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IoT services

Competitive Benchmarking of IoT Services for an Industrial Manufacturer: A Case Study

Staying updated with the market trends and a detailed competitive benchmarking study can help industrial manufacturers grow by leaps and bounds. The progress made by a US industrial manufacturer using competitive benchmarking for IoT services holds lessons for industrial players of all stripes.

Industrial companies were already amidst disruptions and economic pressure during early 2020 from ongoing trade disputes, repercussions of Brexit, automotive industry challenges, and the demand slowdown in China. The COVID-19 outbreak has put global economies and businesses into a much more profound and unprecedented crisis. Consequently, there have been shocks to both supply and demand across markets.

The critical leadership focus at the moment is mostly on minimizing the employee toll of the COVID-19 through safety measures for workers, and the new physical-distancing standards are dramatically altering operations, employee responsibilities, and staffing. This reinforces the need for IoT services to help companies proceed on the journey to the ‘new normal.’ IoT solutions, when implemented in a plug-and-play mode, can be instrumental in ensuring business continuity and minimizing economic damage while anchoring employee safety, improving liquidity, and reducing short-term costs.

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Competitive benchmarking of IoT services for an industrial manufacturer

Engagement Scope

In a span of 16 weeks, the client, an industrial manufacturing company in the United States successfully actioned their plan to venture into the IoT service market by launching their cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) platform.

Engagement duration: 16 weeks | Region of focus: North America | Segment: IoT services

An industrial manufacturer based out of Ohio, USA, wanted to venture into the IoT services market with an aim to provide end-users with increased visibility into their operations, optimize production, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction. To succeed in this new initiative, the client wanted to identify and evaluate suppliers offering IoT services for commercial and institutional end-users in segments including laundry, kitchen, and facility cleaning dispensers. Through the engagement, experts at Infiniti were also tasked with assessing pricing models, product offerings, market dynamics for the adoption of IoT services, and growth of smart commercial/facility segment. This data would facilitate the client to evaluate competitor offerings, pricing models, market challenges, and market dynamics across different segments.  

Our Approach

Experts at Infiniti used a sequential approach to obtain accurate and actionable market insights. This involved:

  • Phase 1 – Planning, Initiating, and Source Identification: The key objectives of the engagement were determined along with the schedule finalization for the project, including the overall engagement scope and duration. The next step involved identifying and establishing the key sources of data collection.
  • Phase 2 – Data Aggregation:  Experts at Infiniti Research used an incisive approach consisting of primary and secondary research for data collection.In the primary research phase, our industry experts conducted 29 in-depth primary interviews with market experts, business executives, and end-users of IoT services in laundry, kitchen, and facility cleaning segments.Secondary research involved data collection from sources, including public and private databases, industry news, articles, events, magazines, and competitor websites.
  • Phase 3 – Data Analysis: The next phase involved a thorough validation and data cleansing process to filter out the required information from the extensive data set collected. Post this, an in-depth data analysis was undertaken using a variety of techniques including top-down/bottom-up market analysis, pricing and structuring analysis, detailed competitor benchmarking, and market segmentation analysis.
  • Reporting in Structured Templates: A detailed report was presented to the client based on the refinement and transformation of data in structured templates to make the data actionable.

Key Findings & Recommendations

Based on the comprehensive competitor benchmarking analysis, pricing analysis, and market segmentation analysis undertaken on the IoT services market for the client, the following were the key market findings and recommendations presented to the client:

