IoT Solution Success: Start Small, Work Efficiently

The best way to begin implementing an IoT solution is to start small – but what exactly does that mean, and why is it important?

In this post you will learn how to plan your first IoT solution by looking for a simple problem that IoT can solve quickly, and why that ensures success.

How to Start Small

When we say to start small, that means don’t try to create a “big bang” solution. It’s natural to want to solve all your problems at once or make a huge impact on the market. But the driving goal in integrating IoT into your business should always be improving how the business runs. Successful businesses tend to grow gradually over time, and implementing solutions to solve business problems the same way allows the process to mature and evolve over time. So, always begin by defining your desired business outcomes and requirements. You can think big as you consider how this will improve your overall productivity and grow over time, but then start with something simple as the first step.

Find a Simple Problem to Solve

The best way to figure out where to start is to pick a problem to solve. Perhaps you run a manufacturing plant with pools of cooling water, and your pumps are often down or not functioning properly. This can be the problem you want to solve.

In order to do so, you’ll need to ask yourself some problem-solving questions such as, “Do I know how much uptime/downtime my pumps have?” or, “Can I monitor the motor speeds of my pumps?” You can even ask questions such as, “Can I view my data remotely?” Perhaps you have meters on your pumps track their performance, but you need an employee on site at all times to monitor them.

When you focus on one problem, you can define factual questions that will help point to a solution.

Implement

A lot of companies get lost at the implementation stage. . While they have identified one problem they wish to solve, they may be unsure of how to begin solving it. Just remember: focus on the simple problem. It’s easy to get confused when , as one problem is related to others, but you will be able to solve those later.

Ensure you have the best people on the job. Find IoT experts to work with and assign employees that have  the desire to improve your operations and who are open to change. A great way to ease everyone into this change is to pick an off-the-shelf solution. There’s no need for custom solutions in IoT when you are first starting out. Custom solutions are expensive and can end up evolving into large-scale projects before any basic implementation. PTC’s Thingworx is a great example of an off-the-shelf solution which  is designed with manufacturing in mind. It is user-friendly enough that anyone can use it, from the shop floor to the top floor.

By solving that one simple problem, you’ll have achieved your initial success, and created a model for solving future problems.

Conclusion

Implementing an IoT solution may seem like a huge undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. If you think big but start small, you can avoid many of the common pitfalls. Focus on how IoT can help the business, and find the right people to help you. Reliable employees who want to grow with the company in combination with experienced experts will ensure you can get your first solution out the door. If you have questions or need advice on how to get started with IoT, feel free to give us a call at 412-923-3002 and one of our experts will be happy to help.

Ectobox celebrates 20 years!

The Past

2018 marks 20 years of Ectobox developing solutions outside the box.

Ectobox began as a software consulting firm driven by a simple ideal: we don’t like to see companies suffer needlessly doing work manually that can hold a business back, when there are opportunities to automate processes. Our President and founder wanted to help. With a servant leader mentality, Ectobox moved forward with helping other companies improve, get better at what they do, and grow with software and data.

The Present

IIoT, Software Expertise and the Manufacturing Sector

Ectobox has recognized the power and value that IoT can bring to manufacturers in becoming better, more efficient organizations. Therefore, Ectobox has transformed into an IoT and software consulting and solutions company. We are able to help manufacturing companies grow with strategic level consulting as well as the tactical details of technical implementations. We have made this transformation by, among other things, being thought leaders and experts in IoT, making strategic moves to expand our consulting and technical capabilities, and using the latest tools and technology including PTC ThingWorx, AWS IoT, and Azure IoT Hub.

The (near) Future

Continuing to Share Manufacturing IoT and Software Knowledge

As Ectobox sees significant company growth in size and market presence, we hope to continue to build strong partnerships with all of you that last into the next 20 years, and beyond.

We have many exciting trade shows, speaking events and webinars coming up the end of this year and into 2019 including:

How to Profit from IoT Webinar – October 3rd
Business Transformation with IoT – October 17th
Manufacturing Day – October 4, 2018
Industrial IoT World Atlanta – October 29-30
Digital Bridge Industry 4.0 Conference – November 1st
Westmoreland Chamber IoT Roundtable Panel talk – November 2nd (registration info TBA)
NWIRC IoT/Industry 4.0 Webinar – November 7th (registration info TBA)
NWIRC IoT/Industry 4.0 Webinar December 11th (registration info TBA)