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How Will the Internet of Things (IoT) Reshape Fixed Ops?

The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to the billions of physical devices around the world that are now connected to the internet, all collecting data, sharing data, and using data to communicate and perform functions for us. This is all made possibly by the ubiquity of high-speed wireless networks (think 5G) and super-cheap computer chips.

IoT can turn something as small as a car or something as big as an school bus, into a part of the IoT. Connecting these different objects adds a level of digital intelligence to devices that would otherwise be un-intelligent, enabling them to communicate real-time data without involving a human being.

IoT is weaving its way into the automotive world at a rapid pace. Most visibly, self-driving are already taking hold, but there are many smaller ways in which IoT will affect service and parts in your dealership

Reaching Customers

Advertising is one of the most actionable aspects for the connectivity through IoT. With connected mobile devices and connected vehicles, it has become easier to identify vehicles that need service and the physical location of those vehicles in relationship to your dealership.internet

For example, when a customer’s vehicle shows that it has 10,000 miles, ads could be shown to encourage routine maintenance. When a customer’s check engine light comes on, ads can be shown promoting a service appointment. 

Scheduled Maintenance and Predictive Repairs

Every sensor and module in cars today are connected to an in-vehicle network. The future of IoT will also connect these components to external networks. With this kind of connectivity, not only can the driver be aware of potential problems and upcoming maintenance, but this data can also be transmitted to a dealer or service center.

This information can be used to schedule appointments and diagnose vehicle repairs without the driver doing a thing. Thanks to IoT, carmakers have already been developing apps that serve this purpose with features such as in-app vehicle health reports.

As IoT continues to evolve, vehicle service and maintenance will become streamlined and we will start to enjoy the ability to automatically schedule and service vehicles without the risk of human error or human delays along the way. 

Optimized Parts Inventory Management

Cost-effective inventory management stands on two pillars: sound inventory tracking and reliable inventory forecasting. Traditional inventory management is labor-intensive with a high probability of error.

With IoT, radio frequency identification becomes the source of data about the locations and properties of inventory items, while IoT provides scalable storage for the data fetched from radio frequency identification tags and turns this data into informative insights about the locations and properties of inventory items.

This can lead to vast improvements in inventory turn, decreases in emergency purchases and drastic reductions in parts obsolescence. 

More Efficient Equipment Maintenance

Dealerships typically maintain their equipment using predefined schedules. Usually, the older the machinery, the more frequent checkups it gets. However, 68 percent of industrial machinery shows random failure patterns and breakdown irrespective of age.

IoT and data science help address the problem of inefficient maintenance with technology that allows monitoring  of equipment conditions to detect problems as early as possible and identify the right time for a checkup.

IoT, in this case, becomes the source of data about the health of machines and their components, as well as their operational and ambient parameters.

The analysis of IoT data helps predict whether a machine shows emerging changes that can develop into serious issues, whether a piece of equipment is likely to fail within a certain time frame, as well as estimate how many days/cycles remain until a machine fails if it continues to operate under current settings.

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Ken Strong
Ken Strong
Retail automotive veteran and writer for

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