Internet of Things: The more innovative the customers, the more interest in IoT-based projects!
Hof, 08.03.2021 – The high significance of digitally networked systems in the Internet of Things (IoT) has long been known in research and companies. For manufacturers, the data generated from networked systems represents a new, virtual service product with which innovative business models could be developed – if it weren’t for the fact that the customers‘ fear of surveillance and data misuse is still so great. A new study by Prof. Dr. Christine Falkenreck (Hof University of Applied Sciences) and Prof. Dr. Ralf Wagner (University of Kassel) is now looking into the question of how customers can be involved in and convinced by new IoT business models.
Possible uses for IoT business models are manyfold. „Manufacturers have an interest in the data, for example, to learn something about the capacity and load of their machines. This then finds its way into new developments. It is also conceivable in the future that the parcel carrier will arrive at the customer’s with a spare part before the customer even knows that his machine needs a new part. This means that the machine will be down for less time. Remote maintenance is also possible, for example, through the use of virtual reality glasses in the Internet of Things,“ says Prof. Dr. Christine Falkenreck, outlining the wide range of possible uses for the technology.
So what are the hurdles on the way to actually putting the technical possibilities into use? The results of a survey of Western European customers in the specialty mechanical engineering sector show: Sound prior knowledge on the subject of digitization and IoT, as well as a belief in appropriate handling of customer data by manufacturers, are essential for the project success. In addition, a general satisfaction with the business relationship is also important.
Competitive advantage and cost reduction
Accordingly, customer requirements for IoT-based business models include cost reduction through predictive maintenance, shorter maintenance intervals and machine downtime, and a resulting increase in profitability. The development of innovative service expertise is therefore already regarded as a new competitive advantage.
Reliable handling of customer data
In discussions with their customers about new, IoT-based business models, manufacturers should above all emphasize and demonstrate their trustworthy handling of customer data – and initially limit themselves to their most innovative customer group when selecting potential partners. Prof. Dr. Falkenreck recommends that the new service concepts should only be made available to a larger customer base after so-called „lighthouse projects“ have successfully been implemented.
The complete study has just been accepted for publication in the Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing under the title „From Managing Customers to Joint Venturing with Customers: Co-Creating Service Value in the Digital Age“.
-Prof. Dr. Christine Falkenreck, Hof University of Applied Sciences, Department of Engineering, Head of Master Project Management firstname.lastname@example.org
-Prof. Dr. Ralf Wagner, University of Kassel, Chair of Sustainable Marketing email@example.com