IOT - Unlocking The Power of Manufacturing As A Service

Top Consumer Technology Trends Reveal Insights Into The Future of Manufacturing Demand Management

Consumer buying trends are showing tremendous growth potential in the buzzword "IOT" (Internet of things) market. This latest type of hardware, married to cloud computing platforms, offer enormous disruption for even small businesses to connect with, understand, and serve their customers in real time entirely highly optimized, performance driven, digital channels. 

In today's market It doesn't matter if your business is B2B or B2C, THE OPPORTUNITY to leverage technology EMPOWERS YOU to integrate your business DEEPLY into your customers, vendors and partners. 

The hottest consumer buying trends provide exciting insights into the future of manufacturing, customer service and maintenance. A recent popular article in Brostrick shows more "smart - insert your product name here" technology coming to market. Everything from robot BBQ grill cleaners to add-ons for Siri and Alexa, and, underneath it all is a powerfully disruptive business model - a near subscription approach to the industry termed "manufacturing as a service".

What is manufacturing as a service?

Manufacturing-as-a-service is a business model where your key metrics include customer acquisition cost (CAC), lifetime customer value (LCV), and acquisition cost recovery (ACR). If you want to boil down the value of your business, these three factors allow you to make quick decisions when presented with new opportunities.

Keeping CAC, LCV and ACR front of mind has already disrupted and transformed the software, platform and tech infrastructure markets. What has worked in these industries shows much promise for manufacturing. Global brands such as Oral B's toothbrush now offers bluetooth connectivity.

Why would a toothbrush manufacturer like Oral B want to connect to your toothbrush tO THE INTERNET?

The term "internet of things" , or more simply "IOT", refers to regular physical devices, such as a toothbrush, that are connected to the internet, usually for the purposes of acquiring user data. Big players like TELUS are hastily releasing enterprise M2M offerings because it positions their business as foundational infrastucture for the coming era of digital commerce. IOT unlocks the ability to make critical, high impact business decisions on user behaviours, product usage, quality and in-depth cradle-to-cradle product life cycle planning. 

This is a big deal. well connected businesses today have greater accuracy, responsiveness and innovation rates. This isn't just for Fortune 100 businesses anymore, the video below from Salesforce's release of an IOT offering for SMEs shows how disruptive this new wave of technology can be. 

A quick Google of last year's "Top Gifts For..." holiday shopping list reveals that, more and more, consumers are looking for 3 things from their products: convenience, connectivity and control. Every company, no matter the size is becoming a data company because they have too.

The hard reality is that if you don't make the change now your competitor will. And that, can ransom your business.

In a recent post I discussed how Unilever focused too heavily on B2B while a small startup website, The Dollar Shave Club, took ownership of the end user relationship with their customer using a simple customer relationship management system. Unilever's mistake cost the company $1 billion dollars plus 4 years of lost marketshare as the startup gobbled up their most loyal, and most profitable, customer base. 

Behind all the buzz around "internet of things" there is an emerging business strategy among manufacturers occupying nearly every industry. Simply put, installing internet connected sensors into your widgets will provide you with realtime product data, not just for forecasting but for R&D, product life-cycle planning, and deep insights into how effective your business is at owning the customer relationship. 

We see the resilience this strategy has provide for physical product manufacturing giants like Tesla and Apple. Both companies focus on recapturing the value in their products at the end of the products life cycle with the end user. This not only provides additional sales and relationship building opportunities, it fulfills a rapidly growing segment of their annual precious medals and raw materials demands. 

How could your business benefit from deeper relationships with your customers?

For procurement and inventory, highly accurate forecasts on long lead items may allow for leaner purchasing processes. For sales, a holistic view of the customer can build trust, brand reputation, and higher revenue. In an era where customer convenience, control, and connectivity are increasingly the keys to success, your business has one choice - affect or be effected.