The Internet of things (IoT) is revolutionizing all aspects of our global industry by connecting the digital and physical world. There are now billions of devices worldwide that connect to the internet and gather or share data. This depicts the magnitude of revenue opportunities that IoT offers businesses to position their brand for enhanced growth.
One of the most exhilarating areas of its impact is the supply chain. From manufacturing to shipping and delivery to the end-site, the IoT ensures seamless integrations at every stage of the supply chain. This not only offers enhanced transparency into the transit process of the goods but also provides a huge collection of insightful data that enables organizations to remain competitive in the market.
More and more companies are now implementing IoT to automate their supply chains and make decisions that result in high financial impact. In this article, we will learn from the examples of some companies that are using IoT to track their products, assigning items with individual digital links, and organizing the collected data into trends.
A smart supply chain enables businesses to track product flows, share insights and information with the relevant stakeholders and introduce more comprehensive product portfolios.
These elements are crucial for a healthy supply chain that promises seamless communication between people and processes. One way to diminish the supply chain's ever-growing complexity is assigning individual products with digital links like QR codes, Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, and more.
These digital links or tags are product-specific and can be used to check the item’s location, purchase information, and even marketing details. After collecting this information, organizations can organize these insights and data into trends.
This data can then be shared with team members using project management and collaboration tools to manage tasks on the go, allowing the digital links to highlight how a specific product moved from one place to another. This causes an influx of data and information crucial for streamlining supply chain processes and gaining transparency at each level.
For the longest time, companies have been facing a lack of real-time supply chain data required for operational analysis and ensuring a seamless product flow.
Organizations’ supply chains have either relied on scanned barcode data or data that is manually entered. Both of these methods are highly vulnerable to errors making them more expensive and least effective.
In this case, digital links offer a potential solution to gain more transparency into the supply chains. This problem has afflicted supply chains in the past. This is why several organizations are using digital product links to get real-time supply chain data.
The right IoT platform assigns product links that make them more trackable. It should offer detailed insights into how the organizations’ supply chain works, how they move through different supply chain stages, and how it is delivered to end-consumers.
The biggest reason behind leveraging such platforms includes complete transparency into all supply chain processes and levels to collect strategic data to drive business growth.
IoT is changing the way supply chains operate to ensure operational efficiency and capitalize on revenue opportunities. Today, efficient and streamlined supply chains are not characterized by just tracking the products. They are an effective means for gaining a competitive edge in the market and increasing brand visibility.
Some of the most innovative ways that the IoT has changed supply chains include:
Determine The Location Of Products At All Times
IoT devices are attached to products or their containers. The signals emitted by IoT are detected by GPS satellites that can then track the goods' location.
Assess The Storage Conditions Of The Products
Certain products need to be stored under prescribed optimal conditions. Here, IoT devices monitor the storage area’s temperature, humidity, light intensity, and other environmental factors.
These devices alert the authorities when the conditions exceed the optimal range. This makes it easier to reduce the costs of spoilage of raw materials or products.
Effective Route Planning
The IoT presents a huge amount of data and analytics that enables businesses to deal with problems before they even arise. This reduces the risks of wasting money and efforts on failed processes, thus paving more revenue opportunities.
IoT devices can track the products or raw materials and monitor the location and time when they get delayed while passing through the supply chain. This enables organizations to plan for effective alternative routes so that the supply chains do not experience a disruption.
Products tagged with an IoT device can be easily found in a large storage area or warehouse. Moreover, it helps with quick and easier identification of the goods.
IoT Is Making Businesses More Proactive
The supply chain is one of the most crucial parts of a business that plays a massive role in determining its success and failure. By implementing IoT, companies can get enhanced visibility into their supply chains and track their products during different transit stages.
It is reported that there will be 25 billion IoT devices by 2021 that announce more innovations and transformations in the supply chain industry, among others. This will make businesses more proactive with their operational efficiency, thus reducing the waste of their time, money, and efforts.
Several organizations have already started to transform their supply chain processes using the IoT. But to ensure its success, all members of the supply chain network have to be connected. When companies gather data about their supply chains and learn more about them, they are in a position to weed out all the vulnerabilities and offer the right information to their customers.
This also means training their employees in the best practices of cybersecurity and data collection. Such information and training help organizations become more in tune with their day-to-day business operations and supply chain processes.
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