As the IoT revolution continues to dominate the digital agenda, initial hype is being replaced with tangible examples of value across a number of industries. And with research suggesting that the IoT market will reach $1.7 trillion in 2020 with a growth rate of 16.9%, and will see 25 billion devices handling upwards of 50 trillion gigabytes of data, it looks pretty likely that we’ll see this value accelerate rapidly in the coming years.
Of the industry sectors leading the charge with IoT, transportation remains one of the biggest spenders, with a predicted $85 billion set to be invested in 2018 alone, and second only to manufacturing in its uptake of the technology.
Reported benefits extend far and wide, spanning improvements to the customer experience, sustainability, as well as efficiencies which add up to substantial improvements to the bottom line.
Freight in particular has seen vast levels of spending. Many logistics firms are equipping vehicles with sensors designed to monitor operating and driving behaviours with a view to scheduling maintenance more accurately, optimising fuel consumption and improving driving standards.
Through deploying these sensors, logistics companies are able to monitor faulty equipment, engine damage and poor route planning to establish a live engine status and alert fleet managers and engineers automatically to enable action to be taken. As well as reducing costs, this can have a major impact on reducing CO2 emissions, resulting in a longer lifespan for vehicles, greater sustainability and a smaller carbon footprint.
Similarly in shipping, organisations are harnessing IoT technologies to optimise shipping routes which then calculate the expected arrival time in the harbour, expediting the process of unload, reloading and departure to minimise potential penalties and ensure a fast turnaround.
Whatever the mode of transport, as well as boosting reputation and environmental credentials, the use of sensors means that the customer experience is much enhanced. Ensuring that the right product reaches the customer at the right time, via the right channel and at the right cost is crucial, and through live monitoring of all of these assets in transit, IoT can facilitate detailed updates which companies can use to foster closer relationships with their customers.
But while it is abundantly clear that there are enormous gains in the offing as transport executives see how small increases in efficiency can have a massive impact on profitability, sensors alone cannot deliver the value. These merely generate data and are only as effective as the platform supporting them. Having the right system to capture, analyse and communicate the data is where the value resides.
Through feeding sensor-generated data into a cloud-based Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) solution, immediate access, via any device, can be established in order to create alerts on live asset condition, safety management, warranties and routine maintenance. Whether it relates to rail, road, air or water, EAM enables control rooms to dispatch technicians faster, become more operationally efficient, and improve overall customer satisfaction.
In addition, this proactive approach to asset management feeds all of the generated data back into planning processes to make better decisions on where to channel investment, and predict performance to a much more detailed level. Transport companies can ensure regulatory compliance, accurately schedule maintenance and boost up time, as well as extending the performance of assets.
With early use cases reporting efficiency savings well into six figures, as well as customer service and reputational benefits, the value is unquestionable.
Through deploying world class EAM systems along with sensors to exploit the untapped potential in the IoT market, it seems that the journey has only just begun for the transport sector.
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