Intrepid companies are staring down the risks and exploring the possibilities of the Internet of Things (IoT), moving briskly from ideation to prototyping. They believe that previous waves of Internet innovations are merely a prelude to the unprecedented changes that the IOT will bring to the way we live and work, particularly as smart objects are embedded into everyday consumer experiences and production value chains.
Companies are experimenting initially and moving quickly to pilots that advance their digital business agendas. I’d like to share one solid example of a fast food industry giant.
Remote Monitoring and Management in the Fast-Food Sector
Like most restaurant chains, a major fast-food operation was concerned about food waste across thousands of its outlets, globally. In fact, cooking at too low (or high) a temperature was translating into millions of dollars of unnecessary cost. In addition, the restaurant chain faced challenges introducing new seasonal recipes, managing consistent execution of batch cooking, and controlling exposure to the variable cost of consumables across its corporate and franchised outlets.
The company hired Cognizant to work collaboratively with the business team on innovative ways to establish a “connected kitchen”. The ideation discussions raised the visibility of batch cooking processes and the need for corporate decision-makers to control cost and quality.
The initial idea was to develop a “smart fryer,” deploying sensors to measure cooking attributes such as temperature, oil consumption and power usage. The working team envisioned smart fryers that could sense, learn and predict demand, self-optimize temperature and power consumption, and be remotely managed. Given the sunk cost in traditional fryer equipment at thousands of locations around the world, however, the team quickly learned that the investment in new equipment would be prohibitive.
Within six weeks, an alternative solution was discovered: why not retrofit existing fryers with an inexpensive electronic sensor board and software that could provide smart fryer capabilities? Cognizant implemented the solution at four locations as a proof-of-concept, and the company is now considering scaling it across geographic regions.
Do read the detailed case study: Cognizant Creates the Connected Kitchen Future
At its heart, IoT is an immensely complex set of business transformation technologies. How can a company simplify the complexity? By not being afraid to experiment. In other words- institutionalizing rapid ideation and fast prototyping processes to explore business opportunities, quickly discarding those that don’t work and scaling the ones that do. Yes, our fast-food giant, ordered up “Fast Food IOT”. Think about that, the next time you drive-through a fast food joint!
Cognizant at the Upcoming FS TEC 2016 conference
If you are plan to visit the Fast Food Tec 2016 conference, stop by our Cognizant Booth.