How the manufacturing industry can tick the Big4 Agenda using IoT


In a bid to sustain the Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta’s strategy of The Big Four Agenda purposed to promote Kenya’s economic growth, the recent IoT & AI Summit organised by CIO East Africa and themed:  Harnessing the Power of IoT and AI to Drive Customer Experience could not have come at a better time.

Of the four key agenda, manufacturing featured heavily and may continue to do so since production of quality goods in large quantity, promises to turn around the country’s economic capacity.

The country’s manufacturing industry needs more done  to harness the power of IoT, IIoT and AI to realize its full potential or rather just remain relevant, otherwise, they risk of being extinct.

Below are details of the three most important means by which the pervasive connectivity of the IoT will affect the manufacturing industry and the economy as well. These three features, (servitization, automation and integration) are interrelated in the sense that automation and integration are often employed in tandem to enable servitization. These three factors are explained below:

  • Automation: Connecting machines, sensors, and actuators to computing systems enables a large degree of process automation. For example, fleet management systems enable automatic logging of driving parameters such as hours in motion, removing the need for drivers to manually submit this information. Automation facilitates dramatically larger scales of data utilization as well. For example, jet aircraft engines typically produce several terabytes of data per flight on operating parameters. Proactively monitoring this data feed enables faster resolution times in instances of performance faults and minimizes unnecessary maintenance services.
  • Integration: There are more benefits than simply connecting a machine and automating its performance. Integrating the data from a machine with data from other sources, such as the ERP systems, open government databases, and social media feeds, greatly enhances the value derived from connecting the machine. For example, integration of machine performance and condition data to be combined with traditional customer relationship management (CRM) data and social media feeds to improve the organization’s customer service by working proactively.
  • Servitization: Together, automation and integration help organizations move from primarily product centered business models to service-oriented business models, also known as servitization. Many traditionally product-centered companies are realizing the revenue opportunities offered by developing an ongoing, service-oriented relationship with customers, for example organizing a customer relationship on the basis of a service contract whereby the customer is paying for a negotiated business outcome rather than a piece of equipment. In fact, automakers are increasingly talking about “mobility as a service” as a result of connected, and increasingly autonomous, vehicles as opposed to the traditional vehicle sales model.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a technology that is currently transforming and redefining virtually all markets and industries in fundamental ways, and as Accenture would put it, Manufacturers have a significant opportunity at hand where they can not only monitor but also automate many complex processes involved. IoT provides far more intricate details that when tapped accurately will make Kenyan manufacturers achieve the President Uhuru’s plan and hopefully grace him with a legacy.

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