So far this year, we’ve seen a lot of excitement over “smart” consumer products. But when it comes to business, connected devices can deliver big returns. Imagine always having the right part on the assembly line, or updating your product’s software without asking customers to visit a store. The commercial applications for the Internet of Things (IoT) are virtually limitless.

Smart technology—like DADO’s platform, which enables Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections—can offer value in any industry. But the trend is really shifting into gear in the automotive industry. Here are three companies in the IoT express lane:

Driver #1: GM

What they did: Redesigned manufacturing processes to save millions

On the factory floor, little changes can make a big difference. Manufacturers have used sensors and automation for years, but the ones who are adopting the latest generation of smart technology—think integrated, network-based data—are winning big. Of the companies using smart manufacturing in their plants, 82% say they’ve boosted efficiency, 49% see fewer product defects, and 45% have happier customers, according to a survey from the American Society for Quality.

By collecting data at key points in the manufacturing process, companies can solve problems in the supply chain, make decisions faster, and create better automation. For example, GM uses sensor data to decide whether it’s too humid to paint a car. If it is, the car is routed to another part of the plant for other work. This minor change saved GM millions of dollars by cutting down on repainting work and downtime. Now that’s smart.

Driver #2: Tesla

What they did: Resolved a recall “over the air”

Recalls are costly for auto makers and frustrating for consumers. Normally, a recall forces customers to visit the nearest dealership for a repair, at the manufacturer’s cost. But thanks to smart technologies, these common disruptions may become a relic of the past.

Recently, Tesla needed to quickly resolve an issue with the electrical charging system in its popular Model S. Instead of asking customers to bring their cars into a Tesla Service Center, the company simply performed an “over the air” software update. Customers could confirm they received the update by tapping their car’s touchscreen—and then getting on with their lives.

Driver #3: Zipcar

What they did: Tracked every move of their rental cars

Connected technologies can fine-tune existing business models … or create entirely new ones. Take Zipcar. Customers may rent cars by the hour in return for usage and membership fees. Need a car right now? Members can use their smartphones to find the nearest vehicle, and with a swipe of their access card, unlock the door.

Zipcar tracks every car in its fleet by using RFID transponders and a wireless data link. These sensors and connections make it possible to lock and unlock doors, record mileage, and upload data to a central computer. This model has been so successful that more traditional car rental companies are taking note.

Until recently, the time and cost to develop connected systems were enough to put the brakes on many commercial applications. But today’s all-in-one IoT platforms make harnessing smart technology more accessible than ever. In fact, a single-source OEM integration platform could be the on-ramp for your next commercial IoT application, whether it’s for the assembly line, supply chain, or product lifecycle. To learn more, visit us at DADO Labs.