By YonBee Yang | December 15, 2020
IoT (Internet of Things) is on the rise towards redefining supply chain processes. The power of IoT lies in intelligently connecting people, processes, data in the supply chain through cloud computing networks, sensors, and communication devices. The data gathered through IoT sensors enables business to optimize their supply chain and to analyse their customer behaviour. Supply chains benefit from live data as it provides unprecedented visibility into every process and transaction within the supply chain. IoT sensors enable businesses to track their inventory including the supplies they have in stock for future manufacturing. For instance, Amazon uses Wi-Fi robots to scan QR codes on its items to track orders.
IoT enabled supply chain analytics dashboards provide opportunities for supply chain leaders to have better access to real-time data and transform today’s outdated supply chain structures. Thus, creating the supply chains of the future that are hyperconnected, innovative, transparent, and intelligent.
Fully transparent supply chain processes allow companies to sense and respond to disruptions in the supply chains with extreme precision. Thanks to the constant flow of data and insights provided by real-time cargo monitoring, companies can uncover the unknown by revealing supply chain related issues. In-transit visibility creates vast opportunities for supply chain optimization. It reveals insights that enable logistics and supply chain professionals to optimize shipping routes by defining safe and optimal routes, to evaluate carrier performance levels against benchmarks, to analyse logistics carbon footprint, to improve security of cargo and to reduce business risk.
Food retailers use IoT sensors to monitor the temperature and humidity of goods kept in storage chambers to ensure goods reach the retail markets in good condition. Manufacturers use IoT enabled cameras to detect defects and reject faulty products. Farmers use IoT devices to monitor soil moisture and decide the ideal time to harvest. Chemical manufacturers use IoT sensors in the supply chain to monitor and trigger an alarm if the raw materials are exposed to high temperatures. Some postal services use smart mailboxes in remote areas to see whether they are empty and avoid a wasted journey before collection. Temperature sensitive pharmaceutical products are being monitored with sensors to ensure product integrity after leaving the warehouse. Data from such sensors can integrate with business information systems to provide rich business intelligence.
As retailers look to combine their online presence with physical stores, the ability to collect and make data visible at key points in the supply chain is an enabler to improving the customer experience and optimizing supply chain responsiveness. A pallet on a truck can transmit messages showing exactly what products, sizes and style variations are included, not to mention the temperature or humidity goods are being transported in. Sensors can even be used to locate the whereabouts of products and staff in large depots and on the road to help calculate the time of arrival.
Last-mile delivery is considered an important aspect of supply chain processes. A lot of researchers have explained how the delivery experience has a profound impact on increasing the chances of repeated orders. IoT in supply chain improves the last-mile delivery process by providing accurate information on products. IoT sensors gather supply chain data for faster and efficient delivery of products. In today’s scenario, the supply chain is not only about keeping track of products. Indeed, it is a way to gain an edge over competitors and even build your own brand. The traditional supply chain faces several challenges like high cost, delivery uncertainty, and vulnerable problems. IoT addresses these major challenges by building a smart and secure supply chain system.
Interested to learn if IoT would benefit your organization’s supply chain? Reach out to one of our subject matter experts today to get started!
Contributors: Amith Perisetla, Supply Chain Principal at Bricz