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Microsoft Industry Blogs - United Kingdom

There was a time when manufacturing was linear and purely physical. Manufacturers were focused on the customer at the tail end of the sales cycle, but the ability to really center the entire manufacturing process around supporting the customer was lacking.

Today, however, primarily led by the ‘Internet of Things (IoT)’ for the first time in many decades, technology has outpaced the evolution of business processes. Smart products have existed for some time, but now it is possible for these to deliver real value due to IoT.

Because of the ability to continuously connect products along with the proliferation of the cloud and big data through IoT, organisations now have an opportunity to improve customer connections and differentiate their business. Now, you can listen to social sentiment, analyse customer product usage, determine long-term quality output and deliver new services to your customers.

With the convergence of the physical and digital primarily through IoT, many manufacturing companies are already embracing digital transformation, leading to the rise of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Transforming to a digital business enables organisations to disrupt the market with new products and services. While simply designing a better product is worthwhile, the real value from this digital transformation is an expanded business model.

Some of the instances of this in manufacturing are:

  • Instead of reacting to a break, IoT can enable Predictive maintenance
  • Instead of Post mortem analysis, IoT can provide real time monitoring & analysis
  • Instead of Quality checks, IoT can enable Quality assurance
  • Instead of products which are transactional, businesses can offer a product as a service which is relationship based

Based on all the above, IoT can certainly be considered as possibly the key driver of digital disruption in manufacturing.

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Find out more about how the Internet of Things will change manufacturing in this video: