IoT, BLE, and a Bigger Bottom Line
Updated: May 29, 2020
That which can be measured can be improved.
In business, a company is always searching for an advantage over the competition. This is often done by finding a less expensive way to manufacture a product, finding more effective sales models, or finding less expensive labor. As a consultant at Elegant Software Solutions, I am always looking for ways to help our clients find and eliminate waste within their company. A key area that I concentrate on is streamlining processes to increase efficiency. One technology that shows a lot of promise in creating a competitive advantage in that area is Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons.
What exactly is BLE and how can it be used to improve your company’s bottom line? First, let’s look at what BLE is. Everyone is familiar with Bluetooth wireless devices such as your iPhone and wireless headphones. It was developed to exchange a large amount of data over a short range for a sustained period of time. BLE, on the other hand, was designed for low power consumption and remains in sleep mode until a connection for data is initiated.
A BLE device is a small sensor or beacon that can be placed just about anywhere. The low energy part of BLE allows for the attached beacon to be installed once and requires either no battery change or charging only after extended periods-- up to 2 years in some cases; the BLE beacon stays in sleep mode whenever not in use, only waking up to process and or send data.
So how can these BLE beacons help improve a company’s bottom line? There are several ways this can be done. On such was is tethered asset tracking. By installing BLE sensors and beacons, a company can shine a spotlight on their assets, tracking how they are moving through a warehouse or manufacturing plant. Beacons will allow for better insight into how long each process is taking as assets move from one stage to another. Beacons could be used in a hospital setting to locate equipment or even track doctors’ whereabouts almost in real time. Just as GPS revolutionized how we drive from point A to point B, indoor navigation through beacon wayfinding can do the same for a company inside their buildings. Imagine knowing exactly how to get to a loved one’s hospital room without having to ask directions five times. Imagine having the most optimized pick route inside a large warehouse or plant displayed to pickers on a heads-up display (HUD). The possibilities of increasing efficiency are almost endless.
Once a company has installed BLE beacons, they will have access to very valuable data. Elegant Software Solutions provides our clients with solutions to utilize that newly surfaced data. These types of views into the company allows for improvements in processes and efficiency. This in turn, of course, translates into a more profitable bottom line.
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