This article is the first in a series highlighting companies that are growing and innovating through the Internet of Things.

It’s no secret that smart products – connected systems with data-tracking sensors – are redefining customer experiences and creating a wealth of new business opportunities in almost every industry. And while companies have always had to meet rising global competition by offering new, innovative products, the Internet of Things (IoT) has elevated the possibilities for inventiveness and useful new features to a whole new level.

The tool and hardware industry is no exception. Stanley Black and Decker, leading industrial tools and hardware manufacturer, was recognized in 2017 as one of the world’s most admired companies. They identified the IoT opportunity early and turned to the Seebo platform to produce a game-changing smart product that would meet their market needs. Here’s what happened:

The smart tools challenge: build the right product

The market demand for safer, smarter tools is on the rise, and Stanley knew they had to command a leadership position in this market segment by getting in early. But with thousands of different sensors and components available, it can take months, at best – to ideate, identify, and test out the ‘smart features’ that will deliver compelling value to your products and be technically and financially feasible.

Smart tools from Stanley: the Smart Measure Pro and App.
A Stanley Smart Measure Pro and App. Smart tools like these are giving Stanley an edge in the hardware and tool markets.

Stanley accelerated the process by exploring hundreds of features on the Seebo platform, including components for increased tool durability, performance monitoring, measuring worker productivity, and ensuring worker safety.

Stanley quickly pinpointed and modeled two winning concepts on the platform: one concept that focuses on preserving performance longevity and enhancing functionality of a high-end, delicate tool, and another concept that measures productivity and tracks user goals.

Another challenge is assessing the overall costs for the system – across all hardware, software, and firmware components. Even companies that are familiar with hardware will have to source entirely new components and find new suppliers. The Seebo Smart Product Platform includes a Costing Engine and IoT Marketplace that enabled Stanley to quickly assess the potential costs of their chosen concepts; they even even came up with a few features of their own!

The Stanley team completed the design process by ordering mechanical prototypes, and they used Seebo’s development tools to virtually test the connection between the devices and apps.

Center of excellence for smart product development

The Stanley Black & Decker team presented their two smart tool prototypes  company-wide as an example of the innovation that IoT could offer the company. Now Stanley joins the ranks of other leading companies that hold a strategic position in their industry through smart product innovation, with the toolset and knowhow to quickly deliver winning ideas to market.

They know how to make informed, quick decisions about smart tools, and, in an age where connected products and systems are quickly becoming the best bet for competitive differentiation, they are well-positioned to sustain their market leadership.

Want to learn more about successful IoT deployments? Read additional IoT case studies here.