IoT Can Make ERP Flexible, Intelligent

by Sawaram Suthar    Apr 18, 2016


What we used to see in a sci-fi movie is no longer a fantasy. The machine to machine communication (M2M) is becoming a reality in the world. In fact, it is intriguing the way it is revolutionizing the business system making it intelligent and smooth.

Netflix has recently come up with their own IoT offering, where users may book a show, dim the lights, put their phones on silent and order food. People always stated, Netflix can never give theatre like experience, no matter how good its offerings are. Well, this is how Netflix replied.

Broadly, we are talking about the IOT (Internet of Things), the technological revolution that is stirring the world today. Calling IOT a boon for the manufacturer, seller, and the consumer would be just one praise.

On the other hand, ERP is the key tool for the businesses for three decades; without which it would be really difficult for the business process to be streamlined.

IOT can help ERP:

-To automate the business-process otherwise regulated by the ERP.

-To process the data accurately, relevantly & meaningfully from the large amount of data that is created daily through Big data.

IOT can generate inexhaustible data and for such huge amount of data to be processed sincerely ERP has to be really flexible, capable and intelligent.

How IOT can change the future of the businesses

Put Big Data to big use

IOT can leverage the bountiful information that is being brought by various connected things and smart devices. The data thus collected can be put to a valuable use (creating a stronger marketing strategy or an innovative product) to serve the target market better. With this, the businesses have a chance to create a niche in the market.

The stats says that-

Data from embedded systems will account for 10% of the digital universe by 2020.

- The digital universe, the data we create and copy annually will be around 44 zettabytes or 44 trillion gigabytes.

- Data that is useful if tagged and analyzed is 27% in 2020 as compared to 27% in 2013.

More the world goes online, more data can be dug and be used to improve the organizational architecture, business process, enhance the personalized customer services, etc.

Systematize The Production Line:

The IOT is the future of the industries especially when it comes to making “automatic decision”

For e.g. A company that makes energy drinks knows that the production would go up when it is summer time as it has the previous ‘peak-time demand & supply data’. Now, the business can connect the systems in order to get the raw material ordered automatically when the production for the summer is about to start.

Streamlining the production lines become even easier- the machines can talk, isn’t it? So, when one production line is experiencing a slowdown due to some reason, the other can share the load and still complete the production as planned.

Another thing- Put sensors in the machines to know when it is the time for the maintenance.

Serve Customers Better:

The game of demand and supply has taken a leap and now the trend is to offer the personalized customer experience. Automatic adjustment of Prices as per demand and purchase history will help you get more out of your resources.  The interaction with the customers lets you know more about the demand and fulfill it all in time.

Get Information in Real-time to act faster:

To implement any solution you need to have an access to the information on the spot and IOT helps you get that in real-time. Once you have analyzed the problem and got the solution, it becomes easier to implement the solution then and there.

This quick way of getting from the problem to solution is going to profit your business and strengthen your process.

ERP will give you a clearer picture of the existing situation, whereas IoT will lead you to possible solutions. IOT can create a junk of information and ERP can extract the best out of it for the betterment of the business.

The fields where IOT is making its mark:

-  Digital Marketing: To study the behavior of online consumers visiting the website. Although such analysis is provided by many online partners such as Google Trends, IoT will help you pair with the user’s device to get personalized data to offer customized services.

Logistics and Supply Chain Management: Trucks and containers used for shipping can be integrated into IoT system using sensors for collection of data that would track the delivery of goods and give live details to decision makers.

- Retail: Using ‘Smart-Tags’ on goods to check which products are being bought the most.

- Transportation Industry: Using Traffic & Vehicle diagnostics, along with driving history, predicting upon possible or most efficient routes to be taken. This may give businesses new streams of revenue and provide the marketing team to innovate.

Healthcare: Giving you data of Patients, Employees and Current Status of Equipment. This data would be stored up in your ERP system and the IoT will make the devices alert you when in need of maintenance or repair.

IoT and ERP integrated will help you automate repetitive processes.

IOT still remains a Challenge for the organizations:

Data management: Not all the data generated would be helpful so realizing the full potential of the valuable data remains a challenge.

Data security: The security of a large amount of the data must be protected through a strong infrastructure.

- Integration: The ERP system must be capable enough to handle the amount of data generated by IOT. For the data to be of a value, the ERP system has to be powerful enough to work in tandem with the IOT and be able to manage the generated data.

Organizational Adaptability: It’s not just about embedding the things with sensors; a lot of changes will take place when IOT is integrated into a business. Adopting and accepting the changes remain one of the challenges.

IOT is changing the data process mechanism in a big way and if the businesses want to stay in the competition and survive strongly then they have to build the capacity around IOT and make the ERP system robust to make it a profitable deal. 

(Sawaram Suthar is a digital marketing geek. Currently, he is a marketing consultant at Skyward Techno Inc that provides CRM and ERP. You can reach him @sawarams or via his blog