Corporate investment in the Internet of Things (IoT) is on the rise. But while 67% of IT professionals say they’ve already implemented IoT, many have yet to fully exploit the technology’s possibilities.
The promise of IoT is that it can solve a myriad of business problems, save time, and increase productivity. But unleashing its potential in a way that generates tangible results (i.e. more sales or happier customers) requires some prep work.
It all begins with a deceptively simple question: What is the most pressing problem IoT can solve for your organization?
Calming the Waters for the Shipping Industry
Because IoT offers so many possibilities, it can be challenging to decide where to start. Homing in on a specific industry is an excellent way to illustrate how it can solve both simple and complex problems, while also saving money and creating efficiencies. In shipping, for example, IoT is used to address some of the industry’s most taxing problems including shipping conditions, delays, and equipment failures.
Reducing damage to cargo during transit: IoT sensors make cargo monitoring more accurate and secure. Sensors send notifications when cargo has been opened alerting personnel to possible tampering. Shipping conditions can also be monitored to keep cargo safe. For example, certain items need to be kept at specific temperatures during transit or may be sensitive to high vibrations or humidity. Sensors on cargo containers track all sorts of freight and shipping conditions. When changes go beyond an acceptable limit, the system sends an alert so issues can be resolved before cargo is damaged.
Eliminating unloading and delivery delays: Sensors on ships and docks capture and exchange data that can be used to accurately determine delivery times for cargo. If a ship is running late, the truck scheduled to pick up the delivery can be alerted avoiding idle time at the dock. RFID tags, low energy Bluetooth devices, and IoT sensors speed up the loading and unloading of cargo. Carriers know exactly where cargo is in the shipping process and inefficiencies can easily be identified and corrected to improve supply chain logistics.
Minimizing disruption due to equipment failure: Delays in shipping can result from problems on the ship or issues with the machinery used to load and unload cargo at the dock. By monitoring the performance of machines, IoT sensors can notify technicians at the first sign of possible deterioration. Carriers can be proactive with preventive maintenance by repairing equipment before it breaks. Downtime is reduced or eliminated and larger, costlier repairs are avoided.
IoT Solves Problems Across Many Industries
Shipping isn’t the only industry that benefits from IoT. Retailers can use IoT sensors to track how customers move around their store and engage with displays. The healthcare industry can use IoT devices to exchange and analyze patient information which reduces the need for in-person office visits and keeps emergency room traffic to a minimum. The applications are endless.
Of all the steps to getting IoT up and running for your business the first is crucial. You need to understand the problems you want to solve and clearly define them. This ensures your IoT project is both manageable and will achieve your goals.
Once you’ve done that, everything else falls into place. You’ll know exactly what sensors or tags you’ll need, how to integrate them into your communications and business processes, and which metrics will demonstrate success.
An IoT project may look daunting at first. But with the right prep work, companies can implement a solution that drives tangible and impressive results.
Source: by the experts at Mitel, Oct. 2018