March 22, 2021
Replenishment And IoT: Drive Value With Connected Products
Many of us are unfazed when one of our household devices connects to the Internet. In fact, we often seek out connected products to make our lives more seamless. From TVs, thermostats and doorbells to garage doors and grills, technology is creating a more efficient and convenient space for both households and businesses creating all this new tech.
As businesses explore this technology, they begin to digitize processes, products and services, and consumers are simultaneously becoming more accustomed to using connected products and IoT solutions. As the Internet of things (IoT) expands, organizations seize new opportunities to connect with customers in meaningful ways that drive revenue and provide data-driven insights to fuel innovation in our increasingly connected world.
With connectivity becoming more widely accessible, one innovation consumers and industry leaders are looking for involves connected solutions to simplify the replenishment of household consumables, warehouse inventory, medical supplies and more.
In this article, we will explore how connected products and IoT can be leveraged to implement replenishment processes to drive value, increase customer experience and enhance business ecosystems.
What Is IoT-Enabled Replenishment?
In today’s digital commerce world, businesses are strategically working to provide the most convenient and efficient way for consumers to interact with and purchase products. Adding intelligence and connectivity to the products consumers use in everyday life will generate data that can be used to create new ways of doing business, such as IoT-enabled replenishment.
IoT-enabled replenishment helps connect the digital and physical worlds by using IoT devices to track consumption of materials, sense when supplies are running low and either alert the user to reorder supplies or automatically reorder supplies to ensure the user does not run out. These modern replenishment solutions are intended to simplify buying decisions, minimize customer dissatisfaction, improve efficiencies and drive new revenue. This tech-driven approach can be seen across several industries, including retail, healthcare, customer service and manufacturing. Common replenishment examples include:
IoT solutions can alleviate the tediousness of repeatedly purchasing household consumables, detergents, air filters, paper products, etc.
Smart planning solutions can automate and optimize inventory ordering to avoid waste and ensure items are readily available.
Connected devices in healthcare provide cost reductions, optimized inventory, saved time on non-value-added activities. All those savings can be transferred to improving patient care activities.
Regardless of what industry you are in, OST can help your organization develop competitive advantages, increase efficiency and drive new revenue through connected products and IoT replenishment.
Benefits of IoT Solutions
Implementing IoT-enabled replenishment solutions offers a variety of benefits, including:
- Creating new efficiencies
- Optimizing inventory management
- Increasing sales
- Generating real-time data
- Gaining deep insights about consumer behavior
And by offering a replenishment service, organizations can build brand loyalty through convenience and efficiency. The more products a consumer can seamlessly purchase through replenishment, the more they will want to purchase without even thinking about it.
With robust IoT infrastructure, a business can implement data-driven replenishment opportunities that will drive value through connected products. Every connected product solution is different and will need to change over time. Here at OST, we help organizations design, build and manage future-minded connected products and the infrastructure that supports them. The solutions we build for clients enable the ability to quickly connect, quantify consumer behavior and adapt as product needs evolve.
Successfully launching an IoT product ensures one thing above all else: more — and better — data. Our team of experts can walk you through the most important steps for creating your connected product so you can succeed in driving value through successful IoT development rather than falling into the mistakes that cause over 75% of IoT projects to fail.
Challenges of IoT Solutions
Although connected products can help simplify the user experience, executing a successful IoT-enabled replenishment system comes with its own set of challenges. IoT is not a standalone solution and must be integrated with other business systems and solutions. As a result, organizations face common challenges as they seek to design, build, launch and manage connected product ecosystems.
IoT Device and Data Security
Since connected devices can send large amounts of sensitive data and end users of IoT applications can directly control a device, the security of IoT is a design requirement. A secure IoT platform should have security controls at every layer of the solution. In addition, IoT solutions must be reliable and continuously adapt their architecture, firmware and software to stay ahead of the changing security landscape.
Specialized Technical Expertise and Experience
Another challenge when making a connected product is that most organizations underestimate the work involved, and they encounter overwhelming hurdles at different phases of the product design and development process. This often translates to ever-rising project costs and repeated missed deadlines.
Alignment and Change Management
Implementing IoT-enabled replenishment requires an overhaul of an organization’s entire ecosystem. At OST, we’ve seen clients struggle with reorienting their approach, aligning stakeholders and accelerating product development. In particular, businesses fail to make the product-to-platform shift and fully leverage new business models.
Many organizations don’t overcome these challenges. Some companies cross the finish line and launch a connected product — only to fail due to a lack of adoption or commercial success. With our deep expertise in all the competencies for successful connected product development and launch, OST will work alongside you and your team from inception to post-launch support to successfully drive your IoT project forward.
OST: Leveraging Digital Capabilities in the Connected Product and IoT Space
IoT is raising the stakes and presenting new opportunities across industries. Our team is here to help your organization innovate and navigate the landscape of new services, including IoT-enabled replenishment.
Explore how we’ve helped organizations navigate the connected products and IoT space with these popular success stories:
OST strategically worked with Amway to deliver a connected product that allows users to track their air filter status and reorder filters, making use and maintenance of the product seamless.
Traeger Grills launched their innovative smart grills in early 2019. The connected product enabled customers to control their grill and reorder pellets from a mobile app. The sudden market adoption of their connected grills caused Traeger to look for an IoT migration partner. That is where OST’s proprietary IP, the IoT Foundation, played a key part in helping Traeger meet the demands of their growing customer base.
Normally a surgical team tracks and reports the usage of hospital tools. This human variable can compromise accuracy, especially with the use of a device where even a second of utilization makes a profound difference in performance quality. Our client aimed to create a program to automatically track usage data and upload it to a storage and analysis platform, eliminating the need for manual work and reducing human error.
If your organization wants to discover new opportunities with connected products and IoT solutions, complete a quick contact form. We look forward to hearing from you!
We spoke with Aaron Kamphuis to help develop content for this piece. Aaron Kamphuis is the Data Analytics and IoT Practice Manager at OST. He has worked in professional services and custom software almost his entire career.