  • Subscription-based pricing model and area-based pricing models are the two key pricing approaches adopted by top companies providing IoT services in the US. A subscription pricing model can be designed on a monthly or yearly basis depending upon factors such as the number of connected devices, type of users, customized solutions, and client requirements. On the other hand, an area-based pricing model is based on factors such as the type and area of the building (in sq. ft.). Suppliers offer subscription plans and one-time payment options depending on the clients’ requirements.
  • Real-time dashboards, remote configuration, real-time alerts, and asset management are some of the key IoT service features offered by the client’s key competitors in the market.
  • Top market competitors of the client offerings IoT services have structured their service offerings into three main formats. A bundling structure that comes with a wide range of plans (combining many features into a single plan), an individual IoT solution that includes a fixed package with pre-loaded features, and a customized structure that allows customers to choose add-on features to the existing plan.
  • Trends such as increasing demand for real-time monitoring of business operations and predictive maintenance planning are driving the demand for IoT services across entire laundry, kitchen, and facility cleaning segments.
  • The demand for real-time monitoring of business processes across the laundry, kitchen, and facility cleaning segments is expected to be driven by factors such as the increasing need to improve efficiency and productivity, lower the cost of resources, and improve the life of dispensers.
  • Factors such as improving uptime have become quite prevalent, hence, propelling the demand for IoT services. The increasing need to save time and resources is also expected to drive the adoption of IoT services.
  • Several players in the IoT services market are also investing in smartphone-based applications to address market demands.
  • The kitchen segment is experiencing an increasing demand for connected warewashing solutions and intelligent dishwashing, thereby propelling the demand for IoT-based services.
  • Factors such as the rising demand for smart cleaning dispensers and automation are driving the demand for IoT services across the commercial laundry segment.

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Key Recommendations & Business Impact

Our competitive benchmarking analysis and market assessment study helped the client gain an in-depth understanding of the IoT services market and evaluate various IoT services offered by key competitors and strategies used to promote them to the target customers. The pros and cons of each of the IoT services provided by market competitors were weighed during the competitor benchmarking analysis and the client selected the most viable and feasible features. The client decided to offer their IoT services in a bundle structure and have segregated them on the basis of Start, Pro, and Premium, each consisting of different features in each bundle.

Experts at Infiniti identified that smart cleaning dispensers have high demand in the laundry segment. In contrast, there are a high demand for connected warewashing solutions and robotic cleaning equipment in the kitchen and facility cleaning segments, respectively. This helped the client strategize and route their investment on the most profitable and in-demand segments. The client also decided to invest in predictive maintenance and planning as there is a growing demand for such IoT services among different end-user segments such as hotels, hospitals, and laundries.

Within seven weeks, the client launched its cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) platform, which was rolled out in the industrial laundry segment first with several critical benefits such as alarm reporting, better visibility into operations, and reduced costs. Based on the huge commercial success of this initiative, the client plans to expand their cloud-based IoT platform to other segments, such as facility cleaning.

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Industrial equipment

4 Critical Challenges Facing Industrial Equipment Manufacturers

Modern manufacturers cannot afford to ignore the challenges coming their way, considering the cut-throat competition and the rapidly rising market demands. According to experts at Infiniti Research, some of the key challenges faced by industrial equipment manufacturers include industrial equipment manufacturers can come across include an incomplete view of their profitability, lack of insight into supply chain, and the means to collaborate productively across the various stakeholders. Although several industrial equipment manufacturing companies respond to these challenges by installing ERP systems, it may not be a complete solution to overcome these roadblocks.

To know more about how to tackle these business challenges facing industrial equipment manufacturers

Errors in quotation

The quotation is one of the foremost areas of focus for any business. An inaccurate quote or costing prevents businesses from making adequate profits as either all the elements are included or even the client can be lost due to high costing. Sales personnel need access to details so they can provide the right estimate and quote to their customers.

Portfolio management

Portfolio management for industrial equipment manufacturers include creating premium support offerings, connecting service offers to business value, and launching new service offers. Making this challenge a priority will facilitate industrial equipment companies to take more responsibility for improving customer outcomes with offers and that would be required to prove their value in order to sell these offers.

Get in touch with an expert from Infiniti Research to know how we can help you identify risks in advance and improve business outcomes

Service flow

In most cases, the scope of work for manufacturing companies may not end with the project assembly or manufacture. It could further involve transfer of project results to the base, which offers service opportunities like maintenance, repair, and overhaul services. This can cause several service integration issues for industrial equipment manufacturers.

Logistics inconsistencies

Industrial equipment manufacturers have a considerable amount of equipment and materials that need to move from the factory floor to production operations. Without the right support, this could lead to severe logistics inconsistency and confusion for industrial equipment companies. The companies in the industrial equipment manufacturing sector need to implement a solution that would help them plan the capacity of the machine so that the person in charge can assign resources to the machines based on the requirement.

