IoT and Supply Chain Management
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a network of connected devices, objects, and sensors that collect and communicate information. IoT in supply chain management helps businesses serve their customers well and increase overall efficiency. With the increased importance of warehousing and supply chain to eCommerce, there’s never been a better time to adopt IoT technology to logistics. It is all set to revolutionize the supply chain with operational efficiencies as well as revenue opportunities made possible with transparency. The following are few ways where companies can improve the operation of their supply chain by using IoT capabilities.
Transparency and accountability are very important elements of a functional supply chain. Real-time tracking provides both. IoT devices such as GPS monitors can track everything from shipment to temperature, providing every fact that helps logistic professionals understand how exactly their supply chain works. Real-time tracking especially works best for temperature-sensitive goods where IoT devices automatically flag shipments that have left a safe temperature zone and help to keep customers protected from spoiled goods.
As businesses now want to automate most of their warehouse tasks. For that purpose, they’ll need accurate and readily available data to power their automated systems. IoT sensors help to successfully hold automated tasks. While most supply chains don’t adopt advanced levels of automation at once, almost every system can benefit from at least one of the many innovations of the IoT enhanced supply chain.
Businesses are now able to use IoT sensors with a variety of components to manage inventory more efficiently. IoT inventory systems help to keep the track of supply levels of several critical elements in real-time and prevent shortages. It also provides data that can be analyzed to predict future inventory needs.
A properly implemented IoT system can help improve a business’s demand forecasting. IoT systems improve data accuracy by automatically collecting data and providing managers with materials that help in creating demand forecasts. It improves data collection practices and reduces the influence of human error. It collects data at all times or at specified intervals and even collects the data that would be difficult to collect manually.
Many big companies like Cargotec and DHL are using IoT in logistics to monitor their operations, increasing visibility and saving costs.
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