Transformative technologies: The quick and dirty guide to immediate applications of the Internet of Things (IoT) in your business: Smart Locks

In our previous article we focused on how the emergence of the IoT seems set to transform our individual lives. The examples we provided can be adapted by individuals to become more productive, and they offer examples for manufacturers of product design that foresees future developments. But how about some immediate applications that any business can adopt to streamline its operations? Especially small and medium size businesses (SMBs)?

The good news is that the commercial benefits from the IoT are just as accessible to SMBs as they are to monolithic established enterprises.  Gartner’s 2017 IoT Survey suggested that implementing IoT technology within businesses can optimize such internal operation aspects as worker productivity, tracking and control, and business procedures. IoT can in addition enable businesses to add new revenue streams, offer post-sale value added services, and personally customize marketing and sales.

Sound like something your business can benefit from? Still sound a bit too theoretical? Well, without further ado, let us launch our review of IoT tools you can adopt right here, right now, to optimize your operations. In this article we will focus on:

Smart locks

Security is a major overhead in any business, and smart locks can both help reduce it and make customer interface more pleasant. For example, access to restricted areas of a store can be granted to specific customers from a centralized location, while service workers and delivery men can be permitted entry into specific zones without expending manpower on letting them in in person. The advantage for SMB operators, who rarely have surplus manpower to expend on such tasks can be considerable. For customers, deliverymen and service people there is also a conspiderable saving of time which will reap dividends in later interactions.

But it’s not just convenience –  the digital keys of smart locks are simply more secure and less susceptible to theft, breakin or loss than physical keys. They are also far more flexible – you can create and revoke keys for employees without worrying about old keys wandering about with untrustworthy individuals or having to change physical locks every time you grow suspicious. For those businesses with high employee turnover, in which only the veteran employee (who has far better things to do with his time than sheparding customers and deliverymen into restricted areas) can be entrusted with a physical key, this can be a major boon! Finally, smart locks can be programmed to maintain logs of who exactly is unlocking them and when, providing you with an additional layer of security, and would be thieves with an additional layer of deterrence.