Technology has matched the field of business and commercial competition at all levels, an example of this is the adoption of IoT by SMEs, giving them the opportunity to face their biggest rivals in both management and innovation.
Internet of Things brings network connectivity to all physical objects to interact with them from anywhere and at any time.
An intuitive application
Its use has already been seen in the systems that allow automatic payments from smartphones and in those that monitor the vehicles of a fleet and generate data on displacement and fuel consumption.
In stores, sensors are being introduced that collect information in real-time of the most purchased products, which helps to control inventories, record times of higher consumption and the type of customer that does it, allowing to optimize the efforts of the areas of marketing.
At home, IoT can be seen in the lighting and alarm systems that can be controlled from the smartphone and on the buttons that Amazon sells to add to washing machines, for example, and that allows the consumer to issue an order of detergent just by pressing it.
Technologies like this, which offer connectivity and immediacy in business management, and also generate other benefits such as:
* Process automation to eliminate errors and increase productivity.
* Optimal allocation of resources to increase profitability.
* Improved customer service by offering a good shopping experience and build loyalty.
And in general, digitalization opens the doors that small and medium-sized companies previously believed were out of reach, including:
* Access financing through collective financing platforms, or crowdfunding, that puts them in contact with different types of investors willing to participate in a new project or in their growth plans.
* Having strategic tools for its operation with the main innovators in technology that helps them strengthen their capabilities without investing too much.
* Have access to the new digital native generations, which can be both employees and consumers, to know their tastes, digital habits, and needs.
* Extract and analyze data and thus be able to improve customer service or reduce risks when it is intended to expand the market.
* Use those same tools to analyze customer interactions with the company, and personalize the service provided, improving your shopping experience.
Technologies that open business opportunities
The new technologies give SMEs opportunities to innovate and participate in the market competing with companies of any size in productivity and efficiency.
Among the technological innovations that make use of IoT are:
– Sensors in production equipment that generate data on the accuracy and speed of processes.
– Mobile applications that streamline office activities in real-time and generate greater productivity.
– Bar Codes, electronic labels, and readers that improve the entry and exit of goods in the warehouse, monitor their transportation and distribution in real-time, and optimize inventory management.
– Software for the extraction and analysis of all types of data to improve business decision making.
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Sectors more at the forefront
In some sectors, progress has already been seen in the adoption of IoT, which has made it easier to see new and better applications.
The industries that have best-taken advantage of this technology and are more open to its development are:
– Health. The collection of information on the physical state of people is already possible through clocks or smart bands connected to cloud computing, but the creation of small robotic pills capable of traveling through our digestive or blood system is also advanced, providing real-time data about our state of health.
– Education. Distance classes and collaborative work on projects, no matter where the participants are, is already possible. IoT enables personalized education that adapts to the level of specialization and learning required by each student and the incorporation of technologies such as the virtual reality that allow a greater understanding of academic subjects.
– Tourism. The internet has changed the way you plan and buy travel services, but it will also improve with the search for tools that allow you to customize the customer experience further.
– Retail commerce. Since the appearance of the Bar Codes that allow a quick collection process in the boxes of supermarkets, as well as intelligent control of inventories, technology has only brought benefits to customers and stores. Now, we will seek to use the IoT to understand the customer better and reduce the costs of processes and services.
– Manufacture. The automation and digitalization of the supply chain mean more agile production processes, better-controlled inventories, safer warehouses, faster transport and distribution, and precise and timely deliveries that generate greater customer satisfaction. All this results in lower operating costs, more profitability, and greater competitiveness.
Integrating IoT into the business and operational processes of SMEs will surely result in greater productivity, innovation, and better customer experience.