Machine-to-machine (M2M) networks are likely to transform manufacturing business models. M2M refers to technologies that allow both wireless and wired systems to communicate with other devices of the same type. M2M is a broad term— it does not pinpoint specific wireless or wired networking, information and communications technology. Considered an integral part of the Internet of Things (IoT), M2M brings numerous benefits to industry and business in general as it has a wide range of applications such as industrial automation, logistics, Smart Grid, Smart Cities, health, defense and so on, mostly for monitoring but also for control purposes.
This technology allows manufacturers to capture data from machinery and components throughout their environments, automatically and in real time. The data can be leveraged through in-memory computing and advanced analytics to discover trends, do predictive maintenance, and improve operations. Further, cloud computing and mobile technology can be used to deliver that information to employees when and where they need it.
But M2M networks do much more than improve manufacturing operations: they provide an opportunity to offer new services, extend customer relationships, implement new business models, and realize new revenue streams.
In an article on ZDNet, Telsyte senior analyst Rodney Getta notes that M2M can be tied back to a hard return on investment (ROI), as well as helping to deliver back to the business stronger BI, driving customer engagement, cost saving, business process efficiencies, innovation, and potential new revenue streams.
“If a machine or device can report back that it has broken down or that it needs refilling, then that saves, for example, a field-force employee driving around checking on these things,” he says. “Because of the improved visibility, they only need to go where the attention is needed. That has a hard ROI for operations.”
Many benefits spring from the technology’s extending the manufacturer’s relationship with the customer after delivery or installation of the product, from detecting maintenance issues and promoting maintenance practices to tailoring training programs based on actual asset use to drive lower TCO and better ROI for customers.
M2M networks will revolutionize customer relationships by allowing manufacturers to extend those relationships long after the initial sale is completed. The end result: stronger customer loyalty and greater long-term revenue.
Bottom line, M2M promises to extend manufacturing resources management to the customer in ways that can change the game in the manufacturer’s favor. Expect new business models to evolve to leverage this technology.