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21 June 2016

The Internet of Things and ERP

The Internet of Things and ERP

It’s one of the most talked about developments in recent times. And rightly so, because the Internet of Things can – and undoubtedly will – transform all our lives.

For anyone who still doesn’t know, the Internet of Things is essentially all about using the internet to connect devices and technology to make everyday life easier. Certain examples are already in common use – such as using apps to control your heating or set your TV to record remotely from your smartphone – and the media frequently showcases what was once regarded as a Utopian vision, with fridges or waste bins that can monitor what’s in them and order fresh supplies from the supermarket for instance.

But for businesses big and small, the Internet of Things will mean so much more.

Intelligent production line machines will be able to tell you and their makers when they need maintenance, for example; Vendor Managed Inventories will be able to automatically re-stock, to maintain the perfect level needed for lean manufacturing; and products and machines will monitor and report their usage, enabling a sales model based around rental or leasing instead of purchase.

One of the most important changes the Internet of Things will bring though, is in the insight it will give into consumers and their habits and movements. For manufacturers, this will open up all sorts of valuable after-sales opportunities, from offering useful product advice to customers to automatically delivering consumables as and when the product signals they’re needed.

The key to all this is data. Big data. In fact, it’s been estimated that by the year 2020 as much as 40% of all data will be generated by machines and devices – up to 50 billion of them in total. And data on that sort of scale is what ERP systems thrive upon.

The leading-edge Oracle and Sage ERP systems we work with already integrate data and processes to maximise business efficiency. Now there’ll be vast amounts of additional unstructured data coming from devices, and all this will need to be combined with the structured data from your business. Not only that, to make the best use of it, it will all need to be analysed, processed and displayed in real time.

That’s why at Percipient, we firmly believe it’s now more important than ever to make sure your ERP system is up to the task. It’ll still link people, processes, data and products together to give a complete overview and enable better decision-making – but the Internet of Things will make ERP more event-driven and smarter too.

The IoT offers fantastic opportunities for businesses in almost every sector to gain a real advantage over their competitors, and ERP will play a key role in doing so. But as ever, there’s one easy way to make sure you’re one step ahead of your rivals – just contact us at our Cheshire headquarters on 01606 871 332, and have a chat with one of our team of experts.

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