IoT data management issues are worrying UK consumer tech vendors

New research findings suggest that 78% of UK consumer technology and hardware vendors expect the Internet of Things (IoT) to have a significant impact on their ability to gather customer insight data across the supply chain.

According to Zyme, a provider of Channel Data Management (CDM), many go so far as to say that it will also change the way they think, and operate, as an organisation.

Increased demand from consumers for a seamless shopping experience is resulting in the development of a variety of customer-facing IoT applications and two thirds (67%) of those surveyed said that they plan to use these technologies to capture more insight about customer behaviour across the supply chain, in the next 12 months.

Consumer technology and hardware vendors are also reviewing how to use IoT to gain improved visibility into every component that impacts the customer experience, from inventory management and stock availability through to lead times for online sales and traceability after point of sale.

Despite this movement however, the research entitled The Consumer Technology Digital Intelligence Report, found that there are concerns about the reality of using IoT technologies to collect such intelligence. UK vendors regarded collecting data (63%), maintaining security of the data (62%), the volume of data generated (60%) and how best to interpret the data collected (59%) as the key issues that need to be addressed in order for IoT to deliver significant improvements in operational efficiency and improved logistics.

Nick Andrews, general manager EMEA & India at Zyme

Nick Andrews, general manager EMEA & India at Zyme explained: “There is understandably some caution in the market about how best to harness IoT which will undoubtedly counter the determination to adapt and benefit from making such process changes. Current systems and data collection methodologies are simply either not providing all the necessary information about customer usage, or cannot be completely trusted to be totally accurate.”

Zyme believes there is a real need to improve the quality and reliability of data collected, as well as ensuring timely access to it and IoT. Combined with an effective Channel Data Management strategy, Zyme believe it has the potential to deliver this increased visibility that will benefit both tech vendors and the retailer channel alike.

The report also found that more than two thirds of those interviewed (67%) believe that their channel relationships could be improved with better access to information about online sales and 47% cited better customer data would give them a better sense of control over their business.

“The challenge going forward will be ensuring that the increased volumes of data from RFID tags, smart shelf sensors, location-based services and source-tagged SKUs (stock keeping units) – to name but a few – is combined efficiently with data from existing systems in order to automate and optimise the supply chain. If an organisation can be successful in bringing all of this data together in one place, and can then share it effectively with the channel, it will not only ensure that business decisions are based on actionable insight but that customers will receive the best possible buying experience,” Andrews concluded.

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