As the internet of things (IOT) becomes more integrated into our lives, it is predicted to have a series of outcomes that will greatly impact the hospitality industry’s business model.  This integration will potentially yield several notable strides in improving the customer experience as furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) becomes integrated with the IOT.  Here are four predictions of where this change will be most significant.

1. Customer Service and IT Departments Working Closer Together

Integration of the IOT into everyday objects (tables, desks, lamps, etc.) making them them into smart objects is expected to be widespread within the next ten years.  These smart objects will be able to provide data sets that have the potential to generate a wealth of information which has the possibility to improve and streamline business practices.  However, this will create a shift in the current business operations in the hospitality industry.

Restructuring customer service and IT departments within the hospitality industry so that they can work more synonymously is going to be a necessary first step. (Click to Tweet)  These two departments will need to work closely to create effective strategies for implementing changes based on the new data to improve the customer experience.  Most 3PL companies have an IT staff ready to assist with transitions of this type, especially since the IOT has already begun to disrupt the hospitality logistics industry.

2. Better Location Tracking & Improved Transportation Methods

As FF&E become equipped with the IOT, the ability of manufacturers and hospitality businesses to keep an accurate list of what is being shipped, where things are being shipped, and when items need to be replenished/replaced becomes much easier.  Additionally, the vehicles which transport FF&E are expected to have improved IOT capabilities in coming years, which will provide yet another level of transparency into the supply chain.  Ideally, a hospitality logistics company will be able to work in conjunction with a hospitality business to maximize the effectiveness of such data.

In addition to automobiles being retrofitted with the IOT, there is an initiative to add sensors to traffic cameras, traffic signals, and roads that will communicate with each other to create more efficient traffic patterns.  Simultaneously, this will allow vehicles to inform drivers of upcoming traffic, accidents, and even severe weather.

Severe weather is a consistent and regular threat to efficiency in the supply chain.  Currently, weather reports are developed in combination with satellite images and ground based weather stations, and while these are helpful, they are not always effective or helpful to supply chain hospitality logistics.  As the IOT improves and becomes more widespread, it will increase the accuracy of information specific to current weather patterns which can be analyzed and then sent to commuters who can view relevant weather conditions in real time.  

3.  Improved Service Models

Improved service models can be expected as the IOT improves and becomes more incorporated with FF&E.  This is because the interactions that consumers have with the FF&E, with smart object capabilities, can provide useful data for creating more efficient and unique user experiences.  

4. More Efficient & Responsible Business Models

Using these new outlets to gather data that will allow the hospitality industry to improve processes and business practices is set to be an incredible opportunity.  But, caution should be exercised when diving in too deep with the large amount of data generated from smart objects.  Specifically, not all data gained from the IOT will be useful or even relevant to improving efficiency or user experience, so it is necessary to have a dedicated team in place to decipher the static data from the intent data.

It is common knowledge that all data generated today requires a highly skilled analytics team to interpret the blocks of information to define the key performance indicators (KPI’s) and how to leverage those in your current business goals. Here is where a 3PL company that has the ability to manage the hospitality logistics operations and IT analytics regarding FF&E can prove to be valuable partners.  (For more information about big data, check out our other blog post)


As the IOT improves and begins to be incorporated into FF&E, this will disrupt the hospitality industry.  It will improve efficiency in almost all aspects of operation, however, it will require a significant restructuring process to accommodate this shift.  3PL companies who have pre-existing relationships with manufacturing companies that produce FF&E, and have an on-staff IT department capable interpreting large data sets can help businesses in the hospitality industry evolve with these upcoming changes. (Click to Tweet)




Axis Worldwide offers a wide spectrum of “Industrial & Hospitality” supply chain logistics/managed freight services for Fortune 500 companies. Our expertise, experience, and buying power allows us to offer the best transportation rates and frequent transit times within the US, Canada, Mexico, Asia and Europe. Through our licensed, US bonded facility in Southern California and other facilities, we provide warehouse and distribution solutions to our clients. Our freight services include air freight, both domestic and international, ocean import/export, less than truckloadfull truckload, and emergency ground expedites. We also provide emergency air freight services 24/7.