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In the past few years, IoT (Internet of Things) technology has exploded, resulting in plenty of positive changes for ERP systems. From enhancing customer service to making it easier for companies to monitor and evaluate data, IoT has significantly improved ERP functionality and how companies do business as a whole.

What is IoT?

IoT is the collective term used for the billions of physical devices all over the world that are connected to the internet, both collecting and sharing data. Think of all the tools in your life that connect and share data. This includes everything from smartphones and heart monitors to refrigerators, washing machines, coffee makers, cars and more.

How Has IoT Enhanced the ERP System?

In simple terms, IoT increases the usefulness and power of an ERP system, whether on-premise or in the cloud. It is easy to see why companies in all industries are looking at creative ways to utilize IoT. For example, in the manufacturing industry, equipment-mounted diagnostic tools and computerized maintenance management systems make sure information is available to everyone from the technicians working on the floor to the senior executives upstairs.

In both the manufacturing and customer service sector, handheld scanners have tremendously enhanced an ERP system’s functions. It makes keeping up with inventory much more manageable, while also providing the data needed for better forecasting and production. This ensures products are adequately stocked so when customers are ready to make a purchase, so are you. As a bonus for companies, the use of handheld scanners can cut down on administrative costs [1].

There is no doubt that smartphones have also had a substantial impact on ERP systems, improving the quality of service for both customers and employees. Access to critical information is now at their fingertips, creating better response times by delivering real-time information on the spot. Customers no longer have to wait to find out if something they are interested in is in stock. Instead, this information is immediately available. From the employee side, productivity is increased, and downtime is reduced.

There are plenty of other ways IoT has improved customer service. For example, mobile apps allow you to check-in at hotels, restaurants, and store pickups. When it comes to healthcare, patient care is greatly enhanced when physicians can use their smartphone or tablet to view a patient’s test results, previous doctor’s notes and medication records using IoT enabled technology.

How Will IoT Continue to Enhance ERP Systems?

IoT also allows for greater flexibility, considerably enhances data and makes life easier for everyone. By 2020, a whopping 95% of products are expected to be IoT enabled. Any business that has yet to embrace this technology is at a considerable disadvantage to users of IoT technology. In the very near future, they will have no choice but to adopt this technology or continue to be left behind [2]. It is impossible to predict precisely how IoT will enhance ERP systems in the future, but you can be confident their role will only increase.

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