Is your logistics company ready to adopt IoT?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is increasingly being adopted by companies of all sizes as a way of getting ahead of the competition and boosting operational efficiency. So much so that by 2025, there will be approximately 27 billion connected IoT devices. 

This shift towards more connectivity means more changes in all sectors, including logistics, transportation, warehousing and healthcare. And the biggest catalyst in all of this is the unprecedented access to valuable data. According to McKinsey, companies that use data-driven B2B sales-growth engines have a major advantage and increases of 15-25% EBITDA. 

IoT also enables the improvement of products and services, as well as increased employee productivity. For the logistics industry, predictive maintenance, supply chain management, and workplace safety will give IoT adopters a great advantage. 

But what does this mean for you? Is your company ready to adopt IoT? What are the current barriers to IoT adoption? Let’s find out. 

What are the barriers to adopting IoT? 

As the technology is still evolving, you must first understand the current barriers to IoT adoption and what companies are doing to minimise them. 

  • Cost - devices equipped with sensors, cloud computing platforms, and software make IoT pretty expensive, albeit more accessible than ever before. The good news is that this technology can save you money in the long run. For example, businesses can start with a pilot project and scale up from there

  • Security - security is a major concern regarding IoT, as devices are more vulnerable to attacks. Specialists recommend including stronger passwords and frequent software updates among best practices

  • Right skills  - IoT is, by definition, a system of interconnected entities, which include people. So, employees need to be trained to use devices and software meant to make their work easier 

  • Integrations - creating an IoT infrastructure can be challenging. For example, integrating legacy platforms can be time-consuming and different devices have different standards and protocols based on the vendor, raising issues of incompatibility between different devices

  • Stakeholder buy-in - you don’t want to spend resources on infrastructure just for people not to use it. Everyone in your organisation, and even clients, needs to see the value of IoT, so be prepared to communicate changes and results. 

Clearly, none of these barriers are impossible to overcome. They’ll also be less of an issue as technology advances and demand increases. But how do you know that your company is ready to adopt IoT?

4 Signs your company is ready to adopt IoT 

If you’re still unsure about adopting IoT, here are a few major signs that can help you make the best decision: 

1. Have a plan for using data 

Around 80-90% of organisational data is unstructured and too complex for common data solutions. At the same time, each department has its own way of storing and using information. This creates data silos, which makes it difficult to create an overview of all of the organisational data. 

IoT can not only help break data silos, but it also collects a vast amount of unstructured data. So, the real challenge here is knowing how to store and analyse it. Even more important is not to let it go to waste. 

Consequently, it’s best to have a plan for data based on measurable goals and use an IoT solution to keep track of important metrics. 

For example, a transportation company uses a fleet management system to identify the best routes for its vehicles. However, it doesn’t help anyone if drivers can’t access real-time recommendations based on traffic data.

2. Need actionable data to gain a competitive advantage 

The real value is in finding actionable insights, so you’ll also want to use data to improve performance and decision-making. You can also use it to improve customer experience and anticipate errors. 

With millions or even billions of data points collected daily, it’s impossible to process them manually.  Companies need an automated analytics solution. A common use case is real-time analytics, which uses tools like Apache Kafka to build real-time streaming data pipelines. 

You can benefit from:

  • Descriptive analytics  - uses real-time data from devices to discover patterns. It allows you to understand what is currently happening, such as the total number of items that are stocked in a warehouse at a certain point in time
  • Diagnostic analytics  - helps you understand why something is happening. You’ll be able to figure out why some machines have failed or what causes a spike in energy usage, among many other potential trends 
  • Predictive analytics - predict that something will happen. This is where machine learning (ML) plays a major role, as ML models use historical data to assess the likelihood of future events. Predictive analytics is especially useful for preventing something negative, such as a workplace accident. However, it’s also a good way to see the positive trends, such as an opportunity to predict which products are most likely to be in high demand in the future
  • Prescriptive analytics  - get recommendations based on descriptive, diagnostic or predictive analytics. For example, prescriptive analytics can tell you that a machine will most likely fail within one week and that you should act now. Or, provide recommendations for cutting costs, saving energy or optimising a process. 

There’s never been a better time to detect trends and take advantage of opportunities. 

       

3. Need to find opportunities for innovation

Do you know how your products are used? Do you know the difficulties that clients have when interacting with them? What would they need in order to succeed with your product? 

The business world is constantly changing. IoT helps companies identify trends that lead to innovative services and products. 

Collecting this data is usually a tedious process that involves a lot of research. Instead, implementing IoT helps you find opportunities to innovate. A great example is having an automotive solution that collects rich datasets about hybrid electric cars. This allows drivers to see how much fuel they have saved or when they use the most conventional fuel. As the demand for hybrid cars rises, so will the solutions needed to enrich the driving experience. 

In conclusion, IoT data gives you insights into new revenue streams, client experience improvements and even the creation of new products. 

4. Want to leverage automation

IoT can help eliminate repetitive tasks. With a cloud-based IoT solution, there is no need for tedious data crunching. IoT can also handle heavy workloads, so your team members can focus on management and planning tasks. 

However, you will need people who can take ownership of IoT implementation, even if you start small and scale up from there. An IoT team needs to handle UX/UI, data analytics, machine learning, and security, among many other important skills. They have to be familiar with programming languages such as Python, Java, and C++, which are often used for IoT projects. Also, they should be comfortable working with platforms such as Thingsboard

That’s why many organisations prefer to work with a software development company that already has many IoT projects under its belt and has helped many clients leverage their data. 

How to adopt IoT into your logistics business

Are you ready to take your business to the next level? We build custom IoT solutions that drive growth and efficiency, enabling you to act on valuable data in real-time and stay ahead of your competitors. 

Contact us now: 

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