IoT: Driving force for supply chain management


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Internet of things technology is flourishing at a rapid pace with each passing day. There are many industries utilizing the full potential of IoT, namely, water, transportation, oil & gas, to name a few. One such industry is the supply chain. Internet-enabled connected devices help in streamlining the procedures of the supply chain industry.  For example, sensors embedded on each shipment enables concerned parties to easily track products during the product cycle. Role of IoT in supply chain management is quite useful in retail industry wherein effective inventory management can reduce problems like stockout to a lot of extents.

IoT smart devices provide real-time data about decrease in stock of a particular product and concerned managers can plan for adding more stock of that product. Connected devices are used for keeping a track of customers and stock of products in supply chain process, through a web or mobile app.

Why integrate IoT in supply chain?

  • For proving better products to customers
  • For upgrading quality of products
  • For recognizing issues in inventory in advance

Businessmen are making headway in advancing their supply chain management for meeting consumer requirements efficaciously. Internet-enabled connected devices give valuable solutions for tackling problems in supply chain, such as the difference in demand-supply, irregularity in market trends, etc. Industrial IoT is an innovation in the transportation and logistics industry because it enables them to enhance profitability.

Role of IoT in different segments of supply chain management:

Adequate integration of IoT in supply chain management has wide-array of advantages for managers to get essential data at each stage of supply chain. Assorted range of IoT solutions can help business owners to take their supply chain business to the next level.

Here is the list of advantages of IoT in supply chain management.

#1 Planning:

Inventory is now connected in entire supply chain. Internet of things connected devices helps supply chain to easily keep a track of existing finished product in different distribution centers as well as sales networks. The data received to concerned managers will eventually enable them to check real-time product demand by customers. If in case stock of a product is not available then sensors provide data about raw material availability required for manufacturing that specific product. Furthermore, according to manufacturing capacity of the product, generating production of the inventory is sent to right organization.

#2 Sourcing:

If supplier fails to provide a stock of product on time, then the process of searching another supplier begins through IoT in supply chain management. In this way, problems in production plan are reduced which in turn leads to on-time delivery of products. Real-time data received from sensors keep concerned managers updated about such problems that arise in supply chain.

#3 Manufacturing:

IoT enabled smart devices plays an important role in manufacturing segment of supply chain. Manufacturing of products is carried out efficiently with the usage of feature-rich smart devices that makes manufacturing of products easier and hassle-free. Integrating IoT devices in manufacturing units provides real-time data to managers regarding machine functioning factors and it can further improve process workflows.          

Benefits of using IoT in supply chain management:

#1 Comprehensive inventory management:

Managing inventory is one of the daunting tasks in supply chain procedures. It is crucial for organizations to have an adequate amount of stock to meet customer’s orders. IoT provides better visibility of stock to warehouse managers. Tracking inventory is as easy as pie because smart devices transmit data and concerned persons check it on software easily. Bluetooth usage can be optimized for tracking data in a limited space like warehouses. Role of IoT in Transportation is to improve the supply chain management with accurate stock levels derived through smart devices and sensors.

#2 Tracking goods during transit:

Another important part of supply chain is that stock or products must be transported in appropriate manner. At times, there are issues during shipment that further spoil the stock. So, sensors are used in transportation to monitor temperature, humidity, and other essential parameters so that goods remain fresh until it reaches destination. Real-time notification is received by managers about fluctuation in temperature of goods during transportation.

#3 Reduction in unwanted delays:

At times, products reach late to end customers and this causes an impact on overall reputation of supply chain industry. IoT enabled sensors provides time-to-time data of location where goods in transit have reached. It further helps managers to know the reason why goods are received late. For example, truck drivers have to take a different route in transportation because of traffic, etc. Here IoT comes into picture. Smart devices help fleet managers to check the clear route and accordingly contact truck drivers to take that route for preventing delay in transporting goods to destination.

#4 Reduction in spoilage of goods:

IoT enabled devices provide accurate real-time data regarding sensitive factors of goods during transportation, such as temperature and humidity. It can arise due to malfunctioning of cooling system. Concerned supply chain managers can immediately take further steps to prevent spoilage of goods by contacting truck drivers to alter cooling system/regulator well in advance. It is because notification about life of cooling system is received by managers before time.

#5 Smart manufacturing procedures:

SMEs in supply chain find it difficult to carry out business tasks with a small group of employees. IoT enabled devices require less human intervention for operations. Sensors embedded technology provides real-time data efficiently to managers that lead to effective management of inventory. Smart manufacturing process includes interconnected devices that help business owners streamline their organization. Smart manufacturing processes are much effective than traditional manufacturing processes. It enables the smooth-functioning of supply chain management. Furthermore, it also helps in increasing revenues with a decrease in unwanted costs. 

Closing Thoughts:

So, it would not be wrong to say that Internet of things is of great help to decrease unnecessary costs and enhance revenues to a lot of extents. If you are into supply chain business and looking forward to get a smashing smart device developed then feel free to contact us and we will assist you further in choosing right IoT end-to-end solution for your business.

Author Bio

Sanjeev is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Biz4Intellia, responsible for leading Biz4Intellia’s global business strategy and operations. Being an Internet of Things (IoT) enthusiastic from the beginning of its professional career, Sanjeev loves to read and write blog/articles related to the disruptive technologies that are trending.


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