The Questions You SHOULD Be Asking About IoT

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Shipment Tracking
Marian Sterk
Marian Sterk

Too often we ask the HOW before we ask (and answer) the WHY. Here is a little insight into how you can ask the right WHY questions regarding IoT.

First, let me preface this conversation with this statement: “the WHY is more important than the HOW”.

Simon Sinek is very convincing with his golden circle ‘strategy with the why’. Those of you who are not familiar with this, I sincerely recommend watching his Ted talk video. Essentially, he explains that it is not important HOW you do it, it is WHY you do something.

I try and use that same approach whenever I talk about regaining control within fragmented supply chains or the value of gathering data within supply chains. Yet, somehow our industry – supply chain and logistics – seems more focused on the practical details rather than the end-benefits of IoT technology. One could say, our industry gets hung-up, caught, or stuck on the HOW instead of continuing on to see the impact of the WHY.

Some of the most common questions I get:

  • ‘So how long do the batteries of the sensors last?’
  • ‘Are these Bluetooth sensors? Why not use GPS or satellite?’
  • ‘How are you attaching the sensors to the shipments?’

These questions have merit, a time, and a place. But, they shouldn’t be the first questions you ask when exploring IoT technology solutions for your supply chain network.

Let’s move the conversation along and get to answering WHY IoT tech will benefit your organization. Here are the questions you SHOULD be asking about IoT:

  1. ‘What would it mean to me if my network is truly connected?’
  2. ‘Instead of ‘firefighting’ all day, how can my organization work differently now that I am in control and spending time on what matters?’
  3. ‘What new services can I develop and offer with the data and insights I gather from my own supply chain?’
  4. ‘As monitored cargo changes hands through the supply chain, how can I amaze my customers with these actionable insights & data?’
  5. ‘How can I optimize my network and minimize ‘bottlenecks’ now that I have these insights?’
  6. ‘How will I manage my suppliers now that I have measurable, objective performance indicators?’
  7. ‘Do I have a chance at reducing my insurance fees now that I can better protect my cargo and have minimized the risks within my network?’

I’d be super excited to see where those conversations could go! There are many more value-oriented and WHY-oriented questions we could talk about, but I find these are the best ones to discover the benefits of IoT for your organization.

As much as this piece is all about the WHY, further conversations (and blog pieces) can alleviate any concerns with the HOW. But, more on that later.


This post was co-written by our CFO, Annika Sorensen and our Marketing Manager, Marian Sterk.