Enabling smarter business operations using the Internet-of-Things (IoT)
The world of connected things is not new and has always been innovating into many different use cases. There are many touchpoints to enhance intelligence toward business goals.
Before searching for any systems or devices to be implemented throughout the organisation, first look at impact, data and the necessary intended outcomes. A trifecta of People, Process and Projects is a good way to guide considerations. In relation to a business goal, what is the impact or change that your organisation needs? Next, focus on how the current process can be improved on through the collection and analysis of data. Then, embark on a simple and contained project where the intersections of data, device and people happen.
A case for managing remote sales teams
Sales teams travel constantly to connect with customers and evangelise their products and services. Tracking their activity need not be through sending Whatsapp locations or SMS texts to their cluster managers or ring-backs to an operations nerve centre. This dull routine of reporting back is easily replaced by software, which will immediately drive much greater advantages when used with some level of business analysis. When all signals are continuously added and consolidated, sales teams working cohesively to provide realtime datasets on everyone’s performance. This adds a layer of societal benefit, actionable intelligence, better customer experience, better productivity, and easy administration (such as checking against taxi expense claims).
GPS tracking on our mobile phones provide data signals back to the head office, starting from and not limited to metrics on most frequented locations, number of presales consultations with clients, length of time for each meeting and between meetings. Such simple itemised data provides insights and ability to track and forecast individual progression in work effectiveness, training, or required assistance or tag-teaming. Removing guesswork and biasness in our human resource planning makes the entire sales team work more effective to hit business goals. Over time, a good sales manager should be able to develop sales cluster level insights into vertical trends, seasonality, benchmark closure rates, revenue forecasts based on time and team hires.
The most unlikely aspect of good tracking systems, KPIs and business intelligence is the positive intangible impact on accountability and autonomy. With each sales individual seeing how they stack up against the team benchmarks, they should instinctively seek to float above the water-level in both revenue and activity. With self-regulating autonomy, independent and reliable employees will gain freedom from mandatory checks and routine log filing. Once an organisations’ foundation is built on a few good accountable sales and development individuals, only then they can work on tackling the next question of scale across geography and team.
Where is the magic?
Across several industries, enabling your business operations through IoT is a good way for keeping your finger on the pulse through simply reading data that comes though. More importantly, it is the ability to leverage data for actionable intelligence. On a base level, all employees need to be adequately trained to provide clean and consistent data on an everyday basis. Further insights can happen if one investigates data in human behaviour, operational efficiency ratios, success metrics and gap analysis on current processes. Management teams can react and make key decisions on human resource or up-skilling, market opportunistic moves and take better control over their customers’ experience with the right data-driven decisions that deliver impact to both the top and bottom line.
Frieda Lee | Director | 42Metrics.co