The supply chain ecosystem and the processes span around them are the biggest beneficiaries of the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. Sensors, controllers and other IoT devices aid everything from individual products to shipping containers. They are embedded throughout factories and warehouses and are helping in tracking fleets of ships, trucks and other vehicles. These connected entities give organizations real-time, end-to-end visibility, and control across their supply chain. With the data-driven operation, big data analytics, anywhere-anytime cloud-based services, and other complementary technologies make supply chain processes much more predictable, cost-efficient, and efficient.
But capitalizing on the potential of IoT requires careful planning and involves tackling a variety of challenges. Below are just some of the ways IoT is impacting supply chain operations.
1. Fleet management: Companies are equipping trucks with internet aided sensors that allow fleets to communicate with each other. It gives real-time access to the entire fleet, giving the ability to provide a more accurate delivery. Rerouting deliveries based on traffic, weather conditions, can save fuel costs.
2. Asset tracking: The RFID and GPS sensors can track the assets from floor to store. Manufacturers can also use these sensors to gain data like the temperature at which an item was stored, how long it spent in cargo, and even how long it took to fly off the shelf. The data provided by IoT gives companies a tighter grip on quality, on-time delivery, and product forecasting.
3. Forecasting and inventory: IoT sensors can provide more accurate inventories than the human can manage. It makes manufacturing schedule even more efficient.
4.Vendor relations: The data obtained through asset tracking allows companies to tweak their production schedules and recognizing vendor relations. It is a huge merit to pay attention to how vendors are handling the supplies, and how they are handling the product once it is made. Higher quality goods bring better relationship and better customer retention.
5. Scheduled maintenance: The smart sensors in IoT can also be used in manufacturing floors to manage maintenance and prevent downtime that cost so much.