IoT

IoT and the benefits for making your business more efficient (an hyperbole)

Is your company operating in the real world, on the internet or in the virtual world? The chances are IoT will have an impact on what you do and how you do it.

Internet of things gives computing power and connects physical elements to the internet whose main function is not computing and connecting (we could argue that the main function of a phone is for making calls but usually phones do not qualify as “Things”).

Everybody understands a Pizza Delivery/Take away Restaurant. Let us take this simple example and make some modifications with connected devices to illustrate IoT examples:

  • There is a device to count people at an entrance that knows how many people there are in the restaurant ordering at any moment of time.
  • There is an intelligent oven with cameras for the baking process.
  • Delivery motorbikes send GPS data.
  • Carry boxes have temperature sensors.
  • Pizza boxes are equipped with a NFC tag to identify the pizza.
  • Ingredients boxes are equipped with balances and leds that inform you of portion sizes.
  • The cash machine takes orders and registers them properly.

We have settled the battleground, what can be done today?

Customer View

Customers order pizzas on the internet, phone or directly in the shop. They know at any time when they will receive their pizza, whether is in the shop or at home. When they have finished their pizza they scan the NFC tag on the box in order to give feedback on that pizza and receive coupons for their next order.

Business View

Demand prediction means efficiency in costs. The people waiting in the shop can be optimized. The delivery team can be adapted at peak hours.

Customer satisfaction is linked to each pizza the customer receives. The ingredients that were added to it are tracked so most successful pizzas can be replicated. The balances in the ingredients boxes tell the cooks when to stop pouring certain ingredients onto the pizza and the pizzas can be personalized according to the preferences of each customer. Cameras in the ovens allow a perfect baking process linked to the customer’s preferences and also to avoid overcooking. The company keeps track of the temperature in the delivery box when it is on the motorbike so that it indicates which levels of temperature are OK for customers and discard orders that might not be optimal.

Providers View

Providers place orders of the ingredients directly thus the ingredients boxes and demand predictions are met in such a way that the ingredients are always as fresh as possible and less waste is generated. An oven maintenance company comes when an error is detected (or predicted) and allows a 24h operation time with no backup.

A big overdesign but at the same time…

Some reflections about this simple example:

  • Technology exists and “things” can add new experiences and efficiencies to processes.
  • It is not science fiction, it is just a matter of technology costs (open platforms can help; check barbaraiot.com) and the right integration in nowaday processes.
  • IoT may not bring a double-digit efficiency increase today but in industrial cases, a single digit efficiency increase might be enough to justify the investment.
  • It is not only technology for a group of premium companies, IoT will become a “have it or die technology” (would you have thought that e-commerce would become that in 2001?).

With the proper scale, this simple example makes a lot of sense. Imagine a 10 million USD Factory running cost per day and make the numbers of demand prediction, waste savings, predictive maintenance, replacement parts stock, raw materials stock management, customer satisfaction etc… And always have security in mind.

What are your hyperboles? What are your real IoT use cases? How big is your efficiency increase? Challenge us!

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Article written by Isidro Nistal, Founder and Chief Product Officer at Barbara IoT.