Differentiation: it’s one of the hardest parts of the marketing game. How is my product better than yours? What can I do that you can’t? What niche can I carve out for myself? These questions can be incredibly hard to answer.
As the Internet of Things gains traction, many companies are turning to Internet connectivity as their product differentiation. The connectivity can be almost anything, as simple as a refrigerator that displays family photos or as complicated as a power grid that can be remotely monitored and rerouted on the go. For industrial products, connectivity allows operators and service managers to understand what is happening at any given time, without needing to be at the machine.
Imagine you have an industrial pump in a remote location outfitted with product monitoring. Sensors collect data on lubricant levels, number of run cycles, vibration in the motor, temperature, and more. This data is then sent to the cloud and accessed through an Internet portal.
Aggregating these data points and analyzing them allows operators and service managers to create predictive maintenance schedules, fixing issues before they create costly downtime. Counting the number of cycles allows service managers to know when they are getting close to the scheduled maintenance, but a high temperature along with abnormal vibration would indicate that a new problem has come up and they can immediately route a service technician to the site.
Additionally, by monitoring lubricant levels in a nearby tank, pumps never need to shut off because of a shortage. Trucks filling these tanks can have more efficient routes and be better prepared for the amount of lubricant they should have with them. If a separate company is filling the tank and is given access to that same data, they are able to predict when you will need more lubricant and fill up your tank without you even needing to tell them. In fact, you may never need to check on that product again.
Why is it better?
Because of the added connectivity, this industrial pump is no longer just a pump. It has become a hub for efficiency and a cost reducer. The operator, service manager, and service technician all have more information that allows them to do their job better.
This doesn’t just apply to pumps. Product monitoring is one of the most versatile aspects of the Internet of Things. Companies can monitor pumps, tanks, boilers, air conditioning systems, filters, motors, and much more. In each case, the monitors differentiate these products from their competitors and increase efficiency throughout the company. By adding this monitoring to their products, companies are betting serving their customers and creating cost reducers for them. They show themselves as leaders in the industry, and put themselves in a better position to continue to innovate in the future.