Current Issues

Regular Industry Development Updates, Opinions and Talking Points relating to Manufacturing, the Supply Chain and Logistics.

Coolest Advice for Making Blockbuster IoT Devices?

16-May-2018
Coolest Advice for Making Blockbuster IoT Devices?
Device manufacturers wanting market share of the booming Internet of Things (IoT) world have massive uphill challenges in designing, developing and deploying their IoT applications, all while trying to source, integrate, and manage the infrastructure needed behind the scenes to make the applications work.

Before taking on the IoT challenge to launch a connected product or service, it is critical that businesses have a thorough understanding of what key components must be incorporated, how these components interact with each other, and how common integration pitfalls can be avoided. Specifically:

Start with the value definition
Remember, you are looking to bring to market a solution for a known problem. You need to calculate the value equation of the solution launch. Typically it consists of time to market, investment costs and less quantifiable components such as quality and customer experience. Once you get to a point where you know your solution costs you one Dollar and the customer is willing to pay you three, things begin to look good.

Every company planning an IoT device rollout should also evaluate how much time and costs can be saved by partnering with known specialists and assess the value of avoiding the risks of devices and products failing at customers’ hands after being delivered all over the world.

Service and business design
How to apply uncovered value is step two. Use creative methods to design your business outside in. Think of your customer and try to build your offering around its needs. Define the customer needs and pain points in minute detail and see how your new offering could solve the problem.

On business design, build a picture on how your customer firstly hears from you and also how the solution is delivered to the end customer. Other points to consider include billing, where you make your margins and/or cost savings are made and how the business scales.

Proof of Concept
If possible, build and sell the first solution using readily available devices for a quick proof of concept. By doing so, you will learn a lot about your future IoT business, how pricing works and how customers are reacting to your solution to the problem. This eventually allows you to quantify value.

One good tool for new business evaluation is the “fake it until you make it” process. This means you test the product pricing and value proposition with existing IoT prototyping hardware

Use rapid prototyping techniques
Having a device or a service to show always brings the discussion deeper towards customer expectations. Prototypes help when collecting feedback from customers, partners and other people and enable you to optimize the offering.

One good tip for making the first sell is to use a functional prototype. Build an IoT device using readily available developer boards to complete the functionality and package everything in a cool 3D printed exterior.

Hardware is hard
It takes time to build even the most simple sensor device and most companies do not have the required competencies and platforms in-house for making commercial grade hardware devices. In this case the smartest strategy is to purchase readily available hardware or hire a design house which has done it all before and knows the drill. Look for a partner that is interested in your solution and don’t make your own hardware if you can source elsewhere.

Choose your IoT platform wisely
The world is full of platforms so make sure the pricing, business model and the functional capabilities of a platform works for your benefit. Think about the whole IoT architecture, and establish what work amounts are needed for getting the service up and running. You need to consider how to integrate devices, backend solutions and analytics.

Leading platforms enable your application almost out-of-box so time and money saved on integration can take your first sales and marketing initiatives a long way.

Make the leap
IoT is an amazing opportunity with blue oceans waiting to be discovered. There are plenty of markets that are currently untapped and value can be found in the strangest of places like valpas.io, which, of all problems in the world, decided to apply IoT to remove the bed bug problem from hotels globally. Its solution includes a connected retrofitted bed-leg containing technology to attract, captivate and eliminate bed bugs and automatically signals the hotel administration.

Valpas, although a simple idea, is built using complex and compact technology, yet it saves hotels vast amounts of money through better visitor experiences, avoids complaints and makes significant savings in costs associated with bed-bug invasion.

If a small enterprise such as Valpas can make the leap and fix the global bed-bug problem, anyone can. It is just a question of speaking to the right experts!

The Time to Modernize Your Artwork Management is Now
2 days ago
It’s time to bin receipts: ParcelHero calls for an end to wasteful paper receipts
3 days ago
Ocado sales jump thanks to 'automation done right'
5 days ago
Preparing your employees for Industry 4.0
5 days ago
How Do Product and Shipping Labels Affect Brand Visibility?
6 days ago
How will Brexit affect the events industry?
6 days ago
100 days to Christmas - ParcelCompare says it’s never too early to start planning those presents and orders
6 days ago
It’s time to blow up your business model and switch to DTC
1 week ago
How retailers can survive the death of the high street
1 week ago
ClickSoftware Announces Recent Customer Wins, Product Updates and Industry Accolades
1 week ago
Deloitte increases its focus on AI & Marketing Technology through new acquisition
1 week ago
How Centralized Labeling Helps QA Departments
1 week ago
How IoT is Changing the Waste Water Industry
1 week ago
M&A can put quality compliance at risk
1 week ago
Chinese traders must pay fair postal charges or more British retailers will collapse
2 weeks ago
Enhance real-time visibility across your operation with a proof of delivery system
2 weeks ago
Snapfulfil publishes top five tips for winning at warehousing
2 weeks ago
Government’s no-deal Brexit advice papers ‘are the equivalent of “duck and cover” nuclear warnings’
1 month ago
Brexit and Stockpiling: What’s the answer?
1 month ago
Peak? Which peak?
1 month ago
Empowering Your Supply Chain Workforce: 3 Tips for Manufacturing Directors
1 month ago
64 per cent of manufacturers rate their shop-floor IT capabilities as just average, weak or non-existent
1 month ago
The supply chain lessons of the modern grocer
1 month ago
Time to mitigate the risk of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit?
1 month ago
App Insights: How can artificial intelligence innovate supply chain management?
1 month ago
Managing Technological Change Without any Supply Chain Disruption
1 month ago
Moody’s Blues for House of Fraser; but Website Failings are Just as Damaging
1 month ago
Artificial Intelligence: What’s Now And Next In IoT-driven Supply Chain Innovation
1 month ago
Indiana Jones and the supply chain bullwhip effect
1 month ago
How Enterprise Labeling Helps You Conquer Regulatory Challenges
1 month ago
3 Tips for Empowering Millennial Warehouse Workers
1 month ago
More robots means easier delivery - but what about the infrastructure?
1 month ago
Safety in the warehouse: Five key risk areas for 360-degree protection
1 month ago
Automotive resilience, not just airbags and crash tests, but IT too
1 month ago
New High Street panel is facing a race against a terminal diagnosis
1 month ago
Delivering the supply chain revolution
2 months ago
A market of one: the potential of the personalized supply chain
2 months ago
5 EIS rules you are probably not aware of
2 months ago
TMS: an enterprise priority
2 months ago
Labeling Solutions for Global Expansion
2 months ago
Prime Day will be a $1.6bn loss-leader creating millions more Prime members, says e-commerce expert
2 months ago
Say what? The new possibilities of voice and machine driven retail
2 months ago
‘Peak faith’ in the cloud only 12-18 months away with slump to follow, warns 6point6 Cloud Gateway
2 months ago
As you were for UK manufacturing sector, but new business growth at three month high
2 months ago
Back to IoT basics: Automating outcomes to improve customer experience
2 months ago
Investigation of the "Fast Fashion" impact
2 months ago
Redefining Rental for Materials Handling Equipment
3 months ago
With the Intelligent Enterprise, SAP Creates “A Completely Different Kind of Flexibility”
3 months ago
The supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link
3 months ago