Manufacturing companies are continuing to implement IoT solutions at an increasing rate this year. Not only are they investing in more systems, but they are spending increased amounts of money on getting those systems in place and maintaining them. While some of this reflects latent concerns from 2022 over cybersecurity – a more costly, better-maintained solution is more likely to have proven protections in place – there are plenty of other reasons operators are making these spending decisions.
Many of these reasons are tied up in company goals and shifts in the market. While none necessitate increased implementation of IoT systems, new technology certainly makes it much easier to achieve these goals and retain company standing. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that companies are willing to increase their spending for a chance to improve daily operations. After all, is an expense really an expense if you’re making more money with its help?
But what goals is this increased spending helping manufacturers achieve? Let’s discuss five of the big ones, and examine how IoT can lend a helping hand.
Staying Competitive in an Expanding Market
The manufacturing industry has grown by an average rate of 6.6% per year since 2017, and that growth is expected to continue. A growing market results in increased competition between companies. However, it also means that companies that get ahead of the competition have a better chance of long-term success down the road. This makes staying competitive a major priority.
As technology becomes more integrated into the industrial process, it quickly becomes a standard rather than a possibility. Expectations for productivity, quality, and ability to meet both customer and employee demands are heavily impacted by the combination of market growth and technological expansion. Being behind on standardized technology can negatively impact a manufacturing company's ability to remain competitive in the market and retain respect among peers.
Promoting Customer Satisfaction
A natural result of a growing market is that many companies prioritize customer satisfaction. This comes in many forms but is largely concerned with product quality and quick turnaround for orders. If companies cannot deliver according to customer expectations, they will likely take their business elsewhere. This leads to investment in IoT, which can help manage these factors.
Some of the best ways IoT can help promote product quality and quick turnaround is through WIP tracking and data records. WIP tracking promotes a streamlined process that gathers data on quality and the time products spend in each production phase. In doing so, companies can quickly define and address dips in quality or productivity. This allows them to better ensure the promised quality and turnaround rates, improving customer satisfaction.
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Promoting Employee Satisfaction
In the wake of labor shortages, employee satisfaction is a greater concern than ever before. Poor employee satisfaction leads to low talent retention, which leads to an unending cycle of hiring training, and rehiring. This becomes an even bigger consideration in light of the expanding market. Satisfied employees are typically those whose time and safety are respected, and IoT can provide a solution.
For instance, automation can help eliminate tedious, repetitive tasks from their workload, allowing workers more time to complete the job they were actually hired to do. This communicates that their skills with and preference toward that task are valued. Regarding worker safety, access control and equipment tracking systems can be used to ensure that no accidents result from equipment being misused by unqualified coworkers.
Transitioning Toward Customization
As a whole, the professional world is shifting toward prioritizing customizable products and experiences. This has an impact on manufacturing companies. Customers expect the ability to make more detailed demands for product orders, making it nearly impossible to embrace a definitive process. It also means that there are often products that may look similar but have minute differences that matter to the customer, making it difficult but important to keep track of what is what.
Asset tracking specifically can help companies maintain visibility of finished products. Rather than relying on manual documentation or fallible storage systems, workers can verify which product variation is which automatically, reducing the likelihood of messing up an order. IoT also allows companies to keep track of their progress even across wildly different orders, ensuring smooth operations overall.
Improving Overall Productivity
Productivity and overall process efficiency aren’t a new priority for manufacturing companies. In fact, the underlying goal of most operational decisions is to make production quicker and more consistent. In doing so, more products are produced, more orders are filled, and more money is made, allowing the company to continue to thrive and perhaps even grow.
IoT, when utilized correctly, ensures improved productivity. This is a natural result of implementing time-saving technology, even if it’s not the primary driver for implementation in the first place. For example, asset tracking directly aims to prevent asset loss and maintain process visibility. As a result, workers spend less time looking for misplaced assets and operators have accurate data that can be used to identify bottlenecks and make operational decisions. From these effects comes the overall increase in productivity that comes from finding the solution to a time-consuming challenge.
Invest in Industrial IoT with Link Labs
Link Labs provides an asset tracking solution that can help manufacturing companies achieve all these goals and more. Our system also has the added benefit of being scalable to the scope of your company’s operations, reducing the need to spend an excessive amount of money for a solution that doesn’t fit your unique needs. Instead, we work with you to identify your unique goals and challenges so we can deliver what you need without breaking the bank for something you don’t. That way, you can rest assured that your money is being well spent on a solution that works for you.
If you’re looking to invest in an asset tracking system that can help you improve your daily operations, book a demo with us today.