4 Ways IoT Will Improve Your Small Business
Connected devices are transforming business operations for organizations of all sizes. Many have come to understand these devices in the personal form, such as virtual assistants, driver-less cars, or fitness trackers. However, these devices are expanding well beyond personal technology, as investments in this space are growing rapidly.
There are plenty of large corporations that are taking advantage of the Internet of Things, but there is also significant room for smaller and medium sized organizations to incorporate IoT technology into their processes as well.
Any business that has handled some level of inventory management is familiar with bar codes, and the manual scanning process required to take inventory using these codes. An employee is tasked with the responsibility of scanning each individual piece in order to account for the product and its location.
With smart technology advancements, it’s now possible for RFID chips to be embedded into products. These chips are connected and generate a real-time status that provides both quantity and location. This is only where the benefits begin, as GPS can help locate a product in a warehouse for ease of packaging when shipping an order. Additionally, food packaging can alert a business when a product is on the verge of expiring.
Mobility is becoming common at small businesses, as remote collaboration among team members is easier now more than ever. Collaboration can be achieved between individuals on opposite sides of the world, and IoT devices are making this process even smoother.
Video conferencing, real-time interactive whiteboards, communication processes, and mobile payment processing are all made easier and more secure through IoT technology.
IoT can be utilized by companies in order to monitor different aspects of their operations remotely. This process is augmented through the use of automation in the manufacturing sector, which makes it possible for production to continue during off hours without the presence of workers at a factory.
A large reason that this is now practical for small and medium sized businesses, is the fact that sensors are becoming more affordable. The sensors are connected to machines and hardware in order to observe mechanical elements such as pressure, temperature, and speed. If an element clocks in beyond the permitted threshold, notifications are generated so that maintenance can be conducted.
There are many ways that productivity is improved through IoT, as big data becomes much more accessible. As an example, let’s look at the scheduling of daily meetings. Data can be generated that determines which employees are available based on their schedule and location, and office availability can be immediately be determined so that you can reserve the room you need. Additionally, energy use can be monitored in order to improve resource usage such as heating and lighting. These resources can be adjusted within a room automatically.
Machine data can be incorporated to determine the most productive work shifts, which will improve start up times at manufacturing facilities. The list of productivity improvements offered through IoT is a long one, and really depends on how you put the technology to use.
IoT can massively improve the day to day operations at your organization, no matter your size. The benefits outlined above are just the beginning, as advancements are being made on a seemingly daily basis.
In order to incorporate IoT into your small or medium sized business’s practices, some important considerations will be needed. There will need to be preparation in regard to infrastructure, and expertise will be required to get you up and running. There are also security risks to keep in mind, as cloud security is always a concern when working with digital devices.
If you’d like to explore how to successfully incorporate IoT into your organization’s operations, contact us at 630-769-8700 or contact us through our online form.