The Internet of Things (IoT) has become a game-changer in the business world, transforming the way companies operate and enhancing efficiency across various industries.
We asked our Sales Director, Kirk Appleford, to share his unique perspective on the industry, as he has been an IoT pioneer for over two decades. Kirk's extensive experience and insights are invaluable assets in this rapidly evolving market. In this interview, he will discuss the challenges that agro-industrial companies face and how technology can help them reduce costs and optimize their operations if they overcome their fear of new technologies.
What is your experience in the industry, and why did you get involved in IoT?
I have over 20 years of working in the IoT industry which started before it was even called the Internet of Things. Throughout my career I have developed and integrated solutions for various industries, including oil and gas, railway, and agro-industrial sectors. In the last decade, I specialized in the agro-industry and food production. I have always focused on meeting the client's needs by ensuring they get the right solution. What attracted me to IoT and specifically to a solution like Webee is its agnostic approach, providing a holistic service to the client regardless of where the data comes from. The data's value is more important than its origin, and Webee helps clients manage and extract that value. I saw how this type of technology is a game-changer in helping organizations in the areas where they need help the most. I want to help create solutions that move the needle for production companies worldwide.
What are the main challenges you find for agro industrial companies today?
There are specific challenges that companies face and these are often barriers to the market and business development. One of the most significant obstacles is the delay in implementing new technologies due to a lack of knowledge about them or the fear of integrating them into old industries that “already work”.
It takes some time for agro-industrial companies to adopt new technologies compared to other industries such as oil and gas or manufacturing. This delay can range from three to five years. Additionally, large corporations often lack the resources and knowledge to develop IoT departments, making it challenging to implement new technologies. As a result, educating them on the latest technology trends and how to implement them becomes a crucial part of our job at Webee and in the IoT industry.
Tech companies need to provide solutions that not only works but is also easy to implement and involves the front-line workers to ensure a seamless transition. If I have to list the main challenges for agro-industrial companies would be: to optimize purchases and logistics, minimize losses or waste, and focus on environmental factors such as energy efficiency and water conservation.
How do you thing technology can contribute to improving operations and reducing costs in the agro-industry?
In my experience technology can revolutionize the agro-industry by introducing intelligent decisions based on data. Many agro-industrial sectors lack technology , especially the tropical crop agro-industry, making it challenging to optimize operations and reduce costs. We need to introduce technology gradually, starting with sensors and platforms like Webee and then incorporating more complex tools. This will help farmers make data-driven decisions, such as adjusting the amount of fertilizer used, reducing waste, and improving crop yields.
How does Webee differ from other platforms on the market?
What sets Webee apart from the rest is that it is a diagnostic platform that normalizes the data. In the agro-industry, for instance, soil moisture sensors vary in their display of values from manufacturer to manufacturer. Webee ensures that the data is normalized to make everything look the same, but the most crucial aspect is not just visualization but also extracting the added value. Webee has numerous features like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and more. These are the added value that Webee provides, making it unique compared to other platforms.
While other platforms generate immediate action without human analysis and make you work with the platform, Webee works for you providing valuable insights that can greatly enhance the productivity and efficiency of industrial operations.
Webee's software solutions are designed to help businesses leverage technology and optimize their operations. If you're looking for ways to improve your company's productivity, consider taking the next step and exploring what Webee can offer.