Thursday, October 15, 2009

M2M, Route Optimization, Handhelds and Business Intelligence

Recently I wrote about mobile software applications physically moving objects such as unlocking car doors. I have also seen interesting scenarios where mechanical objects activate mobile applications. One example is the PTO on a snow plow activates the GPS to track the routes being plowed, sprayed with deicer or sanded and this information is wirelessly updated in real-time to GIS system to view coverage areas.

Another scenario is a mini-inventory management system or a M2M (machine to machine) scenario whereby a snack vending machine wirelessly notifies the vending machine owner of current inventory levels.

I can envision a scenario where 1,500 vending machines automatically and wirelessly update the central office ERP with their inventory levels. The ERP checks inventory in the central warehouse and automatically creates shipping orders and replenishes low warehouse inventory through automated ordering rules with preferred vendors.

Business intelligence software predicts the demand for specific products for each location and vending machine based upon sales and date and time stamps. This prediction is used to load the route vans.

Next the route optimization software creates the most efficient routes for the drivers and synchronizes this with the driver's handheld computer.

M2M data synchronization is being added to more and more equipment these days.

If you would like to discuss this topic in more detail please contact me.

Author Kevin Benedict
Independent Mobile Strategy, Sales and Marketing Consultant

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