IoT: The Eyes and Ears of the supply chain.


The Internet of Things has the potential to change the world, just as the Internet did, Maybe even more so but as pioneers have discover, you have to run before you can walk

The future of your business totally depends on how your company reacts to change. With this post, you would get a rough idea as to how Xfleet IoT supply chain could help your company drive digital transformation.

Decide what’s right for your organization and take the first step.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to reach out to cloud team.



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IoT refers to a rapidly growing network of connected devices and objects which capture and relay data such as temperature or location in real time. Smart speakers and wifi-connected home appliances are common examples in the consumer market, and the technology is on the precipice of widespread adoption throughout the world’s interlinked supply chains, as RFID chips. mobile sensors, and more.

According to Gartner, IoT is at the bottom of the Trough of Disillusionment, the low point preceding broad application as an industry-standard technology. Mike Burkett, analyst and Research VP at the Gartner Supply Chain Practice, says that although companies are increasingly investing in the technology, and implementing it, “they struggle to define the best opportunities for using its measurement and tracking capabilities”.

But the truth is that supply chains need IoT. Gartner’s report forecasts near ubiquity before the end of the decade. Five-fold growth in IoT application is expected between 2018 and 2028, with 1.9bn IoT endpoints in use across manufacturing and natural resources industries by the end of the 10-year period. 

These connected devices are becoming the eyes and ears through which professionals visualise and monitor their supply chain. As supply chains become ever more complex and global than ever before, supply chain leaders need greater visibility to surmount supply shocks, such as port closures, material shortages, and demand spikes. 

Here, the data collection capability of IoT technology comes into its own. Routinely used to monitor inventory, track the movement of mass shipments, and provide geolocation on individual pallets, parcels and containers, supply chain leaders have never had access to such accurate information. It has also been the key technology in Industry 4.0, allowing for more accurate maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) in manufacturing and production, as well as providing real-time data for digital twins in industrial settings. 

Top 3 Benefits of IoT Supply Chain Solutions

Internet of Things (IoT) won’t solve every problem or enhance every process, but it can remove human error and collect data from environments that are too hazardous or complex via manual methods.

Automation 

Everything from shipment verification efficiency to order accuracy can be increased through automation. IoT automatically scans shipments, relays accurate information on what, where, and when, and lowers the need for manual labour - a significant time and cost-sink for complex and time-sensitive logistics operations. 

Documentation 

How often do supply chains falter due to missing paperwork or errors? More often than you’d think. Using data collected by IoT devices, smart logistics platforms automatically fill in documentation and verify paperwork, removing human error and bringing inaccuracy close to zero. Professionals are freed to handle paperwork that requires human oversight. 

Real-time visibility

Knowing where a shipment is at any given moment is the most important data point for logistics professionals. IoT devices provide real-time data on location, speed, and other factors such as temperature for cold chain operations. Much of this data would be impossible or infeasible to collect manually. Professionals are better informed to mitigate disruption, can forecast more accurate estimated time of arrival, and maintain transparent communication with customers and other stakeholders. 

IoT and Post-Pandemic Problems  

The pandemic placed greater pressure on supply chains to be more resilient and elastic, prompting a wave in investment in digital platforms, powered by data captured through IoT. 

As we prepare for a post-pandemic era, companies increased know-how and awareness of solutions like Smart Analytics and AI will play a key role in evolving the industry’s approach to solving supply chain issues from reactive to proactive, setting them up for future success.

But more data alone, does not solve the manifold issues that supply chains face. People are now free to problem solve and dedicate their time and expertise to exception management. As the volume of real-time and accurate data about the movement of goods rises, so too do the demands on operations teams to make sound business decisions quickly and with confidence, often using AI-powered systems that thrive on improved data to make better decisions.

Though IoT devices are revolutionising the fundamentals of supply chain management (SCM), it is the edge cases where the technology will have the largest impact. Gartner analyst Burkett says: “We have categorised IoT as a transformational technology because it has the potential to impact many areas of the supply chain in a broad and profound way.”

Trialling an IoT monitoring strategy to strengthen the security of sensitive shipments, including medicines, considered a controlled product. 

Building a sustainable supply chain by monitoring capabilities that will improve responsiveness and the security of shipments.

This new features can help customers, giving faster and greater insights into their needs. Combining all this features also help provide value, reduce, their costs, and help them maintain reasonable prices to enable sustainable growth.

Though the whiplash of last year’s COVID-19 breakout has subsided, the impact of the virus has forever changed the way supply chains operate. The efficiencies of the Xfleet in creating software infrastructure for the supply chain have been supplanted by resiliency and agility, where data is key and transparency is everything. IoT will form the backbone of the data-led supply chains of the near future, and organisations that fail to invest and react risk falling behind the new global standard.