Defining the Internet of Things (IoT)
What do these things have in common?
- Heart monitor implant
- Amazon Echo
- Smart Home
- Apple Watch
All of them are examples of the “Internet of Things” (IoT). You’ve probably heard the acronym IoT thrown around at some point, but what does it really mean?
IoT makes the physical world one massive information system by connecting everyday objects to the internet and other devices. Ultimately, data is distributed to an interface that connects the digital and physical worlds.
My colleague Travis Rhoades, VeriShip’s Director of Data Science, puts it this way: “Sensors connect to physical things in a system and create operational data; the data is analyzed and used in a digital model of the system and can send control signals to the physical system thus creating the interface between the digital and physical worlds.”
In simple terms, IoT is a system of linked “smart” devices that communicate seamlessly over the Internet. The result is positive – companies streamline business processes, increase productivity, and develop forefront products because of the combination of sensor data and sophisticated analytical algorithms.
Convenience at a Price
As they say, everything has a price, including IoT. Businesses are expected to spend close to $5 trillion on IoT in the next five years, according to Business Insider’s Internet of Things 2017 Report.
IoT seems likely to lead an expensive analytical revolution, but as a parcel shipper, you don’t need to invest in IoT to dramatically improve your shipping efficiency. In a session at IRCE this year, Brendan Witcher, Principal Analyst at Forrester, presented Forrester’s Top Tech Investments for Retailers: The ‘Hot or Not’ List for 2017: What Really Matters to Win Today’s Retain Consumer. IoT was among the ‘Not Hot’ items for 2017 because, while it’s innovative and nice to have, it’s not in demand for most businesses, Witcher said.
The IoT Reality for Parcel Shippers
The reality is you don’t need to rely on IoT to use data to boost your company’s shipping efficiency. The VeriShip Intelligence Platform™ (VIP) ingests data from your carrier invoices, plus tracking and transit data, combining it into one unified, engaging interface.
VeriShip’s VIP provides relevant, actionable data at your fingertips without consuming your budget or requiring a multi-year project to change your parcel operations. The trend charts, KPIs, reports, and alerts enable you to monitor the efficiency of your parcel operation. As new invoices are generated, it is simple to review this data, unlock valuable insights, and drive improvements.
Robust data is only as powerful as what you’re able to do with it, and that’s where the real magic comes in.
What story is your data telling? Watch the video below for a glimpse into how the VeriShip Intelligence Platform can make sense of all your shipping data, increase efficiency, and maximize savings.