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Competency

Evaluate the role smart technologies plays in increasing competitive advantages

Student Success Criteria

View the grading rubric for this deliverable by selecting the “This item is graded with a rubric” link, which is located in the Details & Information pane.

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Scenario

You are the customer service manager for a regional shipping business similar to Fedex and UPS. Unlike your larger competitors, you lack the ability to follow deliveries, trucks, and drivers while on their routes each day, because the current trucks do not have GPS tracking sensors.

In the last few months, customers have voiced several complaints. Customers complain that:

  • They cannot get up-to-date information about where their packages are in the delivery process
  • Deliveries are not arriving on the day promised
  • Delivery drivers are arriving after the 3:00 p.m. cut off time for all deliveries

Your shipping business cannot afford to lose customers to the larger shipping companies that have more advanced technology and the ability to assure customers have timely tracking information. In response, you have been asked by upper management to evaluate installing tracking/GPS devices on all trucks. These smart devices which are connected to the Internet via cell phone connections could provide valuable details about truck locations throughout the day.

Prepare a proposal for management sharing with them how these smart devices will provide needed information to improve customer service. Be sure to support your recommendations with credible resources. Using the assigned readings in this module is a good starting point. Research databases are listed in the Resources area below.

Instructions

Prepare a proposal for management which will discuss the general capabilities of GPS tracking sensors. Also, examine the ability to provide more information, describe the reaction of employees, and define any privacy and security concerns regarding using GPS tracking sensors. Your company’s leadership may not be familiar with this technology, so be thorough in your description of the technology.

In Microsoft Word, create the proposal. Use the link below to access the Rasmussen Business Writing Guides. The proposal should be 3-4 pages and should accomplish these objectives:

  • Compare the pros and cons of using the tracking devices in the shipping business as a function of competitive advantage
  • Examine how knowledge of each truck’s location and delivery times will change the shipping business
  • Explain how this tracking/GPS system will affect this business’s ability to compete with similar companies
  • Describe how truck drivers might react to having tracking/GPS devices on the organization’s trucks
  • Define any privacy/security concerns in using tracking/GPS devices on the trucks
  • Be sure the proposal:
  • Begins with an introduction that prepares the readers for the rest of the report
  • Addresses all points above in a correctly formatted body section
  • Ends with a conclusion that reminds busy readers of the document’s purpose and main supports
  • Has a References page that cites all sources in APA format

NOTE – Be sure the document displays proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure.

Most businesses operate in a very competitive environment. Businesses must make the best product for a competitive price. Businesses must find ways to save money without sacrificing quality. Customer service must be excellent. The business must not sacrifice reputation for cost savings.

Technology can help businesses achieve a quality product at a competitive price. Devices that directly connect to the Internet or local network can provide essential communication to personnel or other machines. These devices called the Internet of Things (IoT) can provide a competitive advantage for businesses by:

· Increasing communications from device to device or device to human

· Allowing remote control and automation

· Gathering data that can be analyzed for better decision making

· Providing remote monitoring and reporting

Manufacturing and distribution have been revolutionized by IoT, creating a competitive advantage. Machinery using IoT can communicate with other machines. This communication enables synchronization of processes on an assembly line or in a distribution system. Machinery working together in synch increases productivity and efficiency. These increases in productivity and efficiency save money and time for the business. Reductions in personnel manually running the machines is a huge cost saving. Businesses that can provide a quality product for less money have a competitive advantage.

Devices connected to the Internet through IoT allows other devices or humans to control functions from anywhere creating a competitive advantage. For example, warehouse freezers with smart thermostats directly connected to the Internet are remotely accessible; computers or personnel can then adjust these thermostats accordingly. Keeping freezers running efficiently at optimal temperatures assures a quality product and saves money by reducing energy consumption. Providing a quality product creates a competitive advantage for the business.

Devices directly connected to the Internet can provide valuable data to computer systems for later analysis. The sensors on many of these devices can report speed, temperature, GPS location, liquid levels, or vibration of parts, just to name a few.

These readings provide data that can be studied using data analysis. Data analysis can provide predictive abilities that can warn of equipment failures. Data gathered can be used to research inventory levels, product and people movements. Smart phones can detect that a user travels to a specific location each week at the same time. The phone would pop up a message telling the user the distance and time to the location even if the GPS on the phone was not in use. The phone, an IoT, is gathering data about the user’s travels each week. The phone is using that data to predict where the user is going. Business can use this data to study consumers and their movements. This information can increase the competitive advantage of any company because understanding your customer is a powerful tool.

Businesses need IoT devices for remote monitoring and reporting. Business use equipment that moves around the country every day. IoT devices in the form of sensors can track this equipment and report locations. Customer service and delivery companies must be able to track employees or vehicles. The data supplied by IoT allows businesses to study processes for inefficiencies. Businesses can study travel routes, speed, stops, and many other pieces of data in real-time. Businesses can adjust routes, drivers, trucks, or schedules to meet the needs of the customer. To increase an organization’s competitive advantage, an organization must be efficient and effective with their resources.

In summary

IoT increases the competitive advantage of business:

· by increasing communication

· with remote control and automation

· by providing data for later analysis

· by providing remote monitoring and reporting

Manufacturing and Distribution

Tessa convinced the leadership team at HealthyShakes to invest in Internet of Things to manufacture and distribute their protein shakes. Because the machines used in different stages of production, quality testing, packaging, and distribution now communicate with one another, the entire process is more efficient and accurate. The time and money saved provides HealthyShakes a competitive advantage over the competition.

Connect from Anywhere

When a power outage occurred, Internet of Things notified Franco on his Smart Phone. The alert allowed Franco to use IoT to switch his restaurant’s freezers to generator power and to check on the temperatures throughout the night. Other businesses in the area lost thousands of dollars of frozen and refrigerated foods and other heat sensitive products.

Data Analysis

Kendra’s Cakes uses IoT to track driver routes and speeds during deliveries. The information about delivery conditions and times is analyzed and used to train drivers so that expensive cakes are not damaged, and customers are not disappointed. Her specialty cake business has an excellent reputation because her ability to deliver large specialty cakes successfully and on time consistently.

Smart Phones and Predicting Consumer Behavior

IoT allows a SmartPhone to use a travel advice app to track where travelers using the app go during their visit to cities featured on the app. Businesses promoted on the app can then make choices about advertising, special promotions, and seasonal offerings based on consumers behavior over time.

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