Modern technology makes life easier; there’s no doubt about it. Whether it’s the car that gets you to work, the phone that keeps you organised, the computer that allows you to perform your job or the streaming service you view to wind down during your evenings. It’s hard to imagine life without technology.
And a term has arisen for pieces of technology that use the internet to make life and work more manageable. That term is “the internet of things” or IoT. This is a term for the billions of pieces of technology worldwide that are connected to the internet. Think smartphones, AI technology, tablets, point of sales systems, handheld logistics scanners, etc. Humans use IoT technology every day, all over the world. Whether it’s for work or pleasure, most people are connected to the world wide web via devices.
The internet of things has a significant role in Australia’s major industries. This article will look at the role IoT technology plays in our major commerce sectors, including IoT in the mining industry.
IoT in the Mining Sector
IoT is utilised in the mining industry in many ways. This multi-billion dollar industry quickly innovates, using new technologies, digitisation, connectivity and automation.
This technology is used in mining to improve cost optimisation and improved productivity. For instance, by installing intelligent sensors on mining equipment and software to monitor its performance, mining companies can predict when a machine will need maintenance or is close to failing. This data is captured and utilised to create cost efficiencies and reduce machine downtime.
Another way the mining industry uses IoT technology is to ensure safety for employees. Devices can monitor ventilation and airborne pollutant levels to inform safety policies and trigger an evacuation if required. This is an incredibly important innovation, as mining can be a hazardous industry to work in and worker safety is paramount to mining companies. By ensuring a safe working environment via IoT technology mining companies can safeguard workers, their profits and also avoid costly compensation claims and negative press and public relations.
In the Retail Industry
IoT also has a role in Australia’s retail sector, which is another massive industry that employs large numbers of people and keeps the country’s population fed, clothed and supplied with consumer goods.
One role that this technology plays in retail is the use of personal digital assistant (PAD) devices. Staff can use these devices to monitor stock levels in real-time, and orders for new stock can be automated, ensuring a smooth and efficient inventory management and supply chain process. This in turn frees up management workloads, which can be diverted to other tasks such as training staff, administration and other important duties. In turn, this boosts revenue and ultimately profit, as IoT technology automates tasks that would otherwise take a human staff member time to perform.
Self-checkouts are another example of IoT technology in retail. These devices allow customers to check out quickly and keep track of stock levels as items are purchased. Again IoT technology can then automate stock keeping and ordering. This makes keeping shelves stocked easier for retail companies, which creates cost efficiency and ultimately creates more profit for the company and value for shareholders.
Furthermore, a self checkout usually only requires one staff member to attend and assist customers, rather than having to roster on multiple workers to operate a checkout. This is a massive cost savings in terms of wages and benefits, which is ideal for companies.
IoT in Hospitality and Entertainment
IoT technology also plays a role in Australia’s hospitality and entertainment industries.
For instance, have you ever ordered food or drinks at a venue using a QR code? This is a perfect example of IoT tech in effect. This technology reduces the workload of floor staff, which means a business can create efficiencies in labour costs and staffing levels.
Point of sale machines in hospitality are also IoT devices. A business owner can link them to their accounting software, vastly reducing their bookkeeping time requirements and managing their taxes seamlessly. This frees up their time for other important tasks, such as focusing on growth, strategy, marketing and management of teams. This means that businesses can scale up quicker, and make more money with the assistance of IoT. Ultimately, a business could even open new premises, which has benefits for the company but also the wider economy.
For the entertainment sector, IoT plays a major role in ticketing systems, with consumers using ticket companies apps to book tickets and get reminders about events. This makes the customer experience aspect of entertainment streamlined, and allows people to see the shows they want to with minimal effort.
Furthermore, ticketing and event management automation via IoT allows for cost savings on staff and other overheads, which boosts revenue and allows a company to put on more events. For instance, if a music promoter can save money via ticketing systems, they can then book more bands – providing benefit for the band, the punters, the ticketing company, the venue and the staff employed to work it.
IoT in the Education Sector
Australia’s education sector is also big business, particularly tertiary education. Universities are massive entities, with many departments and a large number of staff and students.
IoT plays a role in this industry, for instance, by automating attendance records, collecting student experience data via surveys and a vast amount of administrative tasks that are made possible via applications that students and staff can use.
Some courses are wholly online, and a student can gain a qualification without ever stepping foot on campus. IoT technology makes this possible, as the student can access message boards, tuition support and their results via a training institution’s website or app.
IoT In the Charity and Not For Profit Sector
The social and community services and charity sector also utilises IoT in its operations.
For instance, some organisations have created apps that allow members of the public to report if people are sleeping rough on the street. A homelessness and housing charity can then send staff to that location on outreach, and a worker can link homeless people with support services and primary healthcare.
Furthermore, when seeking donations, a charity can utilise a device to sign up a donor on the street or send automated emails seeking repeat donations from donors.
In addition to this, a charity can create an app or website that allows donors to view the impact of their donations. This can positively impact the donor, who can see where their money is going, and potentially allow for ongoing donations or even pathways to volunteering opportunities.
A Connected Conclusion
In this helpful article, we’ve shared all about the role of the internet of things (IoT) in Australia’s major industries. From mining to education and even charity, connected devices and smart technology allow Australian companies to innovate and create efficiencies and cost savings across the board.