IoT has opened new opportunities for traditional OEMs in the digital era. The Internet of Things has encouraged even traditionally tech-averse industries such as the furniture and home equipment sector to reap the benefits of the advances in technology. For OEMs, IoT opened new possibilities and ideas for what their products could now do. Even a simple tabletop could now host wireless charging pads and occupancy sensors.
In this article, we’re exploring how OEMs are ushering in the digital era with IoT, how they are benefiting from them, and what challenges they’re facing. Dive in to learn more.
State of IoT among OEMs
Over the last decade, we have seen OEMs turning their traditionally ‘dumb’ products into ‘smart’ solutions. For instance, companies that produced speakers and music systems integrated Google Assistants and Amazon Alexa into their product lines. In fact, many OEMs have followed this trend of adding digital assistants to all new products.
Among industrial equipment, the global IIoT market exceeded $263 bn in 2021 and is expected to reach around $1.11 tn by 2028. Some of the common trends in the IIoT sector include adding sensors into equipment for predictive maintenance, offering software solutions that give productivity and efficiency data, and adding IoT remote monitoring capabilities to existing equipment. Leading industrial equipment manufacturers like Hitachi, Siemens, Bosch, and others have begun adding sensors to their tools that offer maintenance and performance data to users.
Enterprise customers hope to reduce energy consumption, improve safety, and manage maintenance more efficiently with the data collected from these industrial IoT solutions.
While embedding IoT into their product lines, OEMs in both consumer and enterprise segments are also bringing similar tech into their own manufacturing lines and operations. Many OEMs have invested in IoT predictive maintenance systems in their production line to improve their maintenance practices. Many original equipment manufacturers have also invested in automating their processes with industrial internet of things solutions.
How can OEMs benefit from IoT solutions?
The Internet of things opens a whole host of possibilities for original equipment manufacturers. Here are some of the benefits of IoT from an OEM’s perspective:
With the internet of things, OEMs can add more functionality to their products. As discussed earlier, you can add more features to something as simple as a tabletop. They can create better products from common household products like charging strips and air conditioners to industrial products like drills and assembly equipment.
Offer better customer experience
Connected products offer an enhanced experience for customers. These products and solutions allow customers — both private individuals and enterprises — access previously unavailable data. For instance, smart wearables allow individuals to be more mindful of their health. For enterprise customers, smart equipment helps them keep track of their productivity, the energy consumption, reduce unplanned downtimes, and better plan their maintenance.
Besides this, smart devices allow OEMs to remotely troubleshoot issues with their products. If a piece of equipment started malfunctioning, customers won’t have to wait for a technician; they can just connect to the OEM and diagnose the problem.
IoT solutions help original equipment manufacturers gain an edge over their competition. OEMs can offer products with higher functionality and at the same time gain better margins through smart manufacturing techniques.
OEMs can also leverage the data from smart devices to better understand their customers and their pain points and build improved solutions.
More revenue streams
From an OEM’s perspective, one of the exciting aspects of producing IoT solutions is that the revenue doesn’t stop at sales. IoT products offer an interesting take on the printer-cartridge pricing model where OEMs can continue generating revenue even after sales.
For instance, for enterprise systems, OEMs can offer automated monitoring for customer devices. They can offer the associated software or industrial IoT analytics solutions with their products as a subscription service to their customers. OEMs can also offer a cloud-based analytics solution along with their IoT products.
These trends can be observed in consumer IoT products as well.
What are the challenges of incorporating IoT into an OEM’s operations?
While there are benefits to incorporating the internet of things, there are significant challenges as well. Here are some of them.
Lack of skills and talent
Lack of the required talent is one of the biggest challenges that traditional OEMs are facing as they step into IoT. Many industries often relied on third-party components to build their solutions which meant they didn’t have many in-house experts with a complete picture of the technology they were offering to their customers.
But the good news is that IoT consultants like Bridgera, who have the necessary experience understanding both OEM and end-user pain points, can bridge this gap.
Legacy technology and processes
Many OEMs use legacy or outdated systems in their processes. These systems may not be compatible with modern architectures and OEMs may find IoT integration challenging with these systems.
Organizations that traditionally have not incorporated electronics into their product line may also have to rethink and restructure their processes. They’ll have to bring in new talent with the right expertise and adjust their processes for managing vendors, ensuring quality, and building robust products.
Without the proper expertise, IoT solutions can leave OEMs and their customers vulnerable to security threats. The last decade has seen many organizations targeted by bad actors through their IoT systems.
To build secure products, OEMs must rethink their traditional product lifecycles. After-sales, maintenance, and support will have to include regular security updates and patches. OEMs should build systems to keep track of vulnerabilities, develop and test updates, and roll them out with minimal downtime for their products and solutions.
Reach out to Bridgera to explore how you can embrace the digital era with IoT solutions
Bridgera is an industry leader in custom IoT solutions. We have worked with OEMs all over the globe to build connected products and create new revenue streams for them. Our expertise in the latest IoT solutions and best practices as well as our state-of-the-art IoT platform places us in a unique position to understand customer pain points and resolve them effectively.
Reach out to us and let’s explore how the internet of things can help your business.