It’s important before we start to build any IoT solutions, we need to know the business case or the issues that’s the business are facing. In most cases, there are 7 areas that any technology such as IoT can help to solve and these 7 areas are known as the 7 M’s of the business.

(1) Manpower

Using sensors to monitor assets from remote can reduce the travelling time of your field technicians. Previously, important assets need to be monitored regularly to ensure their continuous operations. It’s very costly to send technicians to travel far in remote geographical areas. Not only the costs of the travel but also accommodation and meals need to be provided.

Collection of data can be more efficient as compared using manual process. With remote monitoring, data collection can be continuous and real-time. It also avoid any human errors.

Thus, manpower can also be reduced when technologies like this can help to automate the process.

(2) Material

If you are in the logistic or manufacturing, your business is very dependent on the raw materials or the finished products that you want to import or export. Thus, it’s important to monitor the whereabouts and conditions of the assets. A warehouse that’s under stock and overstock will be a big issue. One way to monitor the goods is to place GPS trackers on the vehicles or the boxes. This way, you can monitor their specific location and able to estimate their arrival time.

Often goods are spoilt because the warehouse or the container did not maintain the right temperature and humidity. Thousands or Millions of dollars of losses can be avoided with proper monitoring and control of the environment.

(3) Machine

Many machines that has been purchased can be underutilise without us knowing. Thus, it can be idling and be considered wastage. It’s either we unknowingly purchase machines more than we wanted or wrongly estimate the capacity. However, machines which are underutilise can be rented to other units or organisations. For example, the company’s fleet of vehicles such as tractors, trucks or heavy machinery can be rented out and probably can become a rental service business model.

(4) Method

Many current operations are dependent on human to verify the quantity and quality of items. It needs a proper sign-off by a supervisor which can become a bottleneck if that person is not around to put his signature on the paper. Such processes that requires humans in each gate process will slow down the productivity and become less efficient. With IoT, sensors can capture accurate data and will only send alerts if there are abnormalities in the data. Otherwise, such gate process using humans can be eliminated. The process can now become more agile – faster and efficient.

(5) Market

Internet can break down barriers to market. Similar products and services can be offered globally when it is connected to the Internet. IoT sensors can be deployed anywhere, the IoT platform can reside in other countries but the dashboard or the app can be used in different location. No longer services are limited to local geography.

(6) Money

Many companies are stagnant with their product offerings. For example, maintenance or facilities management companies can’t stay forever with their way of serving their customers manually. What if they can leverage the power of IoT by providing better monitoring and maintenance services from remote. Even before the customer’s machines or systems goes down, the maintenance company will be able to be alerted and be more proactive in solving the solution. Not only new business models can be created, but also better customer loyalty can be achieved.

(7) Management

It’s always a tiring, repetitive and rigorous process when either every week or every month, reports need to be prepared for the management. Data need to be  collected from several sources before a nice graphics can be produce for the management to analyse. But what if, data from sensors can be continuously collected to be easily presented on a nice and colourful web dashboard. Furthermore, these data can be viewed in real-time too. Thus, it makes decision making process more easily and more transparent.

These are the 7M’s of the business where IoT can play a big role. By using this guide, we can easily ask our customers, in which area of the 7M’s that are their utmost priority. And with the proper IoT devices, we can develop a solution that solves their main problems.

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