How the Internet of Things could make business easier
By Samsung Australia, 05.08.2015.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a relatively new technology trend in which everyday objects with network connectivity are able to send and receive information online. Although still in its infancy, the IoT is likely to have a profound effect on the way today's businesses operate. But how might business owners and their employees stand to gain from a completely interconnected office?
The IoT is likely to rationalise some workplace processes for employees. For example, if a worker finds an error in a newly printed document, a smart printer in the future could allow them to make the requisite changes on their smartphone or tablet before printing again, rather than returning to their desk.
Simpler supply chains
IoT-enabled devices could help simplify inventory management processes for businesses with complex supply chains. For example, a network-connected warehouse storage solution could alert a business's central inventory management platform of low stock, prompting the system to automatically replenish units of certain products based on recent sales data. Office-based businesses could use similar processes to manage inventory and replenish necessities such as printer ink and paper.
Better asset management
Equipping devices with network capability could also help businesses establish more accurate information on asset value and return on investment. Network-enabled devices could send employee usage information to analytics software that allows managers to evaluate each asset's worth to the company.
Safer, more comfortable workplaces
The IoT might also make workplaces safer by alerting employees to potential workplace health and safety risks as they perform their roles. For example, businesses could use network-equipped vehicles to monitor truck drivers for unsafe practices such as driving longer than the recommended hours.
The workplace could also adjust its environment during certain stages of the day to boost productivity. If the data, for example, finds that productivity drops at 3pm, the business could program the office sound system to lift concentration by broadcasting music proven to help people focus. The system could also be programmed to order pizza for late-night brainstorming sessions, or get the relaxants necessary for Friday drinks.
Greater customer insights
The IoT may also help companies better understand how customers use products and services. For example, a retail business might integrate data from smart shelves with point-of-sale and trade promotions data to provide customers with personalised offers as they browse.
Businesses might also draw on online competitor information to adjust product pricing on shelves in real time, improving conversions by providing an incentive for customers to buy while in the store rather than online. Headquarters can use analytics software to track this kind of activity and make better-informed decisions to drive profit.
Though yet to reach its full momentum, the Internet of Things is poised to change the way we work and live.