The Key to Profitable Tech Innovation
Guest Post by LiveWorx Sponsor Freedom RFID, Rob Simmons, co-founder and VP of Business Development
The thing about tech is, it never stops moving forward. There’s almost nothing that can slow the explosion of innovative technology appearing on the world scene every single day. And, as tech professionals, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
The fact is, one of the few limiting factors that can hold back innovation and progress is practicality. When imagination and ingenuity intersect, the human mind can create endlessly, with infinite possibilities. But, when the product of that effort meets the cold, hard facts of cost, materials, and customer needs, 99% of those incredible ideas have to go out the window.
That’s why I absolutely love events like PTC’s Liveworx conference (which my company, Freedom RFID, sponsored in 2017.) Everything we discussed before, during, and after the event revolved around truly practical applications of cutting-edge technology with proven real-world potential. And that’s exciting.
Case studies in effective innovation
I was on site as an exhibitor to demonstrate how RFID has positively impacted the bottom line in manufacturing. Freedom RFID unveiled our Thingworx Ready Reader to the crowd of over 6000 attendees, and we’ve received a great response. The reader communicates directly with the Thingworx platform and offers users quick insight to actual throughputs on the factory floor. People seemed to be particularly interested in the easily configured, value ready deployment of the RFID reader. SI’s & VAR’s alike can use the reader to quickly insert real-time use and location metrics into the Thingworx Platform.
That’s where the tires really meet the road in technology innovation: when all the bells and whistles can be boiled down to the simplest, most elegant answer to the question, “how can we make X easier, faster, cheaper, better?” And that’s what gets me out of bed every day, excited to hit the ground running after the next “a-ha!” moment.
In my industry, focused specifically on inventory, processes and asset management using RFID and barcode technologies, the doors are wide open right now for new and exciting discoveries and solutions s across the board. There is no single approach to RFID solutions, especially as part of an IOT initiative. Our overarching goal is to identify and maintain an optimal approach to helping our customers do more and be more for their own customers.
One of the most exciting results of that effort in recent months has been the growth of our prepackaged solution set for tool crib, storeroom, and inventory management. Released under the Gopherwerx® brand and connected to the Thingworx platform, this powerful set of hardware and software solutions are getting incredible response from our customers, so many of whom knew they needed to plug holes in their asset management and supply chain processes, but weren’t ready to dive into a huge, expensive and disruptive change over to a completely new set of tools. GopherWerx® Storeroom and GopherWerx® Inventory meet this challenge by making deployment and integration a breeze, offering the perfect combination of out-of-the-box functionality and flexibility to meet each customer’s unique needs.
The key is simple
Like the Thingworx Ready Reader — and, really, every other popular product or process we’ve ever developed — Gopherwerx® solutions were created as a direct result of customer feedback and demand from the market. Anytime we’ve gotten some “incredible” idea and tried to pursue it without determining first and foremost whether there’s a need and desire for it in the market, we’ve ended up wasting time, effort, and money.
So, the conclusion isn’t a hard one to reach: if you’re looking to profit from technological innovation, start with what your customer wants and needs first, then let your imagination start going wild figuring out the most incredible (but practical) way to give them what they’re looking for.
Rob Simmons is the co-founder and VP of Business Development at Freedom RFID, a RFID development and consultancy firm and makers of the GopherWerx® line of asset management solutions. Visit them online at Freedom RFID and GopherWerx, or call 704-228-0204 with any questions or comments.
For more information on the latest cutting-edge RFID solutions, register for LiveWorx 18, June 17-20, 2018 in Boston!