We are constantly surrounded by data and as the IoT seems to have no indication of slowing down, what does this mean for the manufacturing industry as a whole? Well, Michael Mansard of Zuora Inc. has some interesting comments on how manufacturing companies have evolved their business scope from just pushing products off the shelves in his article published in Industry Today: Services, Not Products, Are the Future of Manufacturing.
"Instead, [products] are a vehicle to deliver dynamic solutions for customers. Using the disruptive technologies of Industry 4.0, manufacturers provide not only the product, but also services that build off of data about how the product is used and what outcomes it is achieving."
Of course this makes sense in today's climate as the need for data informed decisions have been integrated throughout different industries and into the homes of our everyday lives. After all, how many of us have been tracking our daily steps over time or even our sleep patterns on our cell phones? While some have argued the intrusiveness these products have on our daily actions, many have still yearned for such data as they use it to make decisions on their day to day lives.
From a manufacturing standpoint, this new structure makes sense as it gives the end users and customers a reason to stay with the manufacturing company. Gone are the days of just purchasing a product or technology from a company and walking away. Now we are entering a day in which companies are working harder to ensure they offer continued services to their customers while also maintaining good rapport.
"The ongoing nature of these services forms a closer relationship between the customer and manufacturer that is no longer based on single transactions for products."
Mansard has broken down what he calls "The 3 Plays for Monetizing IoT," which break down the different ways companies may try to align to this new business model and maintain customers even after a purchase has been made–you can read his full article here. Overall it seems that we are entering a new age and manufacturing companies have great opportunities to expand their businesses as the IoT continues to grow.