IoT And Its Impact on Supply Chain Management

May 15, 2020

Reading time about 6 minutes

We cannot deny the fact that we live in a modern digital era where devices are getting smarter than people! With the advances of technologies growing each year, businesses are looking for the best ways to cater to an evolving demand of customers. Embracing the digital transformation at the earliest enable companies to use smart approaches to manage operations effectively leading towards better performance and reduced operating costs. Internet of Things (IoT) is one such technology that involves a collection of interconnected physical devices that can monitor, send, and exchange data with one another.

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Connected with the help of data or Wi-Fi networks, IoT devices use sensors to measure several aspects around them like location, temperature, movement, and other factors. From retail to transportation, IoT has been gaining attention for every major industry and the Supply chain is no exception. Every supply chain management software company is unlocking the potential of IoT to improve the operational efficiency of the distribution and promote more transparency to decision making. Let’s find out how IoT can help in transforming your Supply Chain business!

Significance of IoT in the Supply Chain Industry

Talking about today’s market of the supply chain, it’s not just about the way to keep track of the products but also to achieve a type of transparency to gain a competitive advantage, which is possible through the help of IoT. Let’s find out how IoT will revolutionize the supply chain for operational efficiencies and revenue opportunities.

  • Authenticate Real-time Asset Location

One of the biggest challenges of Supply Chain management that have been resolved by IoT is finding out the location of the goods and when they can be expected to deliver. IoT devices can be attached to specific storage repository or products enabling them to transmit its location through GPS satellites helping in tracking the movement of goods. Additionally, on-time tracking of goods and route planning helps to identify where and when the goods are delayed in transit. Engineers can be alerted, and actions can be taken to come up with alternative routes to speed up the delivery.

  • Track Movement Speed & Traffic Flow

Another benefit of using IoT is to track the speed of traffic flow and movement of the products, making it easy for supply chain retailers to predict how goods will move. This helps the suppliers, distribution centers and manufacturers to prepare themselves for receiving the goods, which helps in saving efforts with effective & timely processing of goods.

  • Analyze Inventory & Forecast Demand

Managing thousands of goods can be difficult for human agents alone, which is why using IoT sensors can be a wise option to provide more accurate inventories. Big brands such as Amazon are making use of WiFi robots to help in scanning the QR codes of the products that should be tracked & arrange orders as per the urgency. Tracking inventory can be done instantly using IoT at the click of a button without a chance of missed deadlines.

  • Save Maintenance Costs

The research states that the smallest on-time change in warehouse management of the supply chain business can save millions. Many retailers are making use of IoT smart sensors on their manufacturing floors to ensure that they don’t miss any planned or predictive maintenance. This will not only help in preventing downtime but also help in informing engineers for on-time maintenance and saving costs that may come up anytime without predictive analysis.

  • Coordination between Goods Carriers

In any evolving supply chain business, it is important to ensure that all the carriers such as shipping boxes, suppliers, delivery vans, etc. are in contact with one another to help in the timely delivery of products to the customers. As delivery may be in different cities, keeping track of this information will help the manufacturers to fasten delivery during emergencies by clearing traffic issues.

  • Simplify Retail Operations

As the size of the warehouse grows, it is hectic for floor workers to locate the product physically. Using IoT, a connected warehouse with sensors for each shelf can be created that can signal an autonomous robotic cart to collect goods and bring them to the shipping location. This not helps in maintaining transparency to the retail operations but also saves manual labor efforts. RFID tags and sensors promote better stocking & asset tracking that enable retailers to make customer-centric decisions.

Things to Keep in Mind Before Using IoT in the Supply Chain

From the points stated above, we know that IoT devices can provide immense benefits to the supply chain industry. From early identification of issues in goods, real-time shipment to inventory tracking, easier supply/demand, and efficient retail operations, IoT is there to help in monitoring the goods at every phase of the supply chain. However, few things must be kept in mind if you thinking to add IoT in your supply chain business. Let’s find out-

  • A good network is a must to ensure connectivity and avail the best advantages of IoT as they won’t work properly if there is any radio or electrical frequency interference.
  • All the types of devices transmit some data like positions of good through GPS satellites, which is why WiFi, Bluetooth, and other connectivity may be needed to function well.
  • Trained professionals are required to handle the IoT devices as they tend to get damaged if not handled correctly.
  • The IoT devices in supply chain management will work best when they are installed and powered properly.

Wrapping Up

After realizing the immense benefits that IoT offers in the Supply Chain industry, companies should make use of IoT applications to enable easy tracking, authenticate genuine products, and shipments using GPS and other technologies. Whether you are a startup or a large company working in supply chain management, it would be the best choice to use IoT technology to accomplish your business goals faster. Get in touch with the leading IoT app development company to make use of IoT and facilitate easy tracking and monitoring of goods. Keep up with the evolving technology to stay updated and bring more transparency to the communication process in the supply chain industry.