Your Competitors are Doubling Down on IoT: What You Need to Know so You Don’t Get Left Behind Part 2 of 3

This is part two of three in our series on The Internet of Things (IoT). In case you haven’t already heard, many of your competitors are observing how leading manufacturing companies and global leaders are getting involved and investing in IoT technology.

In part one, we saw how big multinationals are committing huge sums of money to IoT, spending billions on research, and opening new locations in university tech hubs like Silicon Valley and Boston because they know that is where the future lies. Some organizations are even reinventing themselves, such as GE’s quest to become one of the world’s leading software companies.

However, we also saw that IoT is not just for global leading companies. Small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are also beginning to incorporate IoT technology into their organizations, and fast. If you run a SMB manufacturing facility, heed our warning that your competitors are not waiting to get in on this technology. Companies are re-evaluating and changing their operations now.

IoT is Changing the Way Many Companies Operate

A study featured in the Harvard Business Review focusing on The Internet of Things found that about 79% of large global companies already use IoT technologies to track their customers, products, the premises in which they do business with customers, and/or their supply chains. The study also found that by 2018, many of these companies expect IoT spending to rise by over 20%.

Mobile Apps

Among the most widely adopted IoT technologies are mobile apps. For the past few years, retail companies have been utilizing the technology to track customers while using their mobile devices when they enter company stores or branch offices. Manufacturers can also use the technology to track products as they move through production and distribution

Mobile Apps

The Lake Companies has pioneered a way for manufacturers to monitor production, operations, and even employees through a solution called Beacon-Trak®. With small beacon devices placed throughout the shop floor, supervisors can monitor activities going on in the shop, or not going on in the case of down-time. As supervisors walk from area to area in the plant, the beacons update their handheld computer devices with relevant, proximity-based information, like the work centers in the area, the employees working on the machines, and the specific jobs they are working on. This ground breaking capability is the new BI in manufacturing. Instead of you plodding through your ERP systems, running reports, investigating random charts and graphs looking for information, Beacon-Trak® brings it to you while you are in your office, in a meeting, or walking the shop floor. In real-time, a manager, supervisor, planner or scheduler, quality control and continuous improvement staff can be instantly updated on:

  • What jobs are in process and the status of those jobs
  • Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) of any resource in your facility
  • Equipment down-time information and analysis
  • Efficiency, first pass yield, utilization
  • Jobs that are trending late based upon production
  • Machine operators, workers, HR-related information about the employee, and what jobs the employee is currently working on with customer specs, production targets, and current totals
  • Job costing, comparing actual to standard and planned costs
  • Charts that compare individual, department, and work center performance

With Beacon-Trak®, a supervisor is no longer tied to a desk. All the information he needs is in his tablet computer in his hands. Plus, other departments within the company can benefit from using Beacon-Trak®, including Human Resources, Continuous Improvement Teams, Planning/Scheduling, Executive Management, Cost Accounting, and more. Supervisors across the organization can be armed with tablets allowing them to be mobile and in total command of all the information that they need to perform their job efficiently.

Next Up

In the third and final blog of this series, we will take a look at more ways IoT is changing small and big businesses alike.

For more information on how beacon technology can help your company, please contact The Lake Companies.