Over half of Fortune 500 companies listed in the year 2000 are gone today, victims of internet disruption. So it should come as no surprise that the leadership at manufacturing companies are closely watching the second iteration of the internet: the Internet of Things (IoT). Executives in almost all appliance companies know that they have to do something to stay relevant—and alive—but what to do is not always as clear.
IoT-enabled appliances will provide companies direct access and engagement with end users. This new world of connected appliances promises a highly engaged user base that is also more loyal and profitable. IoT provides better intelligence of how users actually use products, along with insights that enable designers to better satisfy their needs. Although IoT holds great long term promise, it also enables ways to grow the bottom line in the short term. Two examples every manufacturer should evaluate are: 1) increasing ‘consumable’ sales frequency and profit dollars (e.g. filters, cleaning agents, fragrances), or 2) creating cost savings by streamlining and delivering product repairs.