Apparently straight croissants make it easier to spread jam. Products should always try and meet the needs of the consumer and Tesco’s customers have spoken.Across industries products are changing to an even great extent than just supermarket pastries. Automation is driving change. The Internet of Things is reshaping products and services to the extent that manufacturers are now looking at how to bake service into the design of products, as service mechanisms are increasingly seen as the common denominator of accurate product development and maintenance. This is something which global energy management and automation business Schneider Electric is already working towards. At a recent conference, Schneider Electric senior vice president Manish Gupta spoke about the company’s installed base as being key and the need to “track how customers are using products”. Why? “We want to improve products and improve the experience,” he said. What we are talking about here of course is servitisation. Although not a new concept – it’s been talked about in a theoretical manner for a few years now – we are starting to see the emergence of a change in manufacturing. This change is not a choice either. It is essential for the survival of manufacturing in an increasingly lean world. Faced with competition and diminishing returns on products, making products more robust or more specific to the requirements of consumers becomes increasingly important and service is at the core of this shift. IoT is playing a massive role here. Before IoT, R&D teams relied on interpretation and anecdotal input from field service engineers to get a full understanding of how products were faring out in the field. Service reports were arbitrary. In many instances, there was “No Fault Found” which, according to Cranfield University accounts for around 20-30 per cent of cases. Post-IoT and the picture is becoming increasingly different. Read more about the Internet of Things:
- Four things consumer-facing brands must do to prepare for the impending IoT explosion
- Is the Internet of Things the new entrepreneurial battleground?
- Internet of Things: How can you make it commercially viable?
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