SAG_Twitter_MEME_Don’t_Run_Mar18.jpgWhat if you could ensure your office never ran out of coffee? By using Internet of Things technologies on your assets, you can not only keep track of supplies but also automate the whole order chain.

For years there has been discussion about the value of IoT devices in managing assets. And, according to a new study by Retail Systems Research (RSR), The Internet of Things: Identifying REAL Benefit, it is a “no brainer.”

Automating something like coffee supplies is a good example; after all, you don’t want mass caffeine withdrawal in your office.  Are there enough coffee capsules for your employees today? If not, where are they in the supply chain?

RSR said: “There’s real money attached to responding to these conditions as quickly as possible. Retailers and their various providers should already be working in these areas.”

The good news is that they are. Companies like Lyreco are a prime example. By embedding IoT technology in its products, Lyreco can assure its customers that their employees will get their coffee. Using IoT facilitates Lyreco’s collection of data from vending machines and stock/operations management applications. This helps it to reduce out-of-order and out-of-stock situations to a minimum.

It is a similar concept for retail vending machines – which are becoming more and more hi-tech and can supplement expensive brick and mortar stores. For example, Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo will roll out 10 vending machines over at airports and shopping centers in several major US cities over the next few months. The potential for using IoT on vending machines is tremendous, as they need to be connected to the business and managed. This is increasingly known as automated retail.

This approach can be seen as increasing speed of fulfillment in meeting consumer demand – something that, according to RSR’s work, 37% of retailers see IoT being able to help them with this.

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IoT offers massive potential across the supply chain and in itself can truly be responsible for enabling automated retail.  This is over and above the potential that IoT has for increasing customer engagement, addressing inventory visibility and reducing operational costs that I have written about previously.

But, as with all things, IoT usage comes with a proviso. As RSR said: “Without  analytics to make sense of these events, the IoT is basically useless.”

This is why it is imperative that your IoT vendor is in a position to tell you “what it all means.”

Find out more about how Software AG is helping the world’s largest retailers through Digital Transformation here.

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