The supply chain and logistics networks worldwide are undergoing unprecedented challenges and changes. They are increasingly turning to Industry 4.0 technology for solutions, with the Internet of Things (IoT) tech as the critical component.
Today, IoT is transforming supply chain management (SCM). Forward-looking organizations leverage IoT devices to transform complex supply chains into fully connected networks. For supply chain management verticals, tracking & monitoring are some of the main objectives of IoT deployment. The technology allows warehouse and fleet managers to keep track of their cargo and inventory.
This article will discuss IoT’s importance for supply chain management & logistics, its benefits, use cases, and more.
Table of Contents:
For logistics & SCM operations, tracking is one of its crucial applications. Usually, the entire supply chain suffers from cascading effects when something goes wrong at some stage. So, IoT helps prevent bottlenecks & ensure the smooth functioning of the supply chain from manufacturing & warehousing to transport & delivery. However, there’s more to the Internet of Things than its asset management potential.
IoT combines the power of analytics, cloud, mobile computing & internet networks to change how companies manage their supply chain and logistics. IoT devices would include sensors, trackers & more to connect computer systems through wi-fi networks, GPS, and other technologies to track products & deliveries. They collect real-time data, which is then stored, processed & analyzed in the cloud. IoT saves time & effort by automating several processes or activities throughout the supply chain. It eliminates human errors & prevents significant incidents before they happen.
Did you know?
According to Allied Market Research, the global digital supply chain market is projected to register a CAGR of 13.2% and reach $13,679 million by 2030. The factors driving growth include:
Also, 6 in 10 businesses plan to invest in digital technologies, including IoT, in 2023, according to a KPMG report. The investment will be mainly to:
You can find applications of the Internet of Things in every stage of supply chain management. Here are a few examples:
Real-time Tracking of the Location of Goods & Shipments: Supply chain managers can attach interconnected IoT devices to products or storage containers.
Monitoring Storage Conditions: Environmental factors are one of IoT’s most important applications in the supply chain.
Better Estimation of Goods’ Arrival Time: IoT helps in the efficient processing of materials & reduces their handling times.
Improved Contingency Planning & Risk Mitigation: Supply chain managers can get to the cause of shipment delays.
Locating Goods in Storage: Warehousing facilities have immensely benefitted from the application of IoT technology. IoT makes the management of goods & finding a specific product in a large warehouse easier. It streamlines & automates workflows while enhancing productivity & employee safety.
Triggering Post-arrival Administrative Tasks: IoT’s real-time tracking enables supply chain managers to initiate administrative tasks like onward shipping requests, quality inspections, or payments.
Our team has the experience & skills to support your supply chain & logistics operations for your industrial digital transformation.
IoT is transforming complex supply chains into connected networks. The data collected by IoT devices help streamline tasks across the supply chain & take timely corrective measures to minimize or eliminate losses.
Here are some of the advantages of using IoT in Supply Chain & Logistics:
Industry leaders are already combining IoT with core processes of the Supply Chain & Logistics Industry. Here are a few noteworthy industry applications:
Smart Warehouse: A smart warehouse uses machines and computers to complete everyday operations like shifting racks, labeling, and more. It was something humans previously performed.
Remote Container Management: The RCM (Remote container management) technology allows monitoring of the current location of refrigerated containers and the temperature & humidity inside the container. It shows the power connection status anytime on board the vessel and during transportation.
Predictive Maintenance Solution: It helps optimize equipment maintenance by using sensors, AI & data science. Thus it minimizes the minimal maintenance costs and maximizes uptime.
You can also read our blog on the trends & use cases of IoT across industries to know more.
We have experience providing custom software solutions to the Supply Chain Management & Logistics industry. We combine it with our IoT development capabilities to deliver technology solutions that meet the modern-day supply chain & logistics requirements.
Our team has a working knowledge of connectivity technologies, protocols & standards, IoT platforms, sensors, and supportive development frameworks & languages.
Here’s a use case of the Internet of Things and Supply Chain Management from our experience;
One of our US clients for their fleet operations wanted to develop a system to live track their cargo & commercial drivers. Their objective was two-fold:
As their IoT development partner, we supported them with a fleet management mobile solution. Today, the application allows fleet owners & operators to monitor, manage driver logs, and conduct vehicle inspections as needed.
Our team executed the project in two phases.
Phase 1: Mobile app creation to interact with IoT sensors (On-board Diagnostics (OBD) Port II) for GPS tracking & alerts
We utilized Xamarin to develop the electronic logging device app solution and integrated sensors, device functions, data, network-managed services, mapping & GPS functionality. Our team created a backend web console to track and map data points.
Phase 2: Data reporting in a standardized format that can be transmitted to law enforcement in prescribed ways (wireless web services, USB, or Bluetooth 2.0).
We integrated On-board Diagnostics (OBD) Port II to the ELD solution to capture the vehicle’s health & driver’s duty status & send this data to the mobile app. Our team utilized ELD hardware – Serial Port Profile (SPP) and Generic Attribute Profile (GATT) Bluetooth profiles to enable seamless communication between devices.
The solution included features like:
As discussed, Internet of Things applications in supply chain management & logistics has a vast range of applications. It facilitates the tracking and monitoring of goods, brings more transparency to the communication process, and supports planning precision. Businesses are already recognizing the benefits that IoT provides in enhancing visibility & improving the maturity of their supply chain. As the IoT technology advances further, there will be more & fast implementation
And investing in an IoT-based platform is an excellent option for small and large companies. However, an important point is their clear objective about what they need the technology to accomplish. Therefore, onboarding a skilled team for the design and development stage is also crucial. It helps to ensure your IoT solution for the supply chain meets modern tech trends and is fully functional. We at Rishabh Software have the experience to deliver IoT development services to companies of all sizes, from start-ups to enterprises. We can handle your project from starch or continue with an ongoing project.
Our team knows how to take advantage of this technology to enable you to improve production, inventory & shipment management.