IoT and the Future of Making Things

IoT is set to transform manufacturing by optimising supply chains, improving efficiencies, reducing waste and increasing profits. HSO – a leading provider of innovative enterprise business solutions – explores how.

IoT and the Future of Making Things - HSO Stock
Manufacturers have high expectations of the data insights they gather and how they can help them improve their operations.

Manufacturers are continually innovating to stay ahead of the game and to meet the ever growing expectations of their customers.

Technology is one of the driving forces behind their innovation and those technologies based on the Internet of Things (IoT) have the potential to radically improve the manufacturing industry, still further.

In fact, many industry commentators are predicting that IoT will herald the dawn of smart manufacturing – in essence, creating an environment where data is captured in real-time from the plant floor and throughout the supply chain, and then turned into actionable insights.

So let us take a look at the rate at which manufacturers are adopting IoT and how the application of analytics will enable them to use the data they have gathered to advance operations.

IoT Internet of Things
Many industry commentators are predicting that IoT will herald the dawn of smart manufacturing.

With the expansion of IoT networks, manufacturers globally have high expectations of the data insights they gather and how they can help them improve their manufacturing operations.

According to a report by SCM World, 47% of manufacturers expected advanced analytics to have a major impact on company performance and 49% expected advanced analytics to reduce operational costs and utilise assets efficiently.

This is further supported by PwC’s latest Global Data & Analytics Survey which found 57% of manufacturing executives had changed the way they approach decision-making as a result of better data analysis; with a further 27% of executives not yet having changed their approach, but planning to do so.

Actionable insights

While expectations of IoT may be high, there is still a lot of work to do for many manufacturers particularly when it comes to analysing the raw data.

Big Data IoT
While expectations of IoT may be high, there is still a lot of work to do for many manufacturers particularly when it comes to analysing the raw data.

The increase in digital devices has allowed manufacturers to amass large volumes of data and, as a consequence, they need the latest technologies to help them make sense of it.

However, implementing new solutions when you’re hampered by existing infrastructure or disconnected data sources can be problematic.

A recent Accenture report found that only 17% of executives had already implemented analytics in one or more supply chain functions.

Just under half of UK businesses are not using any form of big data analytics and less than one in three have adopted IoT, according to a report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) and SAS.

However, more organisations are beginning to turn to big data and IoT to improve decision-making, and manufacturing is one of the industries that is set to benefit most from IoT over the coming years.

According to the report, the adoption rates for big data analytics and IoT will increase from 30% in 2015 to 43% by 2020, which in turn is expected to create 182,000 new jobs over the same time period.

IoT and a Smarter Future for Manufacturing

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It’s the application of analytics gained from IoT that allows manufacturers to take advantage of big data and helps them to understand inventory and asset performance.

Being able to monitor demand volatility and the effects of new channels like e-commerce on the supply chain can generate insights that will help create more efficient operations.

In summary, IoT is set to transform manufacturing by optimising supply chains, improving efficiencies, reducing waste and increasing profits. For manufacturers to remain competitive, they must launch a new IoT strategy or expand on one that is already in place.