During 2008, there was a seismic shift that would predestine how we’d continue to interact with technology. It was at this point that it was estimated that more devices were connected to the internet than people. Ever since then, the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) has only continued to grow. What’s gone from the novel use of sensors to connect them to the internet for simple information purposes has turned into one of the most powerful ways to gather data on product usage in both B2C and B2B environments. (Source)
So, what is the Internet of Things? To break it down, IoT is the acronym used for the extension of the internet to any other ‘Thing’ beyond ‘traditional’ connected devices (First PCs, now also Smartphones). Those connected ‘Things’ gather information, send information back, or both. This usually takes the form of a small chip embedded into whatever device it is you want to gather information from or send information via, enabling data transfer for a number of different mediums; usage, GPS location, temperature, stress indication and so on.
In a recent article in The Manufacturer publication, our MD Alex Love touched on the data-driven society we inhabit. Acquiring, and mobilising, product usage data is one of the most effective ways to improve the customer experience – and because of this, we can only expect IoT use to expand. In fact it has been predicted by IDC in their ‘Worldwide Semi-annual Internet of Things Spending Guide’ that IoT spending will reach $745 billion in this year alone and it is expected to surpass the $1 trillion mark by 2022 – a 15% increase on spending compared to 2018.
The fact that expenditure on IoT is increasing highlights the growth in the market for this technology and signifies the need for businesses to adopt it in order to thrive. That’s why Enigen have invested in providing consultancy around IoT. We see IoT as an important channel within CX. Below are just a few examples of how IoT is benefiting businesses, while improving their customer experiences:
Identifying technology faults rapidly to deliver better customer service
Because of the nature of connected devices, it’s much easier to identify any faults with products, technology or user errors. For example, manufacturers can use this technology in a process of predictive maintenance, servicing technical problems before they occur. In a business model where servitisation – the model of selling the license to a product for a set period as opposed to selling it outright – is highly prevalent, IoT can be deployed to effectively service these goods – reducing unplanned downtime on the customer end, and improving the customer experience.
Accurate, automated communication in Transport & Logistics
In the transport & logistics industry, IoT provides an opportunity to make end customers aware of delivery times and unplanned delays. For example, the use of IoT and Marketing Automation has enabled lorries to be tracked throughout their journey and when a shipment is running late, that lorry can pass that information on to the customer with an ETA so that they can plan accordingly. (Source).
A challenge we hear from our customers in the construction industry is one of projects running over time or over budget. With IoT, we can track materials as they move around sites and from stock yard to site, ensuring a more efficient project. Throughout the building, we can add IoT sensors to the electrics, the pipes, the heating – all in an effort to continually maintain these remotely without the need for as many manual inspections, while containing damaging faults throughout the building.
Creating an ethical alternative to ‘traditional’ methods
In an age where many consumers are thinking ethically about what they consume, the agriculture industry has had to adapt. Farm animals can now have a biochip transponder inserted under their skin to give them a unique identification number, which can also give them a GPS tracker, allowing the animals to roam without chance of them getting lost or stolen, and without causing the animal pain with the traditional uses of ear-tags, brands or tattoos.
IoT can benefit every business, because it forces a complete re-think of what “technology” can accomplish and as a result, there is an unlimited number of possibilities for customer experience improvement across many different business sectors. IoT has made it possible to identify technology faults quicker, it’s improved logistics and transport, created more efficient construction processes and driven ethical solutions in agriculture, to name but a few.
If you want to discover how IoT could be employed in your industry, or in your business specifically – Enigen’s IoT Consultancy package gives you the ability to do so. On a fixed price contract for a set period, Enigen will review your current IoT usage/processes (if you have devices already in place) and make recommendations on how these can be integrated into your business successfully, seamlessly, whilst delivering ROI back into the business.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ENIGEN’S IOT CONSULTANCY PACKAGE, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO GET IN TOUCH WITH US AT INFO@ENIGEN.CO.UK OR ALTERNATIVELY, GIVE US A CALL ON: +44 (0) 2033 280710
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