The Internet of Things (IoT) sees a world where devices – connected over the internet – talk to us, applications, and each other. And, it is set to revolutionise the service industry. Crucially, for smaller organisations, the IoT is levelling the playing field. And it does this by providing access to real-time data on a scale once limited to large enterprises.
Here are just some of the ways the IoT can help SMEs.
The IoT can help to increase response rates
The ability to assign tasks to engineers using location and scheduling data can make a real difference to smaller organisations that rely on resource prioritisation. And, with IoT technology, it becomes much easier to automatically calculate the distance between the job and the nearest available engineer.
But it’s not just about improving response times. There’s no point dispatching someone to a job if they aren’t able to do it. Instead, you must focus on achieving higher first-time fix rates if you really want to keep customers happy.
The IoT can help to increase first-time fix rates
Repeat service visits have long been a way of life for service-led companies. And, for smaller organisations, in particular, the cost of this has been challenging.
But, by providing more accurate data on connected assets, the IoT could make repeat visits a thing of the past. Instead, when an issue occurs, the information supplied to the organisation tasked with fixing it makes it easy to dispatch the right person, with the right skills. First time, every time.
The IoT makes it easier to keep track of assets and stock
An IoT-powered stock control system could boost operational efficiencies with impressive stock forecasting, and the ability to manage multiple stock locations. Easy to set maximum, minimum and reorder levels for each stock item, you’ll always know what’s available, and have all the parts you need. So, you’re never caught short by a missing item when you need it.
Equipment and asset management software can also be used to give your business a clear overview of what equipment is where, so you always know what you have, and when maintenance needs to happen.
The IoT supports predictive maintenance
Maintenance can be complex and time-consuming. And unplanned, reactive fixes can cause real headaches for smaller service companies.
However, the IoT makes it possible to move to a more predictive maintenance model. So, instead of fixing things when they break, the equipment can notify a business when it detects an issue and even predict when failure is imminent. This makes it easy to fix things before they become a problem.
As a result, companies can keep equipment running as well as possible for as long as possible, reduce the likelihood of unplanned shutdowns, and reduce maintenance costs.
The IoT supercharges automation
Automating a single process can be hugely beneficial to a small business. But, when information is shared across assets, the results can be transformational. And, through the IoT, more and more processes can be automated and the impact on resources greatly reduced.
The IoT will lead to service improvements
Organisations that provide customer service aftercare have been keen to embrace IoT devices. This allows them to take action and make adjustments based on actual data. Crucially, this not only empowers them to provide enhanced customer service, but it also allows them to make these tweaks quickly and more cost-effectively. So, they can focus on more revenue-raising work.
Also, IoT enabled quality, service improvement and redesign (QSIR) tools can be used to automatically identify not only failures, but also the potential for failure. This would allow companies to create better quality products by identifying issues much earlier on in the design process.
It’s only a matter of time before IoT connectivity will be exploited in most, if not all businesses. As such, it’s no surprise that the IoT – and the data it produces – is set to be worth £322 billion to the UK economy by 2020. To see how our cloud-enabled technology can help get your business ready for the IoT, contact us today for an informal chat.