How will the Internet of Things transform your business?
The Internet of Things (IoTs) is opening new windows of visibility into the manufacturing process.
This is being achieved through an interconnected web of devices that speak to each other and provide an invaluable well of data to inform your everyday decision making.
In turn, industrial organisations are using this visibility to make more informed, accurate, real-time decisions.
Those who have already embraced this approach are beginning to find themselves more capable of responding quickly and effectively to unforeseen events that would previously have represented a significant challenge to business operations.
Whereas responding to events after they had already happened was an all too familiar scenario, now you can get ahead of the curve and solve major challenges before they happen.
Our blog asks the following question: how will the Internet of Things transform your business? As you’ll see, the answer is undoubtedly for the better, so long as you follow a few simple steps.
What is the Internet of Things?
The “Internet of Things” sounds complicated but is reasonably simple.
It describes a worldwide network of physical objects (e.g. machinery or parts) that have technology embedded within them – these are typically described as ‘sensors’.
This technology allows you instant insight into the internal state of these physical objects (simply put, are they working or not?), while receiving updates on their status and acting on the data you receive.
The benefits are surprisingly profound. Integrating physical parts that are the bedrock of your organisation into the digital world allows you to streamline, simplify and improve your operations and customer service simultaneously.
It also allows you to automate certain functions that used to be manual, since many devices can be set to act on certain data automatically.
How do I get the most value from IoTs?
To maximise on value, you’ll want your approach to the IoTs to be both deep and broad.
Simply, put, this means being able to deploy more sensors to more devices. In doing so, you’ll be able to squeeze more information from all corners of your business operations.
Of course, as you take your first steps, you’ll want to invest in an ERP system that can support all of your IoTs functionality, both today and tomorrow.
A key considerations will be the ease of interoperability. It’s important that your ERP system is sophisticated enough to draw in the data you’re receiving and make it intelligible.
Another point is whether or not the ERP solution that will help operationalise you IoTs network is purpose built for your industry.
Although ERP software can be quite flexible, a big mistake is to choose a solution that specialises in supporting a different industry sector.
Finally, automation is all well and good this is also about making life for your staff easier. Therefore ease-of use and application to the genuine, routine challenges your staff face should be a primary concern when choosing a solution.
What are the benefits?
The most obvious benefit is to your decision making. All too recently, decisions were based on intuition and industry-know-how alone.
This made businesses reliant on a key group of individuals that possessed the majority of the knowledge about the most essential processes.
Now responsibility and insight can be spread around and decisions can be made with more facts at hand.
Good people with a natural understanding of your business are as important as ever, but now you can support them with hard data as well.
Combining the two allows you instant insight into your factory and other diverse operations, and allows informed decisions to be made by the people who matter.
It also facilitates reporting that can support decision making long term.
If you have a precise understanding of your output, device status and productivity, you can make some pretty well-informed projections for the future.
Once you’re making solid predications for the future and able to act accordingly, you’re much more likely to leapfrog the competition and optimize your business processes as a result.
Did our article make you want to learn more about ERP and the Internet of Things? Why not get in touch with one of our consultants?