How the Internet of Things (IoT) is Changing the Future of the Supply Chain
More than 50% of major business processes will be incorporating some form of the Internet of Things come the year 2020, as stated in a 2017 report by Gartner on IoT’s Challenges and Opportunities. One of these business processes, according to them, includes the supply chain.
What is the Internet of Things?
Gartner defines the Internet of Things (IoT) as
“technology foundation of digital business that presents a myriad of opportunities for leading organizations to address their business issues.”
Additionally, Forbes describes it as
“the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other).”
While often overlooked, the application of the Internet of Things in certain business processes has made waves in terms of making exceptional changes and developments. Efficiency and quality of the processes and their subsequent results, therefore, are heavily improved upon thought this integration. In terms of supply chain management, these improvements have led to a revolutionary change in the international trade landscape – changing the game forever.
How can the Internet of Things Change Supply Chain?
From sensors that can provide detailed visibility of items in transit to cloud platforms that can be deployed to optimize fleet management and load dispatching, several IoT technologies are already being leveraged by logistics operators to ensure efficient operations, gain an edge on their competitors, and build and develop their brand skillfully. This not only ensures that quality matches up with quantity when it comes to final productions, but also fosters trust and loyalty between the business and their clientele.
And with the hyperconnectivity of the world through the Internet, companies dealing with the supply chain are highly recommended to adapt to this growing change, lest they get left behind by the rest of the industry.
Here are the key takeaways on the different supply chain management use cases that have been enabled by the IoT, as seen in this infographic by Alba Logistics.
- Asset Tracking – Through RFID and GPS sensors, logistics operators can now know where a product, truck, or shipping container is located in real-time. IoT technologies also allow supply chain professionals a tighter grip on quality control and on-time deliveries.
- Fleet management – Through IoT, it is now possible to connect all fleets to each other, which then allow fleet dispatchers to collect breadth of data from their fleet operations.
- Inventory and Warehouse Management – Through internet-connected trackers using long-range networks called Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs), companies can track specific items, equipment, and vehicles within their warehouse facility.
- Vendor Management – Through IoT technologies, logistic operators can play closer attention to how their vendors are handling the shipments they are sending to them, and how they are handling their product once it is made.
- Predictive Maintenance – Smart sensors enable logistics operators to determine if a particular asset needs to be serviced ahead of time. This results in reduces assets downtime and asset failure, thus saving costs, including maintenance cost.
Internet of Things + Supply Chain Infographic
Read more about these benefits and how they can immensely help your business grow and improve in the coming years by checking out the infographic now.
This article & infographic on the Internet of Things (IoT) was provided by Patrick Daly. Patrick, Founder and Managing Director of Alba Logistics, has worked in the manufacturing and logistics sector for over 25 years. He is also active on the Councils of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Ireland, and the Irish Exporters Association as well as being chairman of the Latin American Trade Forum.