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Telecom Industry

Top Challenges for the Telecom Industry – What’s Hurting Their Revenues?

The telecom industry has witnessed rapid changes over the last few years. Advancements in technology have completely altered the market landscape for the telecom industry. The advent of 4G, wearables, smartphones, and mobile apps have changed the way people consume telecom services. However, such disruptive innovations are posing challenges for the telecom giants as they are looking for means to stabilize their revenue streams.

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Top Challenges Facing the Telecom Industry

Competition from OTT services

Mobile messaging and chat apps have been growing at a phenomenal rate, hurting call and messaging revenues of telecom players. Customers of today have the option of choosing from a wide variety of messaging apps and most of the apps have included voice and video calling features as well. Text messaging services have been dwindling downwards along with the decline in voice revenue per user.

Privacy and Security Issues

Telecom service providers maintain a large repository of personal data and sensitive information. They are constantly under threat and vulnerable to hacking. Therefore, it has forced government bodies to create regulations regarding user data protection.  Telecom players are always on the lookout for third-party organizations and state-of-the-art security framework.

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Growth in IoT

The number of connected devices on IoT ecosystem is increasing exponentially, and players in the telecom industry are facing challenges in gearing up to the task. Since the integration of IoT requires a higher level of connectivity and data flow from the underlying platform, telecom players are facing challenges to develop a functional platform that can support such IoT ecosystems.

Development of 5G

The development of 5G is in the pipeline and expected to be available to the public by 2020. The development goes beyond data speed and bandwidth to improve latency issues to provide a unique browsing experience. The biggest challenge facing the telecom industry is that non-telecom companies are also trying to force their way into this technology. Also, numerous players in the telecom industry are still catching up to the 4G technology as they are still stuck with 2G and 3G technology.

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Challenges in the Agriculture Chemicals Market – Is Going Digital the Answer?

As farmers turn to technology, agriculture chemicals manufacturers are bracing up to meet the new challenges in the agriculture industry. Especially when it comes to the agrichemical supply chains, the industry is still struggling with synchronizing the entire work process and meeting the ever-growing demands for the chemicals cost-effectively.

Is going digital the ‘panacea’ for problems in the agriculture chemicals supply chain?

Supply chain disruptions and changes in customer needs are the two major pain points faced by manufacturers of agrichemicals. Along with this, providing end-to-end services is another area which calls for focused planning of players in the agrichemical market.

By switching to digitization and investing in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) technology, industry experts believe that the loopholes in the supply chain can be easily tackled. IIOT and predictive analytics facilitate better redressal of the supply chain woes. As predictive analytics makes use of machine learning to decipher patterns in the unstructured data, it becomes easier for market players to respond to changing demands from the customers in an automated manner.

Secondly, by aligning business and digital strategies, agri-chemical companies can gain better ROI. At the moment, majority manufacturers are using digital technology on the front end alone. The result is a decrease in production costs, increase in yields, and sustainable growth. Such improvements in the work process is advantageous for farmers as well as players in the agrichemical industry.

However, to gain long-term results, experts recommend the use of digital technology in strengthening the back-end mechanism as well. The supply chain is the major back-end mechanism which needs to be highly agile to deal with the fluctuating demands from the customers’ end. A digitally-enabled supply chain is sure to leverage the changing market dynamics to the company’s advantage.

Lastly, it will be wrong to assume that adoption of digital technology alone is sufficient to add value to the business. Manufacturers of agrichemicals must realize that it is essential to build a platform which is a synergy of the local resources, regional culture, and digital operations. On its own, digitization is not going to bring in any huge change in the functioning of the businesses. What is needed is an intelligent placement of digital solutions in the organizational structure, so that an element of flexibility is added to the entire work process.

Infiniti’s take on digitization of the agriculture chemicals market

The agriculture chemical industry is undergoing one of the most exciting changes in the past one decade. Digital disruption has in fact added more dynamics in the supply chain and opened up avenues for increased innovation as well as competition.

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