The Business Benefits of adopting Mobile IoT Solutions
The Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer in the realm of science fiction; it’s as pervasive as the smartphone and the selfie stick. As reported in CIO, the research firm Gartner predicts there will be nearly 20 billion devices connected to the IoT by 2020.
Think of the IoT in terms of software solidly supporting your operation, not hundreds of sensors going off in the middle of the night or flooding your inbox with alerts during the lunchtime rush. Software means you are making sense of all the data collected from your store, and from that, creating business value.
Let’s start with deli chickens, seven delectable birds sitting there under the warming lights, packaged and priced and ready to take home. With IoT, you will not only have bird-by-bird data (which you will gather with a hand-held mobile device), but also a “deli dashboard” which will tell you how all the birds are doing in that warming unit.
If you detect that the birds are drying out, you can act before a customer complains about it. You can replace the old inventory with new, moist product and you can cool the warmer slightly. You may also notice a data pattern where the lemon pepper chickens are drying out faster than the rosemary herb chickens, and you can communicate that discrepancy across all your stores.
That is the power of IoT and intelligent food safety software, monitored by humans.
IoT basically has five layers in our working definition:
2. Database software
3. Data collection
4. Cloud upload storage and transfer
5. Reporting tools and dashboards
The IoT sensors can be “point to point” handheld devices operated by a human, or static, remote devices monitoring a freezer, a cooker, a loading dock or front of the house warming device at a deli, a hot bar or drive-through dining staging area.
For the younger, Millennial workers in your workforce, the handheld device is the ideal form factor. Digital natives naturally take to anything with mobile telemetry. It’s like the first toy they had in their toy box.
Additional enhancements include devices available in multiple languages, including English, Spanish and French.
IoT is all around us, with consumer devices like FitBits, Nest thermostats, WeMo smart wall switches and Honeywell remote security systems. IoT is no longer rocket science; it’s a management tool that is line-worker ready, road-tested, and integrated into food management systems.
IoT provides a balance of internal benefit (reduced expense, optimize assets, food safety) and external (revenue, dining experience). Both the COO and the CFO appreciate it.
IoT is a competitive advantage, with clear benefits such as cost savings, consistency of product and experience, equipment utilization and employee engagement.
IoT food safety solutions are ideal for omnichannel grocers who must synchronize the staging, pick-up and delivery of a variety of food products, each with its own temperature variables and insulation additives. If the customer purchases dog food, paper towels, deli ham, skim milk, ice cream and raw chicken breasts, how does the store preserve the integrity and safety of each item, and have the data to back up each operational decision?
We believe IoT is the answer, and it’s right in front of us, ready to deploy.