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How IoT is Changing the Future of the Supply Chain

Supply chain management (SCM) is the broad range of activities needed to plan, control and execute a product’s flow, from procuring raw materials and production through distribution to the final customer, in the most streamlined and cost-effective way possible.

Ensuring all supply chain components are running as smooth as possible helps businesses to provide on-time delivery of products and services, with changing consumer demands and supply chain disruptions brought about by the recent pandemic.

This blog post’s focus is to throw some light on “How IoT aka Internet of Things is bringing about a big impact” in the future of supply chain activities.

Let’s first understand the 7 Principles of SCM

  1. Adapt supply chain based on service needs of every customer segment
  2. Customize logistics network for each customer segment
  3. Align demand planning across the supply chain
  4. Differentiate product closer to customer’
  5. Outsource strategically
  6. Develop information technology that support multi-level decision making
  7. Adopt both service and finance metrics

Now let’s look at the Impact of IoT in the future of supply chain.

Asset Tracking

One of the top and fundamental function of IoT in supply chain is asset tracking. Locating containers, objects and personnel is considered way important among the organizations

Through RFID and GPS sensors, real-time location of a product, truck or shipping container can be known by logistics operators.

IoT devices list in supply chain

Fleet Management

Fleet management is another area to improve the efficiency of logistics operations. Through IoT it is now possible to connect all fleets to each other, which allows the fleet dispatchers to collect breadth of data from their fleet operations.

Data included are:

1. Weather conditions

2. Traffic situations

3. Driving pattern and

4. Average speed

When thoroughly analysed, this data can help logistics operators to find more efficient routes, manage driver head counts, save on fuel cost and optimize their fleet reliability, availability and efficiency.

Tracking and Monitoring Inventory Levels in Real Time

IoT sensors play a great role in tracking and monitoring inventory levels in real time. Amazon is now using Wi-Fi robots to scan product codes present on the products to keep track of their inventory levels.

IoT enabling real time supply chain visibility - How IoT is Changing the Future of the Supply Chain

Bluetooth tags and beacons offer tracking data in more confined areas- many retail stores are using these tracking technology software to monitor customer traffic and provide marketing messages to their customers.

Vendor Management

By asset tracking., organizations tend to come out with high quality output, which in turn improves their relationship with the vendors. A recent survey states that up to 65% of the value a company’s product /service is derived from its suppliers.

Predictive Maintenance

Being an asset intensive process, right from production machinery to warehouse equipment and delivery vehicles, these assets need to be continuously monitored to ensure their functional efficiency.

Smart sensors help the logistics operators gauge if a particular asset needs to be serviced ahead of time. This reduces considerable asset down time and asset failure, thus saving cost including maintenance cost.