What is the industrial internet of things or IIoT? To sum it up quickly, it's machine to machine to man communications. By placing sensors on physical objects and connecting them to the internet you can now gather and analyze unbelievable amounts of data that provides immediate, actionable insights that will drive smarter business decisions.
For example, in manufacturing sensors can be used to track the health and performance of your equipment. Using software, data visualization tools and easy to use interfaces you can create a system where you actually have zero unplanned downtime.
In a global economy competition is intensifying and rising customer expectations are forcing every business to speed-up. To gain any advantage and be successful it comes down to who has better efficiency and lower operational costs.
So where do you start? The answer is with proper planing and the right warehouse wireless infrastructure.
Suggested Reading: "The Real Value The Internet of Things Has to Offer [Infographic]"
What's driving your decision to update your operations? What kinds of challenges are you facing? For many warehouses the biggest issue is lack of visibility into their business.
For example, your still using outdated inventory control processes where people manually track inventory using pen and paper.
This has two major drawbacks, first it takes a lot of time and two (possibly worse) it's highly susceptible to human error so it's potentially inaccurate.
This way of doing inventory control is completely inefficient. Without timely and accurate inventory numbers how do you know what to order, how do you plan for demand, how do you know what you have at any given moment, how do you know where anything is from start to finish?
This is what we mean when we say lack of visibility, the not so funny part is we're only talking about inventory, there are many other areas that need attention as well.
Understanding where you are and where you want to be (setting goals) directly affects the other piece of the puzzle, your wireless infrastructure.
The Right Warehouse Wi-Fi System
Wireless networks are what make things like an inventory management system or a warehouse management system possible.
You can't have all of the fancy new IoT applications, granular analytics or automated processes without supporting it all with a reliable, well designed and well maintained warehouse wifi network.
The warehouse and manufacturing wireless environments might be the most challenging to work in. With so many moving parts and things constantly changing it's easy to make a mess of things rather quickly if you don't know what you're doing.
We say the "right" system because it's not a one size fits all application. Every warehouse is different and every warehouse has different business objectives and challenges they want to overcome.
Even if you currently have a wifi network in place, was that system purposely built for the new applications you want to implement?
With new concepts like the industrial IoT (internet of things) and intelligent networking, planning, testing and updating are never over, it's a constant cycle to ensure maximum efficiency and your overall success as a business.
If you have questions regarding an inventory management system or analyzing your current warehouse wifi network please contact us here, we'd love to talk.