As a long-time baseball fan, I really enjoyed the movie “Moneyball” when my wife and I saw it. I think she really liked it, but something tells me that had more to do with the fact that Brad Pitt was in it. Nevertheless, it did a great job highlighting how Billy Beane was able to use a different methodology to achieve success than any of his counterparts.
For those of you who don’t know the story, Beane was (and still is) the GM of the Oakland Athletics. The A’s have a serious impairment to their success…they need to field a competitive team when their competitors (other MLB teams) are able to spend as much as 4-6x more than they do on player salaries. In the movie, Beane decides to start to look for players in a different manner….namely, finding value in players that other teams either do not care about or do not recognize.
One of the biggest hindrances to Beane’s process is the sheer amount of data that is available in the world of baseball. As a baseball fanatic, I love the fact that each play produces tons of data on each player and it is only recently (with the improvement in the processing power of computers) that GMs are able to make sense of this data. In the movie, Beane and his team use the data to find out that certain statistics are more valuable and most of his competitors do not know this.
What does a baseball movie have to do with M2M, you may ask? A lot, actually…
While it may not have had the same cache, Michael Lewis’ book (which the movie was based on) could have been simply called “Big Data”, because that is exactly what Moneyball is. Beane’s team was able to gather and go through a huge amount of data in ways that no other team has ever done…..and their success shows that this was a valuable exercise. The A’s have been one of the best teams in baseball for over a decade, despite being outspent by every other team.
When you walk into a store, you might have always had the feeling that you were being watched (namely surveillance to reduce theft)….but, you have no idea. Retailers are using a ton of information about you to know how to get you to buy more. They know what you spend (based on loyalty cards), they know where you live (to compare your spending habits versus others in your neighbourhood) and they know when you are more likely to buy certain things.
M2M takes this to a scary new level. Retailers are using M2M to keep track of what rows people look at first in a new row (to better optimize fees for product placement), keep track of what pattern different groups of people take in the store (to optimize aisle ends and other placements) and to keep track of what products people have the most “change of heart” about buying (they do this by keeping track of how many units people pick up but do not end up buying).
Think about how you can use M2M to help your business in a similar manner.
What advantages could you get if you knew something about the usage pattern of your products that your competitors don’t? You could charge customers in a different manner…..you could place more emphasis on advertisements / product development in areas that actually matter to customers….you could know the usage patterns much better to help you optimize your servicing and support models.
I have told the story before about how M2M customers end up having M2M customers of their own. This is a bit different, as this refers to learning more about your current and potential other partners.
One example of this comes from the PC world. A while back, technology companies created software that helped to optimize how your computer worked (examples included utilities that scanned for issues on your hard drive and compacted space on costly hard drives). It took Microsoft many generations to truly understand that consumers/companies were buying these software packages, and as such, Microsoft did not react quickly to integrate this into Windows. The same holds true for many companies…..what sales are you missing by not knowing what 3rd party accessories are being attached to your product? As well, how would it help your business to know that 75% of the time that a certain accessory is inserted, it causes your equipment to crash?
Here’s a different way of looking at it: What accessories are customers buying to make up for shortfalls in your product? Are they buying extended life batteries because the one that you provide is insufficient? How many of them are bolstering signal strength with 3rd party antennas because your product had insufficient signal strength? By knowing this, you can not only find ways to bolster your accessory sales, but you can also find ways to improve future products to prevent customers from looking at your competitors for future purchases (especially when they might not have the same issues).
You have always assumed that a certain procedure has to be followed, even when it is very costly…..you have always assumed that it took 30 mins to perform a certain task, even when it seemed like a long time (and a lot of money)….you have always assumed that your team spends more time at the donut shop than on the road.
Why not find out the truth? Many companies are using M2M solutions to optimize their business…mainly by simply knowing more about what their company is “really doing”. Think of it like “Undercover Boss” for your entire company. By knowing your company better, you can optimize how things are done, taking costs and waste out of your business.
Most people’s businesses are not as followed nearly as close as that of a professional baseball team. As well, many companies are on much more of an even playing ground than Beane is with the current structure of MLB. However, by using M2M to help both gather information that your competitors do not have, and using advanced Big Data solutions to make better sense of the data, you too can gain tremendous advantages over your competitors. But, it still won’t help you hit a major league fastball!
As always, Novotech is ready to assist with your M2M needs. Whether you’re looking to control, track, monitor or back-up, Novotech has the solutions and products you need. View our Line Cards and let us know how we can be of assistance.