the information gap

Okay, it’s raw data when it comes in. But, in the right hands and with the right analytics tools, IoT data can give decision makers the essential information they need to plan, respond and compete effectively. That must be good for business.

The other vital ingredient is communication. IoT analysts and decision makers must be able to share information to ensure it reaches the people who need to take action. Solutions like Voice over IP or Unified Communications make it easy to alert people or collaborate when IoT data highlights a breaking problem.

Make better decisions

Take a common example. You’re producing food products for retail. Do you know the current level of demand? It could surge when the new campaign hits the market. Will retailers’ stocks be sufficient? How soon will the next batch be ready for distribution?

Guesswork and experience go a long way to answering those questions, but data from the IoT can fill the information gaps. With a real-time picture of demand, you can make those vital adjustments to production levels and distribution schedules without the costs of overstocking. If the unexpected happens – a major store running low – IoT will alert your team and you can put an emergency delivery on the road.

Cut service costs

IoT is good for service and maintenance management too. You’ve got a large estate of equipment that requires regular inspection. Maybe it’s located in remote areas that are difficult to reach. Do you hire a team of technicians and put aside a large travel budget to keep inspections on schedule? Or, is there a better way?

An IoT solution can solve that problem. Sensors on the equipment transmit data via the Internet to a control center. The service team can manage the incoming data and identify any potential problems. The field team now deals with fixes, not routine inspections. That can reduce costs and make the service department more responsive.

Keep the team alerted

IoT provides the information, but it must be easy to share. VoIP and Unified Communication solutions provide the tools to get information in the right hands.

Automated alerts by voice, text or instant message, for example, quickly let customers, suppliers, production line and distribution staff know about a changing situation.

If IoT data highlights a major problem, it’s easy to set up video or audio conferences and bring together experts who can collaborate to develop a solution.

Time to get in

There are clear business, operational and financial benefits in using the IoT. It’s time to find out what it can do for your business.

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